Sometimes I feel as if we’re doing it wrong. So many other travelers seem to be volunteering at sanctuaries for deformed baby ligers or riding great white sharks across pools of lava. We’re not doing any of the exhilirating things like that. Rather, we tend to explore the culture of a place by visiting that place’s watering holes and sampling whatever offering of regional spirits that might be on offer. It’s taken awhile for me to accept this as just as valid as any other travel style and that is, in large part, why I started the “Drinking and Driving” category here on The Life Nomadic. From raki in Turkey to arak in Sri Lanka to pisco in Peru and now mezcal and tequila in Mexico, drinking is totally part of our adventure. Drinking gives us an opportunity to connect with other humans in their natural environment. We hear great stories and have cultural exchanges that are fulfilling.
We arrived in Cholula, Mexico a few days ago. Not really with any plan it was simply a convenient place, geographically, between point a and point b. We had also heard that Puebla was a “nice place” to visit and Cholula is very close to Puebla and that’s pretty much it.
With no real plan and no good reason to be in Cholula, I was absolutely thrilled to learn of Container City. Container City is what I would think an amusement park geared towards drinkers would look like. It’s certainly not a unique concept, our Facebook friends were quick to mention things along the lines of “Hey, there’s one of those in….” Aside from housing complexes built from shipping containers, we’d never seen anything like this and certainly hadn’t ever been to one.
There are about 43,000 bars located here. Mostly catering to university students, which is to say it’s mostly cheap liquor in massive quantities that is available. Not necessarily our style, but pretty cool, nonetheless.
We only had time to visit a small handful of the bars, but the clear winner was La Mezca for its variety of Mezcal at fire sale prices and fantastic staff as well as the interior decor and bar design.
Do you have any reccomendations for watering holes or unique cocktails we should check out on our way south? We’d love to hear about them, leave a comment 🙂
After a few drinks at Container City, we made our way to Jazzatlan, which bills itself as jazz club & brew pub. Given that I’d had a few mezcals earlier, my senses may not have been terribly sharp. Of course this is only apparent in hindsight, but I did make a few minor errors. First, I accidentally used the ladies’ room. It was one of those things. It didn’t quite feel right. The first clue was that there were no urinals, and urinals are pretty standard equipment for bars in most of the world. The second clue was that I got the stink eye from a lady as I was leaving and I mean bad. Whoops, sorry 🙁
My second mistake may not have been a mistake at all. I failed to notice the giant chalkboard with the selection of local craft beers, but instead ordered off the menu. Much like a restroom with no urinals doesn’t seem quite right, so too does a beer menu at an alleged brew pub that doesn’t really have much. There were some Goose Island offerings and I’m not opposed, so I chose one of those but would have preferred a Mexican craft beer. Or would I? Once I saw the chalkboard, I noticed that there was a coconut stout on it. That sounded very appealing to me so I asked for one of those. Sadly, it was completely flat and undrinkable. All in all, Jazzatlan was a bit of a bust. The food was quite nice though.
We did have some suds at a place called the Beer Box a few days earlier, and this is what I would recommend if you’re in the area and yearning for a nice craft brew or a few.
Overall, there’s some great drinking to be had in Cholula and Container City was really cool. Don’t hesitate to get out and look at cholula through the bottom of a shot glass, but just remember, if you’re driving, don’t drink and if you’re drinking, don’t drive. Oh, there’s Uber in Cholula so that’s solved.
Would you like to have drinks with us? Do you know any great drinking establishments that we should check out along (or even off) the Pan-American Highway (we love quirky)? Would you like us to review your bar or a particular alcoholic or caffeinated beverage? Do you know of a beer fest or other drinking themed event along the route? If you answer yes to any of the above, Contact us!