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Baja Brewing Company: Baja Sur’s One and Only Microbrewery

By Meghan Fitzpatrick

The Baja Brewing Company is Baja Sur’s only microbrewery, but with seven staple beers and an assortment of seasonal draft offerings, you are guaranteed to find something you like.  Want a change from Pacifico? Try the Baja Blonde. Prefer Negro Modelo? How about the Oatmeal Stout. They have more than enough choices to suit any beer-drinking palate.

Inside the brewery

With three locations, or cantinas, in Los Cabos–just off the plaza in downtown San Jose del Cabo,  above Cabo Villas on the rooftop, and on the marina in Cabo San Lucas–Baja Brewing has become a favorite hangout among locals and tourists alike. It doesn’t take long to get to know the friendly faces of the staff and the regular patrons who come by to take advantage of the daily happy hour specials.

Baja Brewing Company opened its first brewery in San Jose del Cabo in 2007, among the historic art galleries of the colonial town. In 2009, the company expanded to a second facility in Cabo San Lucas–the Cabo Villas Rooftop location– and in 2011 they opened a third location in Cabo San Lucas on the Marina. They also brew their beer at a production brewery in Mexicali.

The beer selection varies, featuring seasonal beers, a pale ale, and even a raspberry lager. New recipes are always in the works. The company now distributes its beer up and down the peninsula, as well as across the globe — in fact, a company in Australia recently discovered the delicious flavors of Baja Brewing Company’s beers. Look for it on menus from Loreto to Sydney.

The founders

Jordan Gardenshire and his father, Charlie Gardenshire, Rob Kelly, and David Hatfield–four lovers of beer and Baja–together created the Baja Brewing Company.

Jordan’s love affair with brewing beer started in his college days in Colorado when he started experimenting with different ways to home brew from inside his apartment. It wasn’t long before Jordan was became an accredited brewer and member of the American Brewers Guild. In addition to his brewing expertise, Jordan also acquired a considerable amount of business expertise managing and and running a franchise business in Boulder, Colorado. His combined brewing and business expertise made him a perfect founding partner of Baja Brewing Company.

After Jordan started his work on Baja Brewing in Los Cabos, it wasn’t long before his father, Charlie, wanted in on some of the action and fun his son was having in Baja. Charlie moved to Los Cabos about a year after Jordan to help his son get the ball rolling with Baja Brewing. Charlie joined the Baja Brewing Company team with an impressive resume, boasting an extensive background in both marketing and international tourism.

The next person to want in on the Baja Brewing action was Rob Kelly. Rob joined the Baja Brewing team with experience in restaurant design and management. Like Jordan, Rob joined the team after having lived in Boulder, Colorado for many years. In Boulder Rob managed a very successful restaurant and bar–one of the most popular college bars in Boulder. After visiting Los Cabos, Rob was excited to start a restaurant and bar with the great food and atmosphere he knew in Boulder.

Lastly (but certainly not least), David Hatfield joined the Baja Brewing team in Los Cabos. After having lived in Cabo for many years managing a fishing fleet, David found himself with itchy feet and seeking new challenges. David joined the Baja Brewing crew and the rest is history–together the four of them founded the Baja Brewing Company.

Where to taste a Baja brew

San Jose del Cabo - The San Jose del Cabo location for Baja Brewing Company is located at Morelos 1227, San José del Cabo, BCS, México and is open seven days a week from noon until late at night.

In addition to the brewery located at the San José, there is also a full restaurant and bar, as well as a stage for live music performances–they feature live music from 10pm onwards on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Their menu includes classic pub fare like burgers and fries or fish-n-chips, and other mains like sea bass, filet mignon, shrimp or pasta dishes. All three Baja Brewing locations have what is arguably the best pizza in Los Cabos. Their dough is made with a secret ingredient – beer, and topped with barley. Try it at any of the three locations and see what you think.

Cabo Villas  - The Cabo Villas cantina is located on the rooftop of the Cabo Villas Resort at Callejon del Pescador S/N, El Medano Ejidal, Cabo San Lucas, BCS, México. Overlooking Medano Beach, it has one of the best views in all of Cabo and has been the host to countless wedding receptions as a result. The menu here is basically the same as the San Jose del Cabo cantina; Friday Prime Rib night is a popular affair. Live music plays on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The Cabo Villas BBC is open daily from 8 a.m. until 1 a.m. with Happy Hour from 4-6 p.m.

Marina  - The newest of the three Baja Brewery locations is situated right in the heart of the Puerto Paraiso shopping mall, across from La Europea and Ruth’s Chris, look for the big donkey statue if you are coming from the Marina. Menu specials vary slightly from the company’s other two locations. The Baja Brewing Company’s Marina location is open daily from 8 a.m. until 1 a.m., and has live music Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

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