Beers of Bolivia


Many people have heralded Huari as Bolivia’s best beer, and it is one of the better popular beers. Made by Pacena, as almost all the leading brands seem to be, this along with quite a few Bolivian beers has a satisfying yeasty and hoppy aroma and taste, with a hint of bitterness.


Pacena Black

As with many other South American black beers, with is a little too sweet for my liking, but is still drinkable and fairly tasty.


Potosi Pilsener

Our first Bolivian regional beer is a real disappointment. Watery, bland and flat (due to the extreme altitude fizzing it up as soon as you pour it).



As far as we could tell, this is just called ‘Bock’. It’s a strong (7%) lager with more body than taste, and at extreme altitude just the one can give you a banging headache in the morning.


Pacena Oro

Pacena’s more expensive gold beer is a fuller bodied and yeasty lager with decent hoppy tones. Worth the extra few Bolivianos.


Elinga Inca

Also made by Pacenca, Elinga is a bitter sweet black beer – again overly sweet – but interesting enough, and more satisfying than Pacena Black.


Taquina Export

This Taquina lager is exemplar of the fact that Bolivians can make the bog standard lagers better than most. You can taste the hops, yeast and cereal, rounded off with a good bitterness. Every bit as good as Beer Lao.


Pacena Plata

Pacena’s special ‘silver’ beer is almost as good as it’s gold, but slightly lacks the well-rounded and fuller bodied nature of its sister.


Surrena 33

A Mexican-style beer with hints of breakfast cereal taste, but largely tasting of nothing in particular. Keeps it head just above those other almost-clear Corona-type beers.



A very average lager, with very average colour, taste, body and qualities.



The Bolivians are particularly good at beer bottle labels, and I was rather looking forward to this one. Sadly, it’s just very average, and I’m not sure I’d be able to distinguish it from the Surena in a blind test.


Saya Negra

We’d tried this on draught in a beer-loving bar, but the Bolivians can’t seem to look after draught beer (even when the bar is run by Europeans) and it wasn’t very nice. But in a bottle it’s much better. A bitter-sweet dark beer, with a satisfying roasted taste.



Not entirely sure of the relevance to the name, but Judas is sweet and strong (was the man too, perhaps?) and black (I don’t think its name sake was). This is drinkable in small quantities.


Pacena Ice

Ultra boring Mexican-style beer, designed to appeal to the taste-bud-devoid yoof market.


Florins Homebrew: Chala

A wheat beer with orange and coriander, with both flavours coming through nicely. However once again the keeping of this beer in its draught form quite possibly hasn’t done it any favours, as it was fairly flat, warm and chemically tasting. But we can only review what we are given…


Florins Homebrew: Nusta

Also from the Florins bar-microbrewery in Sucre, this is very strong but I couldn’t pick out much of the honey taste that was meant to be there. The pick of the two, but again was let down by the bar’s Cellar Manager.



Pacena is Bolivia’s leading beer, and is okay as leading beers go. Crisp and refreshing, it has a little flavour but doesn’t get anywhere near some of its less favoured competitors.


Saya Dorada

Another from the Saya microbrewery stable in La Paz. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure this would be okay were it out a bottle, but the one we tasted wasn’t – it was from another badly kept draught system – and it was almost undrinkable.



Bolivian beer scored an average of 5.2 out of 10 from 18 beers.


2 Responses to “Beers of Bolivia”


  1. Beautiful Bolivia « outofofficetilaugust2012 - April 24, 2012

    […] Beers of Bolivia […]

  2. You’d better Bolivia it! (Part II of II) « outofofficetilaugust2012 - May 3, 2012

    […] Beers of Bolivia […]

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