Beer of the Week: Clara

Brewed by San Diego's foremost lager expert, Puesto Cervecería's flagship Mexican brew is finally in cans

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I’ll admit it. Despite being a devout Padres fan, it took me a while to warm to the home team’s City Connect uniforms. When they were unveiled I think I may have literally taken a step back. I mean, that intensely fluorescent shade of pink exists nowhere in nature and is beyond hot. Scalding is more like it. Knockaround stock likely soared the day that hue hit San Diego’s color chart. Add on that mint-meets-pistachio dome and, well, it’s as out there as a fences-and-bases-clearing homer of the Slam Diego variety. But now, I love those wild, wacky jerseys and look forward to donning my Tatis replica version during Friday night home games. Last year, I even rebranded the logo for San Diego Beer News’ annual Homebrew Summer program to mimic the City Connects. I guess all I needed was a little time. The same is not true of this week’s featured beer, Puesto Clara, a Mexican-style lager that’s the flagship house beer of the local chain of restaurants it’s named for. Produced by the individual most San Diego brewers taut as the county’s foremost lager expert, Doug Hasker, it’s crisp, clean, slightly sweet and pairs well with Puesto’s modern take on classic Mexican flavors and dishes. In other words, everything one could ask for from this everyday-drinker style of beer. Well, almost everything. Since the beer’s 2020 debut, many beer fans have lamented the fact it’s only available on draft and to-go in crowlers at Puesto’s restaurants. But día feliz, that’s no longer the case. Puesto Clara now comes packaged in six-packs of 12-ounce cans. And while those stylish aluminum vessels aren’t based on the City Connect scheme, they lead with – you guessed it – hot pink, and include similarly complimentary pastel green and gold accents (along with sky blue and orange). And thanks to the Friars intro to that scheme, I’m all about these cans. Of course, it helps that they contain high-quality lager that evokes memories of gluttonous taco fiestas on Puesto’s Mission Valley patio, but even without that particularly tasty brand of nostalgia, this next step in Puesto Cervecería’s evolution is a very welcomed one.

When Isidoro Lombrozo, the patriarch of the Puesto family, asked me to craft a beer rivaling Pacifico Cerveza, I was uncertain, despite my expertise in brewing German lagers. After experimenting with Mexican lagers and drawing from my Bavarian background — along with insights from fellow brewers — we brewed Puesto Clara. It balances the essence of Mexican and Bavarian lagers, featuring a touch of corn in the mash. Clara was our flagship offering at Puesto Cervecería and has since become our most popular beer. It’s the most approachable, with a light crispness and subtle complexity. It pairs well with all of our menu items, but is the ideal companion for tacos. Because of Clara’s popularity, we felt it was time to venture into the can market in these bright, beautiful pink cans. (Who can resist the pink can?) You can now have our cerveza anywhere you go and with any taco of your choice. An easy-drinking Clara cerveza perfect for San Diego and beyond. La cerveza para tacos.

Doug Hasker, Master Brewer, Puesto Cervecería 
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