Local Gringo starts brewery and nails it
Baja’s options for craft beer keep expanding at a tremendous rate. It looks like just a few weeks pass before you start hearing about a new beer that someone is brewing and starting to sell. Most are just minuscule craft brewers that produce just a couple of kegs every month and take advantage of that to experiment with their flavors sacrificing consistency in their production because for many it’s more a hobby than a business.
But every once in a while major players come to town and start real businesses around the craft beer movement, this is the case of Cerveceria Transpeninsular in Ensenada that opened it’s doors with roaring success in January this year offering locals a great mix of beer, food, a comfy bar, and great ambiance.
Collin Corrigan, the driving force behind the brewery, talked to us about his love for Baja with a passion. He vividly explained how he got to know Baja for the first time when he was just four years old, and his parents decided to take a road trip to Cabo, “I continued to come many times when I was growing up, and I got bit by the Baja bug,” he says.
Collin majored in culinary arts in San Francisco, but after finishing school and working in restaurants for a while, his hobby for skateboarding took him into the screen printing business.
In 2007, after a few years providing technical support to screen printing companies located in Mexico he decided to start his own business which he tells us did extraordinary well until his biggest clients, suppliers of giants like Walmart and Target, began to demand more credit and more product in order to meet their goals. “We were getting killed!”, He said.
He and his business partner decided then that they were going to downsize his business by divorcing their biggest clients that had small margins.
With a little more time on his hands, he talked to his business partner about opening a brewery that was open seven days a week, and that offered consistent quality on the beer, an idea that had crossed his mind many times before when he had to stay in Ensenada and found himself looking for a good beer on a weekday.
His partner was thrilled with the idea, and they started to work on the project right away.
They hired Callaway Ryan, a master brewer that had plenty of experience in the business and their brewing process started.
Corrigan did an excellent job on their location while Ryan focused on bringing us the best beer he could.
Brand new professional equipment was ordered from Portland, Oregon that would allow them to brew about 1800 barrels of beer per year, that’s about 4,860 full kegs per year for those of us who are not expert on beer technicalities.
The malts and hops they use are all imported from Vancouver, Washington and Eastern Seattle, places with a long history of producing high quality ingredients for brewing.
Collin says that his primary objective is to have a beer that is both, consistent and progressive. Consistent because he says that his beers will always taste the same and progressive because he likes experimenting with new brews, offering great surprises like his North Eastern IPA called Neblina.
They also have a kitchen with a good selection of bar foods: truffle fries, nachos with carne asada, onion rings stuffed with mozzarella, wings, and ceviche are just some of the things on the menu. They also carry a couple of local wines from Roganto just in case you decide to go with someone that prefers the grapes over the hops.
Cerveceria Transpeninsular is a perfect place to enjoy a couple of beers surrounded by great people. Interestingly enough an ex-pat following has already been established in the brewery.
Don’t miss the chance to taste a great beer, food and meet new people, including Collin himself who is there most of the time. They open seven days a week from noon to midnight, and they are located on the Transpeninsular Highway (Tijuana – Ensenada) about 700 ft south of Hotel Coral. They have plenty of parking space and security guards to watch your cars while you drink.