After our first post about the Peruvian and Bolivian craft beer scene, we will continue on the remaining countries we’ll visit in South America.
We’ve been in touch with the Peruvian craft beer association, who actually told us about the South American “Cup” of craft beers, which will be held in Santiago, Chile at the end of September 2016. This annual event will host craft brewers from around the continent, and will award this year’s winners in all relevant beer categories. An amazing idea for promoting South American crafts while keeping interests by (new) craft brewers high.
Our small research learns us that both Chile and Argentina are already a few steps ahead of their northern neighbors. Chile has almost 120 microbreweries and brewpubs, with some of them already from early 2000. Chilean craft brewers also take home a fair amount of awards during the yearly South American craft beer cup. Our Chilean intel (2 friends living Santiago) are really exhilarated about Kross, a Santiago based brewery founded in 2003 with a fair amount of German inspirations. We’re also looking forward to taste some Szot, Granizo or Ruberg, just to name a few.
Stating that Argentina had the most developed craft beer market of the 5 countries we’re visiting, would be an understatement. There’s already even a very nice Lonely Planet article of 2015. Beer festivals, craft beer tours, you name, they already have it. We’re particularly looking forward to what the Patagonian region has to offer. With mountains, chocolate and cheese fondue, Bariloche will be the small craft beer capital to explore, with smaller excerpts towards El Bolson and even Ushuaia.
With almost 200 microbreweries and brewpubs, names like Antares, Berlina and The Kraken will soon sound much more familiar.
Lastly, we turn to Uruguay. Little we know about this small “brother” of Argentina, yet there has been some craft beer activity in recent years, with 12 microbreweries and brewpubs (check this nice 2014 article). Within our 5 days, we at least will try some craft beers in Montevideo (Cerveceria del Sur, Cerveceria Artesanal), or even maybe on our way to the estancia homestay in Tacaurembo (Cabesas Beer).
One big continent, 5 countries, with a surprisingly growing craft beer scene. Cheers!