roblog - Official Blog of Rob Hurvitz


29 Aug 2009 - 2:44:16 PM
Más cerveza, por favor

The South American brewpost continues...

Baguales - Puerto Natales, Chile
Fairly new microbrewery. They do two beers, a rubia and a negra, but I was only able to try the rubia -- the restaurants with their beer on tap were unfortunately out of the negra. The rubia was very nice, though, and went down very well after nine days hiking around Torres del Paine national park. Wasn't able to visit the cerveceria, however. One guy said that they're still brewing in their house, or something like that. Maybe someday they'll move into a more tour-friendly facility. Nice logo glasses for sale at the pizza place on the main square. This glass was the one whose base broke en route to Seattle. Someday I'd like to go back and get a replacement, and try the negra...

Austral - Punta Arenas, Chile
My only cerveceria tour. It's a pretty big facility, and calling it a microbrewery is kind of like calling Red Hook a microbrewery, but oh well. I think their two original beers are now brewed further north, but this, the so-called southern-most brewery in the world (the Argentine town of Ushuaia is further south and has three microbreweries), is still in full operation and makes new, special batches. Because I did the full brewery tour and tasting, I was (relatively) more thorough in my note-taking, so I'll pass it all along.

The originals:

  • Lager - light, crisp, clean finish. A good lager.
  • Polar Imperial - heavier lager, sort of between a lager and an amber. Okay.
The new brews:
  • Patagona Pale Ale - really quite good, my favorite of the Austral brews
  • Calafate - a fruit beer, made with the local calafate berry (somewhat juniper berry-ish). It's not a sweet berry, and, refreshingly, it's not a sweet fruit beer. It has a juniper/calafate aroma, and it just might be my favorite fruit beer (which isn't saying much because I don't really like fruit beers, but still, I liked this one).
  • Yagan Dark - okay. Not sweet, at least.

Beagle - Ushuaia, Argentina
I tried Beagle's Fuegian Stout (negra fuerte). It tasted a little strong (and it is, 7.8%), but it was good. Reminded me of Pyramid's Snow Cap, actually. I ended up spending way too much time trying to buy a Beagle glass, but couldn't find one for sale. There were two restaurants that had them but they were unwilling to sell, and I'm not so much into pint glass stealing. Ah well. I did find two other Ushuaia microbrews in the process, though.

Cape Horn - Ushuaia, Argentina
The one glass I was able to buy in Ushuaia was for Cape Horn Brewing. I tried their Pale Ale, and it was okay, but nothing great.

Haín - Ushuaia, Argentina
I tried the Haín Roja and wasn't sure what to make of it. It's an interesting beer. Faint pineapple-y aroma. Decent bitterness, but the flavor was not something I'm used to. It's one of those beers you sip and think about, and after a while I think you become a fervent believer in. I didn't quite reach that level with just the one.

El Bolsón Cerveceria - El Bolsón, Argentina
Those of you keeping score at home will notice that I have eight breweries listed in this post, but I mentioned previously that I had seven to go. This one is the extra. I thought about leaving it out because the pint of rubia I had in Buenos Aires wasn't so good, with a subtle green olive flavor, but I decided to include it as a bit of advice for those traveling to Argentina: If you want to try the El Bolsón Cerveceria beers, don't try them in Buenos Aires -- go to El Bolsón and try them there.

Ted's Beers - Sucre, Bolivia
I tried both of Ted's Beers during my stay in Sucre. The Ámbar isn't quite the amber I'm used to, with its hint of apple, but it wasn't bad. The Chala also wasn't bad and had a light, slight citrus edge. Not sure which I would drink more of, if I ever end up in Sucre again.

Lucho's Beer - Huaráz, Perú
Lucho serves his beer in his bar, 13 Buhos, located above another bar and near the Cruz del Sur office. Nice guy. The beer is made from the four traditional ingredients, plus coca leaves for an extra kick. The roja was interesting, not quite sweet, and had a high alcohol content edge to its flavor. It was okay, but I much prefered the negra. That had a spicy/bubbly start, then mellowed to a decent-to-good dark beer taste. Sort of a light stout or heavy porter. Aside from the Antares Stouts, Lucho's negra was my favorite South American dark beer.

And now it's time to move on. In the two months since I've been back, I've visited three Washington brewpubs. I need to get those written up at some point. A blogger's work is never done...

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