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Malecón de Mazatlán
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Why A tiny Microbrewery In Mazatlan Is King

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Why A tiny Microbrewery In Mazatlan Is King

Sophia Boccard

beer

When Edvin Jonsson was 23 years old he decided that he wanted to correct a wrong, there’s simply no good beer in Mazatlan, so he needed to make his own. Six years later, and a healthy obsession of brewing beer at home, turned into his very own microbrewery in Mazatlan well on its way to becoming the place to get the best I.P.A. in town after only being open for one year. We sat down with Edvin to pick his brain a bit on beer and his process.

Do you have any formal training in brewing science or art?

Back in 2012 I completed the Diploma Program in Brewing Technology at both the Siebel Institute in Chicago and the Doemens Academy in Munich. Beer conferences are also kind of my thing, I really love beer.

We love beer too, especially your I.P.A. but your brewery is tiny! How many barrels do you make a year?

We’re considered a nano brewery, so we're technically too small to be considered a microbrewery. We produce a little less than 300 barrels annually.

Instagram: @melyvillanueva

Instagram: @melyvillanueva

Nano-Micro-OK. However technical we need to be, we just love that we have a homebred brewery in town. Since you are so small, are you set up to do anything automatically or is there a lot of exercise in your brewery's operation?

We have zero automation. Everything we do is manual. It’s actually a fantastic workout, although a 12-hour brew day in the middle of August can be brutal.

Have you ever had a bad batch? If so, how long did it take you to figure out what caused it?

Sadly yes, we once had a contamination issue. We had to disassemble and thoroughly clean everything as well as replace all of our plastic hoses and gaskets. It took us three bad batches to get rid of it. Since then, we’ve brought on a microbiologist who has been a lifesaver.

Has Tres Islas ever been a part of a beer festival or conference and have you won any awards?

I've personally attended a lot of festivals and conferences and have been to Craft Brewers Conference twice, which is one of the largest ones in the world. But the brewery has only been present at the Mazatlan Beer Fest. We also recently won a silver medal in the American Porter Category at Copa Cerveza MX, one of the most important competitions in Latin America.

Instagram: @mariachihc

Instagram: @mariachihc

Congratulations on the award! Is there a secret to your success? Do you guys have a tradition when brewing?

No traditions but when we had our bad batch, Memo and I created a sad music playlist on Spotify and the first song to come on was If You Leave Me Now by Chicago. As we watched our 1st round of beer go down the drain, we played the song. And then again when we drained our 2nd round. I guess we'll play that song whenever we toss a bad batch, so here’s to hoping that never happens again!

If you had to pick a favorite beer from the brewery and offer it to a stranger, which one would it be and why?

Oh, that’s tough because I don't have a favorite beer. The two I drink the most are the I.P.A. and the Saison, but people here in Mexico are very picky about their beer and either love or hate the IPA style. I’d have to ask them first about his/her flavor preferences.

OK, last question we promise! Got any advice for those aspiring brewers out there?

Don't rush into it. Learn as much as you can, read a lot of beer books, follow blogs, podcasts, forums, attend conferences, ask questions to other brewers, work for another brewery. Also, develop a beer palate, that process takes time but it should be fun because you explore all kinds of beer. Become a beer judge and participate as much as you can in beer competitions that way you'll learn from other judges as well.