Brew Day Part II

Thomas Fessenden (Student): Today we visited Cerveceria Modelo, a large brewery located in Guadalajara. The brewery employs 1,800 employees in Guadalajara, and more than 40,000 nationwide. CM produces 13 brands, with 5 brewed in Guadalajara; their most recognizable brands in the US are Corona and Modelo. They also produce brands isolated to Mexico and some even to specific regions within Mexico. The Guadalajara brewery is able to produce 4.5 million liters per month.  The day began with excellent weather and held throughout the day; sunny and 75. The Cerveceria was a 30 min ride from the Mansion Del Sol, our hotel. When we arrived we were greeted by a helpful recent hire of Modelo; by recent, this was his 1st week at the company. He gave us a safety briefing about the plant. We then proceeded to the Mash Tun building, where the malt and ancillary starches are combined with hot water to create the wort. The wort is then filtered and then cooked; while cooking the hops are added to provide the bitter flavor of beer. The aromas of the mash are very sweet and malty, the building was about 95oF due to the cooking process. The wort is then transferred to the fermentation building. Here wort is allowed to ferment; utilizing 1 strand of yeast, alcohol and CO2 is produced, creating beer. We were able to see the bottom of 6 massive stainless steel vats. The excess CO2 is used to power turbines to create enough power for the entire plant. The beer is then transferred to bottling facility. Sadly we were unable to walk onto the bottling floor due to safety issues within the plant. We then returned to the tour building and had the opportunity to taste Corona in a keg, taken from the cooling towers, never bottled. They distribute Corona all over the world, with labels exclusive to the regions.

The tour was very interesting and the facilities were a sight to be seen, very clean and well organized; CM is an outstanding company to work for and takes pride in the products they produce.

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  1. CU blog

    This tour guide knew a lot more about the brewing process when compared to the previous brewery visit in Monterrey. One of the things I found really shocking is that the brewery only uses one strain of yeast for every different brand that they brew. For some breweries they use the yeast as the defining characteristic that gives all of their beers a similar taste, but in this case they only have one brand so that is much different than the 15 ish brands that this brewery has. The reason that smaller breweries sometimes use only one strain is that they do not have the technology or proper equipment to prevent the two strains of yeast from contaminating beers that they are not supposed to ferment. This is definitely not the case, they had quite a large yeast lab. I personally think that the reason for this is to keep the costs low.
    Jordan Wyble

  2. CU blog

    This brewery was very similar to the Cervecería Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma brewery. The brewery was kept very clean. For putting out close to 4.5 million liters a month it seemed quite small, but they seemed to have no problem keeping up with competition. The workforce seemed very close and looked to be a peaceful place to be employed.

    Mike Tornatore

  3. CU blog

    The most impressive part of this visit was how well informed our tour guide was with only a week of work under his belt. Although this visit was similar to an earlier visit to a beer plant in Monterrey, it was interesting to see how other plants operate.
    Nolan Driscoll

  4. CU blog

    I really enjoyed the visit to “Corona”. They are currently only producing in Mexico but are thinking about starting to produce elsewhere in the world. I am not sure if Corona produced in OHIO has the same appeal. Regarding label production, I learned they produce a variety of labels unique to a sporting event (like world soccer cup) which makes collectables and the event participants and attendees feel special, leading to more sales. One of the most interesting things I learned was that Corona is pursuing a new additive to their product which will enhance the appearance for shelf life. The product currently has a shelf life of 4 months and this new process will extend it to 12 months. To clarify, the product is fine for 12 plus months but the appearance sometimes settles in the bottles and this process will correct that. Charlene Marisol

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