Although Argentina is famed the globe over for its cultivation of delicious malbec wine, visitors may be surprised to learn that a new tipple is growing in status and joining the ranks of this legendary drink: craft beer. Given southern Argentina has long attracted immigrants from Germany – a country with a strong tradition in brewing – it’s no wonder that this influence has laid the foundations for what has become a revolution in Argentina beer.
Quilmes might be the best known and one of the oldest of all the Argentina beer, but a new trend of craft brewing, particularly in the beer epicenters of Bariloche and El Bolsón, is now taking center stage in the country. Both towns are easily accessible from Buenos Aires, making them ideal stop-offs for travelers wishing to learn more about the artisanal beer that is brewing up a storm throughout the country.
Argentina beer in Bariloche
Better known for its chocolate, skiing and Swiss-style architecture, Bariloche is now firmly on the map when it comes to talking about Argentina beer. Regarded as one of the nation’s best beer producing regions, it’s the location of around fifteen breweries, many of which include trendy gastropubs serving up impressive, Argentine fare and locally brewed beer on tap.
Where to sample the best beer in Bariloche
Manush: this brewpub has 13 brews on tap (all of which are brewed locally), including lagers, ales and porters as well as an extensive menu of tasty dishes to choose from. Dine on the terrace in one of Bariloche’s trendiest restaurants.
Blest: Argentina’s first brewpub, Blest allows visitors to tour the facilities of its microbrewery, before dining in the attached restaurant on large platters of traditional Argentine food and a range of beers, including ales, stouts and Pilsen.
Cervezería Berlina: located on the far western side of the city, this brewery has a selection of 22 beers that rotate depending upon the season, as well as two restaurants located in the center of town where excellent food accompanies the beer.
Other events to watch out for in Bariloche
At weekends during the summer, the main road through in Bariloche is sometimes blocked off for beer festivals, where local breweries man trestle tables and serve up their freshest brews.
Every December, you’ll also be able to come across the region’s finest and most exciting microbreweries with the annual Artisanal Beer Festival.
Getting to Bariloche to sample the region’s beer
Eight flights per day connect the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, with Bariloche and the journey takes two hours and 20 minutes.
Argentina beer in El Bolsón
50-miles (80km) south of Bariloche is what many consider to be the real heart of brewing country. It’s here in the fertile valley bordered by the Andes where the first hops in Argentina were grown by German immigrant and subsequent Quilmes founder Otto Tipp in the late 19th-century.
Since then, the town has transformed into one of the main hop-growing regions of Argentina with a wide selection of flourishing microbreweries.
Where to try the beer
Although far smaller than nearby Bariloche and without the same number of restaurants and micropubs, El Bolsón still merits a visit.
The best way to sample the local beer in El Bolsón is by visiting the Artisanal Fair that’s held every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in Pagano Square. Combining local handicrafts with food and drinks, you’ll find a range of wheat, blonde, pale and dark ales from local breweries including Parapapoto, Otto Tipp and Piltri. Restaurants in the town also normally have a range of local beers in stock.
Getting to El Bolsón to sample the beer
From Bariloche, buses depart regularly for El Bolsón, with the journey taking around two hours.