Jose R Ruiz

Chih, Mexico

How did you get into the beer industry? Why does beer matter to you?

I started homebrewing back in 2001 and then moved for work to live in Michigan, there I met some brewing friends that were also Bee Judge Certification Program judges. They taught me how to brew all grain batches and then I took a course to become BJCP Certified. In 2008, on returning to to Mexico I wanted to open up a microbrewery, but I found out that there were no suppliers for ingredients in Mexico. I started looking for suppliers that were willing to have a new distributor in Mexico and that is how I set up Micervesa, the first brewing supply company in Mexico. After that I was invited to organize the first BJCP beer competition in Mexico, since I was the only BJCP Certified judge at that time, and that is how Copa Cerveza Mx started and became the most important Beer competition in Mexico. Beer matters to me because I see it as a social drink that unites people and countries. Beer is one of the few things countries have in common as a drink, but of course with a great diversity of styles. Beer is fun and it is best shared with friends.

Why do you judge at the World Beer Cup? What does judging at the World Beer Cup mean to you?

Being a judge at the World Beer Cup is a tremendous honor, as it allows me to participate in the most prestigious beer competition worldwide. It is a great opportunity to meet new beer judges and share and learn from their experience, and explore the beer culture from their countries and cities. It is also a great responsibility to judge and select the best beers on the table that will be given awards, knowing that they mean a lot for each brewery. I think beer competitions are a great motivation for brewers to do their best effort and keep brewing excellent beer, and this elevates the overall beer culture and experience to the end consumer.