Playa del Carmen’s first beer brewery has come to town and is long overdue. On the Tulum / Cancun highway’s frontage road in south Playa is the newest home of the Carmen Beer Company.
At first sight you would think its an upscale bar & grill. But when you open the floor to ceiling glass doors the surprise is astonishing. The sight of the brewpub and stainless steel tanks will capture your attention immediately.
What’s behind the glass wall that parallels the front windows explains its given name and purpose. The brew kettles, stainless steel tanks and other necessary equipment to make beer are very impressive looking.
Before we get into the bits and pieces of what goes into concocting one of the world’s favorite beverages, lets look at where you can enjoy having a “Cold One”! When first entering the establishment, you are greeted by either a host, server and/or one of the management team. Rob Sweatman is the manager for most of the brewpub’s frontend operations, If he’s not behind the bar serving up handcrafted beer, he is out and about tending to the patrons.
One of the things I like about the atmosphere is that its simple and not overbearing with a bunch of gaudy décor. It has an ambience that invites camaraderie between friends, family or business associates.
The long bar provides a relaxed setting for friendly conversation as well. The outside seating is a perfect option for people who want to enjoy their cool brew while being in the open air and discuss any matters that might be at hand.
The Carmen Beer Co. has a small food menu and beer to go. The menu mostly consist of handmade sandwiches with a few side options. The pulled pork sandwich is an in-house favorite. The pub also has several flat screen televisions that host a variety of sporting events.
How is beer made and what are the main ingredients? Do you need to be a scientist or have a special degree to make beer? I am glad you asked those question! The Carmen Beer Company has a Maestro Cervecero – Brew Master, and his name is Jeff Michael. He can explain the process in detail when you visit the brewery.
You, Me and The Dock can provide some basic information before you meet the Master Brewer. The process starts with four main ingredients and they are Malted Barley, a selected Hops, Yeast for fermentation, and water that is pure and free of chemicals.
The grains and hops are milled together to create what is called a grist. The mixture is poured into a tank filled with heated water to create a mash. From there the process keeps flowing right down the line and into a Lauter Tun where wort is made.
The wort is then collected in a kettle and brought to a slow boil. After boiling for a certain amount of time, any remaining solids are strained off to leave nothing but liquid. Here is where the yeast is added and the fermentation starts – yeast converts the sugar from the wort into beer.
The process is completed by filtering, carbonating and then an aging period of approximately four weeks has to happen before it becomes beer. The final and most important task is to give your brew a name. Jeff named this crafted creation “Imperial Stout”.
The Carmen Beer Brewery’s production facility must be very clean and free of any possible contamination. This is especially important when the fermentation process is occurring. Any bacteria that is lingering can ruin the original recipes and desired flavor.
I always wondered how they cleaned the inside of kegs and now we know. The “Keg Commander” (pictured left) is a device that makes this possible. Every measure is taken to insure product quality and freshness.
Jeff Michael and Rob Sweatman work hand in hand to make sure that your visit is an inviting one. Its nice to have a micro brewpub in the neighborhood where you can go and enjoy a little taste of home. The next time you stop in, let Jeff and Rob know how much you appreciate there developed talents. If its your first time visiting, tell them that You, Me and The Dock sent you. Stay thirsty my friends!
Author: Anthony Scopel
Photography: Anthony Scopel
Videography: Anthony Scopel & Crew
Article Formatting: Anthony Scopel
Video Production: Anthony Scopel & Matt Kemper
Associate Editor: Maureen Scopel
Technical Mastering & Web Support: Matt Kemper
Publisher: You, Me and The Dock