A “Biergarten,” Mexican Style
By Paige Mitchell @paigemitchell_traductora
Last weekend, I embarked on an adventure with a couple of friends to Querétaro’s famous Jardin de Cerveza Hércules for a late lunch—or early dinner, I can’t tell anymore. The beer garden is set against the backdrop of a 19th-century factory, which is still in operation. Originally built as a textile factory, now it is used for both the production of textiles and the brewing of a Querétaro-made craft beer, Hércules, since 2016.
I was fascinated by the fusion of German and Mexican décor. Tables sprawled out across an open-air, cobblestone patio, covered with parasols and canopies floating above our heads to give us a brief respite from the scorching Bajío sun. Many individual tables of four, but also rows of picnic benches, especially along the stone arcades, fill this bustling venue.
A beer garden in the true sense, it offers not only beer, but great food and cultural events, like their Tuesday night open-air film club. The following Tuesday, they showed Pulp Fiction—which meant I had to make a second trip! It looks as though they produce dozens of beers, but I opted for the recommendation offered by our waiter, Pepe, and ordered the Super Lupe IPA. As per the menu: the hopping methods used for this India Pale Ale produces its golden, cloudy color, adding to the citrus notes and floral aroma of American hops varieties.
The wait for a table in the beer garden was about 15 minutes—completely understandable given the popularity of the joint. We sat in the park, nestled inside the premises of the brewery, at the entrance of the main dining area. There we tasted the Lägermaiz: a straw-colored lager with Mexican maize and German malts—a light and refreshing beer.
While we waited, we found an organic vegetable garden, the products of which are incorporated into their dishes. We ordered a fairly simple menu to be shared between the three of us: Pizza Margarita, with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic olive oil and mozzarella cheese and an order of guacamole with Oaxacan chapulines, or grasshoppers—it’s an acquired taste. For dessert, we savored the best brownie I have ever had, served with a small, delectable scoop of vanilla ice cream.
After lunch-dinner, I was itching for a tour of the building, but due to Covid restrictions, I’ll have to return another day. What we did find was their gift shop, with a big selection of Hércules beer (at retail price), coffee grains and a corner for coffee degustation. Our adventure was a feast for the stomach, but also for the eyes. The visuals of this massive outdoor space with its hanging lights, wooden tables and old stone walls were an absolute delight. And of course, like most places I have visited in Querétaro so far, the service was impeccable.
Plans to return for our next lunch—or dinner—at the Hércules Beer Garden are already in the making.
Open every day
Mon: 1 to 10 pm
Tues to Fri: 1 to 11 pm
Sat: 10 am to 11 pm (breakfast 10-1)
Sun: 10 am to 7 pm (breakfast 10-1)
Jardín de Cerveza Hércules:
Av. Hércules Oriente 1, Dentro de la Antigua Fábrica Textil Hércules
Colonia Hércules, Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Tel: 442 403 6140
But also check out Querétaro’s other local craft breweries, which I hope to visit soon!
Carretera Estatal 200 km 50, Fuentezuelas, Tequisquiapan, Qro.
Tel: 427 224 6714
Camino a las Adelitas km 8, Ezequiel Montes, Qro.
Tel: (55) 4161 6100
Prolongación Oriente 4 Norte 3, Bodega 1. San Juan del Río, Qro.
Tel: 427 101 1189