In terms of texture and appearance, the malted white corn beer known as Chicha de Jora bears a striking resemblance to milkshake IPAs. But since it’s naturally carbonated and unhopped, the similarities end there.
The chosen tipple in rural Peru isn’t Kellerbier, Světlýý Ležák, or Best Bitter. It’s Chicha de Jora, a staple of the Incas who ruled as far back as the 14th and 15th centuries. And it still thrives in many Andean villages and towns today.
Despite cultivating one of the most dynamic culinary scenes in the Americas for the past decade, Lima has always lagged behind in terms of beer. Today, however, Peru’s brewing revolution is firmly underway in its capital city.
As the South American culinary scene continues to progress at an astounding rate, its craft brewing scene has begun to catch up. It started in countries like Chile and Brazil. Now Peru has joined the fray, too.
Craft breweries in Ecuador can’t keep up with consumer demand and are expanding as quickly as their bank accounts will allow. Only two years old, Andes Brewing Company epitomizes this growth with its expansion from a 1/2-barrel to a 3-barrel system, making it a mid-sized craft brewer for Quito.
Revel in a craft beer scene that is by far the most advanced in Latin America. Today, you’ll find Black IPAs, Saisons, Imperial Stouts, and plenty of Brazilian-themed beers like açai Stouts and cassava Pilsners. Until recently though, finding craft beer in São Paulo was like looking for the source of the Amazon.
The story of the world’s first Leafcutter Ant Saison starts in the days leading up to São Paulo, Brazil’s O Mercado, an epic gastronomy fair that brings together more than 20,000 foodies, chefs, restaurateurs and a handful of brewers.
Commonly referred to as the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires is a sprawling metropolis that deserves its rank among the world’s greatest cities. The beer market may still be dominated by AB-InBev’s Quilmes, but forgo these ricey lagers and syrupy Stouts, and head off the beaten path to Buenos Aires’ true beer bars.
While walking in the woods, Argentinian microbiologist Diego Libkind stumbled upon fungus clusters scattered on the ground. Taking a sample back to the lab, Libkind found a species of Saccharomyces yeast living on these edible mushrooms.
Despite the economic woes, 2012 is going to see large increases in export sales of small-scale craft beers from producers in Australasia, South America and the European “new wave,” as well as from North America.
Big lager brands may be shiny and reliable, but they are not exactly fun, so dreamers, misfits and visionaries stepped up to start making beers for the more discerning drinker. Twenty years later, Argentina’s craft beers are its best-kept secret.