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Drinking Black Tears in TJ

“It was a school project,” says Sergio Michel. “That’s how it started.”

We’re standing in the stark sunlight of a Tijuana afternoon at the Culinary Art School, looking at a row of beer bottles.

None

His beer. Rámuri beer. We've just emptied them.

But what started as a school project has become a full-fledged craft brewery. The beers sell here in Tijuana, and also as far south as Cabo.

Michel’s a master brewer who has taken on this mission: to bring Tijuana screaming into the craft beer movement.

None

Probably the best known of his brews is the “Diablo Blanco” (“White Devil”), a nice clean lager

None

None

...But my favorite was an oatmeal stout called “Lágrimas Negras” (“Black Tears”)...

None

As the bottle said, “cerveza obscura con sutiles notas de cacao” (“a dark beer with subtle notes of cacao”). But also totally dee-lish: the just-as-dark beer beside it, the Imperial Stout, which tastes like it has a ton of coffee mixed in.

The one thing I can’t quite figure is the name.

“Rámuri’?” says Sergio. “‘Rarámuri’ means Tarahumara – the mountain people of northwestern Mexico. It’s what they call themselves. They’re famous for their long-distance running. People say the name means ‘fast runners.’ Or ‘foot runners.’ They have survived wars with the Aztecs, the Spanish, the French, and the Americans. Now, guess what’s conquering them? Deforestation. And the drought that comes with it.

"So we wanted to honor them, but also to call ourselves ‘Rámuri.’ Not ‘Rarámuri.’ Because ‘Rámuri’ means ‘mixed blood.’ Not pure blood. And that’s most of us. That is the world today. We wanted to celebrate the mixture most of us really are. Kind of like the new mixtures that our craft beers are.”

The downside?

I don’t think there’s anywhere in SD you can buy it. Yet.

The upside? Great excuse to run like the Rarámuri across to TJ.

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“It was a school project,” says Sergio Michel. “That’s how it started.”

We’re standing in the stark sunlight of a Tijuana afternoon at the Culinary Art School, looking at a row of beer bottles.

None

His beer. Rámuri beer. We've just emptied them.

But what started as a school project has become a full-fledged craft brewery. The beers sell here in Tijuana, and also as far south as Cabo.

Michel’s a master brewer who has taken on this mission: to bring Tijuana screaming into the craft beer movement.

None

Probably the best known of his brews is the “Diablo Blanco” (“White Devil”), a nice clean lager

None

None

...But my favorite was an oatmeal stout called “Lágrimas Negras” (“Black Tears”)...

None

As the bottle said, “cerveza obscura con sutiles notas de cacao” (“a dark beer with subtle notes of cacao”). But also totally dee-lish: the just-as-dark beer beside it, the Imperial Stout, which tastes like it has a ton of coffee mixed in.

The one thing I can’t quite figure is the name.

“Rámuri’?” says Sergio. “‘Rarámuri’ means Tarahumara – the mountain people of northwestern Mexico. It’s what they call themselves. They’re famous for their long-distance running. People say the name means ‘fast runners.’ Or ‘foot runners.’ They have survived wars with the Aztecs, the Spanish, the French, and the Americans. Now, guess what’s conquering them? Deforestation. And the drought that comes with it.

"So we wanted to honor them, but also to call ourselves ‘Rámuri.’ Not ‘Rarámuri.’ Because ‘Rámuri’ means ‘mixed blood.’ Not pure blood. And that’s most of us. That is the world today. We wanted to celebrate the mixture most of us really are. Kind of like the new mixtures that our craft beers are.”

The downside?

I don’t think there’s anywhere in SD you can buy it. Yet.

The upside? Great excuse to run like the Rarámuri across to TJ.

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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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