Monday, January 10, 2011
Beans and Beer
A number of my friends have asked about this "Beans and Beer thing?" I have talked about it a few times so Sandie has let me explain a bit about our group in her blog. But as I started to write something, an article came out in our local Mazatlan magazine written by Nola Dyck, whose husband Les is a member of B and B and it is so much better than what I could do that I thought I would just reuse her story here.
It happens every Wednesday, midday, and has since the ‘40s. Like moths drawn to a flame, male expats from all corners of Mazatlán migrate to the Cantina La Alemana on Zaragosa, just east of Aquiles Serdan. This intrepid lot are officially known as “La Hermandad de Cerveza y Frijoles” and freely admit to being an anarchist bunch with no rules and no leaders. These greying boys just want to have fun. They spend this sacred couple of hours swilling beer, eating bean soup and tortillas made especially for them, spinning yarns and telling jokes.
La Alemana is rumoured to have been around in one form or another since the 1930s. Ol’ Jim, one of the most senior members of the group, recalls his working days as a mine foreman near Copala. One of his tasks was to go into Mazatlán to search bars, jails and houses of ill-repute to round up his workers when their monthly leave was over. Let’s just say that La Alemana was on his list, fulfilling two of those requirements.
The institution of Beer & Beans as it is today was started by RV’ers from the old Ole Trailer Park when the first campers found Mazatlán. Depending on the time of year, as many as 55 guys are on hand to share the soup, the beer and the stories; some of which may even be true. Contrary to the macho/anarchist label, they can be a very generous group. For example, a waitress from a few years ago never smiled. Someone in the group discovered it was because she had no teeth. They took up a collection and bought her a new set of teeth. The next week, the line was drawn when all her neighbours showed up with wish lists of their own. There are other instances, but one must be careful to protect their macho/anarchist image.
By Nola Dyck
Thanks Nola for helping me add to Sandie's blog.