Puerto Escondido is the ideal beach town. Situated on the Oaxacan Coast, the small town has escaped the mass tourism and resort culture prominent in many of Mexico’s other oceanfront spots. Travlers are drawn to the relaxed vibe in Puerto Escondido, a result of decades of surfers who’ve landed here in search of the perfect wave. A vibrant expat community has emerged alongside the rich local culture, making it the type of place you could see yourself living. Just like the head brewer of Biercito.
German expat Alex began brewing in his wife Adelina’s guesthouse simply to have better beer options for himself. Like most beach towns, Puerto Escondido’s beer varieties are limited, with the main choice between a cerveza clara like Corona or an amber lager like Victoria. Both highly sessionable, both served with a lime, both losing their appeal after a couple of weeks.
So Alex started making his own beer to fill the void. And like many homebrewers who start out just to fulfill their own beer needs, people around town started taking notice, effectively launching Puerto Escondido’s first craft brewery. I had the chance to connect with Alex to learn more about Biercito’s humble beginnings and why he calls Puerto Escondido home.

What’s Biercito’s story?

My wife Adelina and I, Alex, are the people behind Biercito. Like us, the name is a German-Mexican fusion made up from the the German “Bier” and the Mexican universal “-cito” ending, translating into something like “small tasty beer”. My wife leads two successful boutique hotels in Puerto Escondido – Villa Lili and Quinta Lili – and I’m a researcher in lasers and fiber optics, mainly working in Europe.
Being German I like drinking good beer – and I just couldn’t find one around here! Mexican lagers are nice for a while, but they get boring and monotonous. So I decided to make my own beer with more body and interesting flavours, first for myself and the guests of our hotels. But the word spread around town and so more and more places started selling our beer and we are steadily expanding our brewing capacity.
We’re still a nano brewery with a two-barrel system, but we like it that way and are very proud to be now in our fourth year of business. Currently we’re producing four permanent styles: Escondida Blonde Ale, our Mexican Pale Ale, La Alemana Hefeweizen, and the Oaxaca de Noche Stout.
Biercito Puerto Escondido Craft Beer

What was your gateway into craft beer?

Actually I was more of a wine snob before I started being interested in craft beer. I lived in South Africa for a while, in the center of the winelands in Stellenbosch, and was spoiled with hundreds of fantastic wineries all around me. Moving to the Oaxacan coast I couldn’t find the same quality anymore, but craft beer actually offers more flavour and aroma components than wine. So while it was out of the question to start my own winery, a craft beer brewery sounded more realistic. Inspired by the flourishing South African craft beer scene, which started around the same time, we’re now exploring the possibilities that malt, hops and yeast give us at Biercito.

Why Puerto Escondido?

Brewing beer in paradise – what could possibly be better? Puerto really is a paradise on the Pacific coast with a warm climate all year, an ocean full of life with thousands of dolphins and providing fresh tasty fish every day, and amazing nature in the lagoons and mountains around us. It has kept its charm as a small fishing village despite the tourism, and for me is the perfect setting not only for a brewery, but as a place for living well.

What’s the biggest challenge of brewing on the Oaxacan Coast?

Not a lot of people a crazy enough to set up a brewery in tropical climate – even in winter our temperature never drops below 28 degrees celsius during the day. We’re not fighting it and developed special brewing and fermentation techniques adapted to our climate, which also minimise water and electricity usage –  both 0f which are scarce here. Together with the slightly salty local water we use, this makes our beers a bit different to beers brewed in other places. They have a more intense aroma profile, contain some “umami” notes mixed with fruity and exotic flavours. We’re trying to brew beer that proudly represents its birthplace, which would be called “terroir” in wine terms. On the other hand, our climate requires obsessive hygiene as it is the perfect breeding temperature for beer-spoiling bacteria.

What’s your perfect day in Puerto?

My perfect day starts early in the morning with a trip on a small fisher boat out to the ocean to see spinning dolphins. Then a swim, snacks, and an afternoon nap on Carrizalillo beach, followed by a trip to Manialtepec lagoon to kayak around the mangroves and watch the sunset over the ocean. Finally, a nice dinner in one of the many great restaurants in town (personal favourites are Almoraduz in Rinconada or Cayuco at Playa Zicatela), of course rounded off by a glass or two of our Oaxaca de Noche Stout and a shot of Mezcal.

Where can visitors find your beer in town?

In selected bars and restaurants around town including Sativa, Cayuco and Casa Babylon in Zicatela, Almoraduz, Sushi, Turtle Bay, and Cafecito in Rinconada, and in Las Cazuelas, a typical local food place in the center of town. We’re also present in La Mezcalerita in Oaxaca City, and now expanding towards Mazunte and Zipolite.

What’s next for Biercito?

We’re a small local brewery and want to stay that way. However, we’re always looking for new distributors and places that would like to sell our beer all over the country. Besides our four permanent beers we’ll also be introducing exciting new styles soon, like a smoked beer with Mezcal. The first test batches have come out absolutely amazing and we’re very excited to make them available to the public soon.