One thing that has bothered me since we got here is the choice of beer which has so far been a bit dispointing. I came here with the impression that Quilmes was an okay light drink, I now realise it belongs on the shelf beside beside Heineken and Carling. Brama is a very, very small step up but still not great. The only saving grace is that they serve beers in a litre bottle which is almost two pints for about two pounds. Taste versus finance, never easy.
Luckily after some foot based research we have figured out that “Artisan” is their word for craft, my eyes light up when I see that hoping for a taste of hops and barley. Using this approach, I´ve stumbled over some intresting beers:
- Antares was the first one to catch my attension as they have their own bars in a similar theme to a Scottish craft brewer. They run a non transferrable 2×1 happy hour, so we were ‘forced’ to get two each. Their IPA and selection is superb but outside of their own bars it´s rather pricey, up to four pounds a bottle, not often on a travelling budget.
- Cerveza Artesanal Gilbert from a small brewery on the Chico Circito which did a small tasting session and then discounted us on a pint in the sun, it’s not available anywhere else and due to the cycle home I only had one.
- Berlina India Pale Ale as sampled in El Calfate, quite a nice taste, rich in flavour but a over priced due to the town being expensive.
The end of the Mendoza Wine Tour finished in what was described as an Ale house, out of the 15 of so people on the tour, three of us (including the German, no surprise) picked the dark ale, both the light and dark were fantastic, I had a couple more and then had an awkard payment conversation with my lack of Spanish!
One night walking down the main pubbing and clubbing street in Santiago I noticed a bar that had not just one but three different bottles of Brewdog. I resisted going in as I refuse to be the British tourist that goes abroad and then stays with the safe option!. That may change in Sao Paulo, if Brewdog opens in time.
The quest continues…