Micro breweries are very popular. People have been making beer in their garages for some time now. This same trend holds true for wine making.I have heard of people fermenting grapes in their bathroom for this purpose. Most recently, I have heard that micro distilleries are on the rise. It is becoming trendy to sip very potent, home made spirits of the kind that were once most associated with American rural communities. All of this insight and information began to ferment in my own mind and over the course of a few days I got to thinking about a very old, traditional Aztec spirit known as pulque.
Pulque is harvested from the maguey cactus. The heart of the plant is cut and scraped out to form a well. Over the course of a few days the liquid contained within the plant's thick, succulent leaves begins to drain into this well. The liquid is then collected, much in the same way as it has since antiquity, and stored in large steel tanks and allowed to ferment. A film that does a good job in documenting the process is entitled, Que Viva Mexico!
I wouldn't be surprised if in the not too distant future you see pulque, which is also typically flavored with a variety of natural fruit juices, appearing on the menus of some of the more trendy restaurants around town. Until then, you can read about how pulque figures into ancient Aztec mythology as well as its culinary use.
El Maguey y el Pulque en los Codices Mexicanos
Tequila! : Cooking with the Spirit of Mexico
Mexico Cooks - Excellent blog posting on the subject
Brewing beer at home:
How to Brew: Ingredients, Methods, Recipes, and Equipment for Brewing Beer at Home
The Everything Beer Book: Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Enjoy the Best Beers, Even Brew Your Own
Home wine making:
From Vines to Wine: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine
Winemaking: Recipes, Equipment, and Techniques for Making Wine at Home