Beers of Argentina

Sholken Rubia

An absolutely stonking beer first off! This local Patagonian blonde beer has infusions of orange and coriander, and is bursting with flavours. It has a tangy marmalade middle with a herby suggestion and then a bouncy bitter hoppiness to end. This is contender not just for beer of Argentina, but beer of the whole trip. It’s brewed on the high street in El Calafate by some Argentinian beer enthusiasts.

10/10


Patagonia Bohemian Pilsen

A Czech style pale pilsen with delicious crisp flavours of hoppy flavours and a good yeasty finish. Another fantastic beer that would awaken a trillion taste buds in Vietnam or Brazil were it sold there.

9/10

Patagonia Weiss

A lovely German cloudy beer with distinct peach and apricot notes and well balanced with a sweet beginning and a bitter finish.

8/10

Sholken Roja

A red ale with a good balance and fruity hints. The Sholken people really know how to make beer, and this hatrick gives strong hope that the Argies will walk away with our coveted prize of best beer nation on our trip. We have yet to try the most famous beer, Quilmes, which everyone drinks, but the signs from Patagonia are that excellent beer can be found.

9/10

Sholken Negra

By far the best dark beer we’ve had on this trip. Rich and bitter, without the treacley over-sweetness of many of the Brazilian attempts.

9/10

Gulmen Rubia

Another Patagonian beauty. An orangey colour and again with distinctive fruity flavours, without tasting like a fruit beer, and reassuring bitterness.

8/10

La Cerveceria – Bock (Negra)

A small beer restaurant with a microbrewery in the tiny town of El Charlten, La Cerveceria make just two beers and this is the better of them. A dry dark beer with a slightly odd minerally taste that is almost meaty, but isn’t too odd to detract from its enjoyment. Not much body but with enough tasty nuttiness to make it work very well.

8/10

La Cerveceria – Pilsen (Rubia)

The minerally nutty taste of the Negra can be found tenfold here, but it’s so overpowering it tastes a little of tinned olives. I would still rather drink this over say an Everest beer from Nepal, but this won’t be to everyone’s taste.

6/10

El Bolson – Rubia

Wowzers, this quite possibly even tops the Sholken Rubia. Like an explosion of flavours on the tongue, the Rubia has passion fruit coming through strongly, but in a manner that avoids it tasting like a fruit beer. It still manages to remain dry and bitter, but if this beer was the only variety left after a pandemic beer plague the world’s beer drinkers would be very happy.

10/10

Arauncana – Dunkel

Yet more Pataonian top-notch beers. The Negra isn’t as interesting as its Sholken rival, but still would wipe the floor with any other dark beers we’ve had outside of Argentina.

7/10

Arauncana – Rubia

Again not as drinkable as the Sholken version, but still a very nice tipple. This also has fruit flavours throughout and a yeasty and hoppy finish.

8/10

Pilker – Rubia

The most disappointing of the Patagonia Rubias so far, this lacks the flavoursome punch of the others but to get things in perspective, if offered this against almost 95% of the beers we’ve had elsewhere you’d grab this one straightaway.

7/10

Quilmes Bock

First sample of Argentina’s biggest brewer’s offering is a good one. Better than that actually, it’s an excellent red beer with caramel flavours and tons of taste.

9/10

Quilmes Negra

A sweeter dark beer than the Patagonian equivalents we’ve tried, but this is still miles ahead of the Brazilian attempts. Things are looking hopeful for when we try Quilmes’ best-selling pilsen beer.

7/10

La Colorada – Bohl

A cloudy orange colour, and with strong peachy notes. Full bodied (6%) and delicious.

8/10

BarbaRoja – Double Bock

I have to confess, I don’t know how something can be double bocked, but this has apparently. It’s another full bodied but well balanced deep ruby coloured beer, with a good fruity nose. It proudly announces on the label that it’s a Winner!, but of what it doesn’t say.

8/10

Palermo – Rubia

The first bog-standard nothing-beer. Straight down the line boring, but inoffensive. And the shame is, it’s very popular.

3/10

Berlina – Stout

Berlina are one of the better known artisan brewers, but are actually Argies – they just started out making German beer. This stout is a belter – smokey and bitter. Up there for dark beer of the trip.

9/10

Berlina – Indian Pale Ale

An excellent and strong IPA that’s bursting at the gills with flavour, and really makes your mouth water. Yet another contender for beer of the trip!

10/10

OtroMundo – Nut Brown Ale

I think this is the best dark beer we’ve had. Looks like and tastes (a little) like a rich smooth Italian espresso. Like bitter chocolate, it is rich without being sweet. Top class.

10/10

Quilmes – Cristal

We had to try it at some point and left it to a moment where there were no other choices within our budget. This is the national beer and has 75% of the beer market in Argentina. It’s bland and fairly tasteless.

4/10

Buller – Stout

Buller is a microbrewery bar in Buenos Aires which makes about six beers of very high quality, and a price to match. This is a nice stout, the nearest to Guinness we’ve had but not made ice cold thankfully, and so with more flavour to be enjoyed.

7/10

Buller – Indian Pale Ale

Yet another contender for beer of the trip. Can’t fault this IPA (although it’s the least pale pale-ale I’ve ever tried). Strong hoppy bitterness, with fruits and malty notes. Top notch.

10/10

Buller – Oktoberfest

Buller’s attempt at a German wit beer slightly misses the target. It is from their premium list, costing about 40p more a pint, but isn’t nearly as good as the IPA. It does have nice orangey flavours, and is still way above average.

7/10

Andes – Blanca

In Mendoza and the west of the country, Andes seems to at least go toe-to-toe with Quilmes. It’s no better though. More like Andes Blanda.

4/10

Quilmes Red Lager

A tasty and light red beer from the biggest brewer, and it´s pretty good. Certainly better than their standard pilsen attempt. This has nutty and toasted flavours and is easy to drink.

6/10

Quilmes Bajo Cero

The Bajo Cero is Quilmes´attempt at a kind of ultra-bland ´extra cold´ beer, presumably to appeal to the youngsters. What they have suceeded in is removing any hint of taste whatsoever. If there is a flavour, it is that of water.

3/10

Imperial Amber Lager

One of Quilmes´rivals (who don´t stand chance in competing), Imperial, have produced another decent  beer, this time a red one. I´m not sure if something was lost in translation (perhaps they used Google translate), but the colour is far from amber. If Cambridge United had to play in this colour they´d be laughed off the pitch (they play in amber).

6/10

Cordoba Dorada

Cordobans claim this to be delicious, but that’s because the only other beer they seem to sell is Brahma and (the American) Budweiser. It’s drinkable, and has a wheaty taste but it mostly just dull.

4/10

 Salta Rubia

The north-south divide in the quality of Argentinian beer is becoming more apparent, as this is more like the bland beers of Brazil.

4/10

Salta Negra

Salta’s dark beer is much better, with slight charcoal notes and a bittersweet middle. But it lacks body and interest.

5/10

 

Norte Blonde

Because Norte is from and consumed in the high altitude of the north, its head froths up and overflows the glass without much encouragement. This just means that a fairly boring and tasteless pale lager becomes a flat and boring tasteless pale lager.

3/10

Norte Negra

Norte’s dark beer is better than its pale sister and has less fizz to belch over the side of the glass when you pour it, but it is once again overly sweet and is lacking much needed bitterness.

4/10


FROM 33 BEERS THE AVERAGE SCORE OF ARGENTINIAN BEERS IS 6.97 (so let’s say ‘7’) OUT OF 10!!


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3 Responses to “Beers of Argentina”

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