Have a Baja Moment! Sample the Suds at Baja Brewing Company
While Baja California Norte rides the crest of a craft brew boom, with a steady stream of first-class beers flowing from the taps of Tijuana and its northern neighbors, in the southern part of the peninsula the suds scene is a bit simpler. There’s Baja Brewing Company, and then there’s everybody else.
Baja Sur’s first microbrewery continues to be the standard bearer (or beerer) for Los Cabos and environs, providing pure thirst-quenching pleasure with numerous draft and bottled brew selections, not to mention several scenic locations and tons of tasty menu options. But just as there are four elements, four seasons, and four suits in a deck of cards, the recipe for Baja Brewing Company’s ongoing popularity can be summed up in four basic ingredients: water, yeast, barley, and hops.
Baja Brewing Company opened their first location in San Jose del Cabo’s historic Art District in 2007, and in the six years since has added two sites in Cabo San Lucas: a rooftop aerie at Cabo Villas overlooking Medano Beach, and a Marina-side restaurant nestled between Puerto Paraiso shopping mall and the high-end boutiques of Luxury Avenue. This steady growth is no accident. From its inception, BBC has been a beacon for visiting beer lovers and foodies seeking palate pleasers and picturesque surroundings.
Baja Brewing Company offers a six-pack of bottled treasures – Cabotella, Baja Blond, Baja Razz, Baja Red, Baja Black, and Baja Stout – as well as a heady selection of on beers on tap. Seasonal brews shuffle the draft deck from time to time, but consistent crowd favorites include a lovely Belgian-style Witbier; a dark, chocolatey Escorpion Negro Schwarzbier; a rich, creamy Oatmeal Stout; and a Peyote Pale Ale that will satisfy the most discerning of Northern California hopsters.
Menu options at Baja Brewing Company range from casual fare and mesquite fired gourmet pizzas to fine dining selections. Savory starters include Champagne Corn Bisque and Seared Ahi Tuna Salad, and seafood lovers will also want to sample salty delights such as the Sauteed Red Snapper and Crusted Sea Bass. Burgers and pub-style standards like Fish and Chips and Shepherd’s Pie are excellent options for lunchtime visitors, while dinner guests may prefer to try signature dishes like the Sizzling Arrachera Skewers and Coffee Dusted Filet Mignon. Leave room for dessert, if you can. The New York Cheesecake with Seasonal Fruit is a wonderful way to cap your meal.
Over the years, I’ve developed some standard pairing options. I always match the Basil Blue Cheese Burger Feel with a pint of Peyote Pale Ale, and it’s hard to beat the superb combination of Coffee Dusted Filet Mignon and Escorpion Negro, a German-style Schwarzbier. What’s a good option for children and teetotalers, you ask? Good question. I recommend a plate of Chicken Fingers or Chipotle Chicken Wings and a glass of homemade root beer. Feel free to find your own favorites, of course. I suggest a not-so-rigorous series of trial and error tastings.
Each of Baja Brewing Company’s sites boasts specific charms. The original San Jose del Cabo location is a wonderful spot to pop in for a cold draft beer between art gallery visits, and the warm furnishings and cozy booths of the Marina restaurant make it a great place to sample a flight of draft beers and check out the latest sporting events, or simply to enjoy fine food in air-conditioned comfort. But my personal favorite remains the rooftop location at Cabo Villas. The elevated deck overlooks Medano Beach and Land’s End, and this is a perfect spot for sunset drinks or an outdoor lunch or dinner. If the tropical breezes start to bite (a phenomenon generally confined to the month of January), ask for a Mexican blanket and relax by the fire pit with an oatmeal stout. It works every time.
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