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Getting wooly at Mamut

Mom-and-pop brewery Mamut offers all its beers at 15 pesos ($1.18)
Mom-and-pop brewery Mamut offers all its beers at 15 pesos ($1.18)
Place

Pasaje Rodríguez

Carrillo Puerto 8158, Tijuana, BC

Pasaje Rodríguez totally changed my preconceptions of Tijuana about a year and a half ago, when I accidentally discovered the bustling arts-and-culture alleyway while searching for tacos one Friday night with Reader foodie Ian Pike. Built in the ’50s as a commercial arcade vending souvenirs to tourists, Pasaje Rodríguez was relaunched three years ago following nearly a decade of abandonment.

Now, every first Friday, you can browse 18 storefronts-gone-modern art gallery, bookstore, café, bike shop, or wine bar during the monthly art walk. During off days, you can head down the inconspicuous passage (located next to Caliente casino between Third and Fourth streets on the west side of Revolución), look for the crowd hanging out in front of Mamut Brewery Co., and strike up conversation with the alleyway’s resident artists, teachers, musicians, and regulars over a craft beer brewed in a space not much bigger than a one-car garage.

Taking their name from the Spanish word for wooly mammoth (and a corresponding label designed by local artists Michael Escalante and Teak), Mamut operates under the premise that craft beer should be available to everybody — an especially meaningful gesture in a country that is dominated by a duopoly of less-than-whelming foreign beer conglomerates. As such, the mom-and-pop brewery offers all of their beers at 15 pesos (roughly $1.18 USD) a bottle, or nearly half of what you’ll pay for a Tecate at most Revolución party bars. Though the operation relies on White Labs yeast and U.S. hops and barley, the soul and focus of Mamut is 100 percent local, which makes all the more sense when Sandra Flores — who runs the place with husband Juan Quezada Cerpa — explains, “The mammoth was the first resident of Baja.”

Only a few months into business, Mamut offers amber, brown, dry stout, American pale, and India pale ales, along with dry-hopping for an extra-floral nose. And you know what? They’re very good. Show up with a friend or two and split a 32-ounce bottle for 30 pesos ($2.36, seriously) or grab a big bottle in a gift bag to take home for 50 pesos (includes glass-return charge).

Choose from a new menu of hamburgers, bratwurst, wings, grilled chicken breast, and other beer-friendly fare, and you could easily pass your whole day here. Of course, you wouldn’t be the first to find yourself caught in Mamut’s intoxicating, aromatic tar pits.

  • Attire: Ecstatic expat
  • Hours: MON-THUR, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; FRI-SAT, 10 a.m.–1 a.M.; closed sunday
  • Happy: always
  • Price: ~$1.18 to $3.90 craft beers
  • Food: Burgers, brats, wings
  • Capacity: ~10 inside, 30 outside
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Mom-and-pop brewery Mamut offers all its beers at 15 pesos ($1.18)
Mom-and-pop brewery Mamut offers all its beers at 15 pesos ($1.18)
Place

Pasaje Rodríguez

Carrillo Puerto 8158, Tijuana, BC

Pasaje Rodríguez totally changed my preconceptions of Tijuana about a year and a half ago, when I accidentally discovered the bustling arts-and-culture alleyway while searching for tacos one Friday night with Reader foodie Ian Pike. Built in the ’50s as a commercial arcade vending souvenirs to tourists, Pasaje Rodríguez was relaunched three years ago following nearly a decade of abandonment.

Now, every first Friday, you can browse 18 storefronts-gone-modern art gallery, bookstore, café, bike shop, or wine bar during the monthly art walk. During off days, you can head down the inconspicuous passage (located next to Caliente casino between Third and Fourth streets on the west side of Revolución), look for the crowd hanging out in front of Mamut Brewery Co., and strike up conversation with the alleyway’s resident artists, teachers, musicians, and regulars over a craft beer brewed in a space not much bigger than a one-car garage.

Taking their name from the Spanish word for wooly mammoth (and a corresponding label designed by local artists Michael Escalante and Teak), Mamut operates under the premise that craft beer should be available to everybody — an especially meaningful gesture in a country that is dominated by a duopoly of less-than-whelming foreign beer conglomerates. As such, the mom-and-pop brewery offers all of their beers at 15 pesos (roughly $1.18 USD) a bottle, or nearly half of what you’ll pay for a Tecate at most Revolución party bars. Though the operation relies on White Labs yeast and U.S. hops and barley, the soul and focus of Mamut is 100 percent local, which makes all the more sense when Sandra Flores — who runs the place with husband Juan Quezada Cerpa — explains, “The mammoth was the first resident of Baja.”

Only a few months into business, Mamut offers amber, brown, dry stout, American pale, and India pale ales, along with dry-hopping for an extra-floral nose. And you know what? They’re very good. Show up with a friend or two and split a 32-ounce bottle for 30 pesos ($2.36, seriously) or grab a big bottle in a gift bag to take home for 50 pesos (includes glass-return charge).

Choose from a new menu of hamburgers, bratwurst, wings, grilled chicken breast, and other beer-friendly fare, and you could easily pass your whole day here. Of course, you wouldn’t be the first to find yourself caught in Mamut’s intoxicating, aromatic tar pits.

  • Attire: Ecstatic expat
  • Hours: MON-THUR, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; FRI-SAT, 10 a.m.–1 a.M.; closed sunday
  • Happy: always
  • Price: ~$1.18 to $3.90 craft beers
  • Food: Burgers, brats, wings
  • Capacity: ~10 inside, 30 outside
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Comments
3

I went through there before we left Tijuana, everything was all closed up. It was sort of early though, and on a Sunday I think. Next time, I'm trying this again.

Aug. 10, 2013

David, check it out this Saturday if you are around. Grand opening party with wild jazz cumbia band, fresh beer, and potent, smokey hooch: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...

Aug. 13, 2013

I am afraid to go to TJ. I enjoy reading the adventures that Chad Deal and Ian Pike take down there. Dodd, you are a baseball man. What are you doing hitting the TJ nightlife!! More Pike and Deal write-ups. They are refreshing. I haven't see Barb covering a restaurant in some time. I like how she tackles the restaurant reviews. I'd prefer she keep doing those, and less Diva columns. Maybe that's the male in me. Wait. My wife isn't a big fan either.

Aug. 23, 2013

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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