Argentina is the second-largest country in South America, and of all the countries on the continent, it is probably the most European in style.
If there is one thing the people of Argentina have inherited from the Europeans it is their love and crafting of high-quality beers.
Not only has it got a strong appreciation for beer, but the country is also the most prolific wine producer in South America!
We’ve got everything you need to know about Argentina beer.
A History of Beer in Argentina
The first beer brewer founded in Argentina was called El Egido de la Ciudad, which was established in the 1860s by Alsatian colonizers. This brewery, in line with the country’s close ties to Europe, decided to style their lagers and other beers around European, especially Belgian, type beers.
In 1888 one of the major beer brands in Argentina was established – the Quilmes brewery was founded. Quilmes is an iconic Argentinian beer, and it is still regarded as one of the best in the country today. By 1920 the Quilmes brewery had become, by far, the largest and most popular producer of beer in the country. Not much has changed about that fact today.
Beer production has grown by 13% since 1980 in Argentina and the industry seems to constantly be on the rise, despite the economic setbacks that the country has faced. Be on the lookout for some of the beers mentioned in this article and you will not be disappointed!
The Major Beers of Argentina
When anyone thinks of Argentinian cuisine it is difficult to picture any plate of food that is unaccompanied by a beautiful glass of beer. The beer chosen is a different, more difficult question, as Argentina has several iconic beer brands to choose from.
Most Popular – Quilmes Beer
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Quilmes beer, as mentioned above, was one of the first home-brewed beers in Argentina and because it got in on the market early, it has established itself as possibly the drank beer in the country. The beer comes in a pale golden colour but is crisp and has a mild hoppy flavour. Quilmes has been dubbed the national beer of Argentina.
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Although the name of this brand is not Quilmes, it is one of the major beer brands in the country that was founded by the Quilmes corporation. What this means is that the beer is good and of high quality. Named after the wild Patagonia region, the beer comes in a few different styles, pilsner, lager, and amber.
Often referred to as the second biggest dealer of beer in Argentina, Schneider beer has become quite the player in the beer market of the country. Produced by CCU Argentina, Schneider beer’s main goal is to topple the monopoly the Quilmes has established over the beer market in Argentina and become the number one beer in the country.
Behind the Numbers of Beer in Argentina
Argentina is one of the biggest producers of beer in South America and has established itself as a real role player in the global alcohol industry. There are currently over 700 microbreweries in the country with large corporations such as Quilmes and CCU Argentina owning and operating around the same number of their own subsidiary breweries.
How Much Beer is in the Country?
This question should rather be phrased as – how much beer is drunk in Argentina? This will help get a picture of consumption habits and how much the people of the country truly love beer. In Argentina, the average person drinks about 10l of beer a year.
How Much Does Beer Cost in Argentina?
The best way to analyze statistics relating to price is to compare the cost of something in one country to the cost in another country. In the USA for example the price of a beer, on average, will be around $4.75 while in Argentina the average price for beer sits at around $1.50. It is quite clear where to go on holiday if you’re looking for great prices on high-quality beers.
What are the Most Popular Styles of Beer in Argentina?
In truth, Argentina is all about its wine, especially wine of the Malbec persuasion. But that does not detract from their love for beers of all different kinds. Let’s examine some of the more popular styles of beer in the country. In Argentina beers are regional and so in one part of the country, you might find a beer that is not as popular in another part of the country.
Mendoza is a city in Argentina that finds itself right in the middle of wine country. However, in this part of the country, you will most likely find the Andes beer which is a light lager produced by Quilmes.
In the provinces of Salta and Jujuy, you will most likely find Salta and Norte beers. These are described as Cerveza’s that have a bite to them while still being crisp, golden, and delicious to drink.
Best Foods to Pair with Argentinian Beers
As mentioned above, it is difficult to imagine a plate of Argentinian food coming unaccompanied by a delicious glass of traditional Argentinian beer. These are some of the best food and beer pairings the country has to offer.
Flamed Mackerel and Pilsener
Whitefish is one of the most popular foods in Argentina and one of the best foods to pair with a crisply opened pilsener beer.
Pot Roast Beef and Imperial Stout
Schneider beers have a range of imperial beers which pair wile with darker meat. This pot roast and stout combo can be heightened even more through the addition of onion gravy.
Microbreweries and Craft Beer in Argentina
Lastly, it would be wrong to conclude an article about beer in Argentina without first giving love to the booming craft beer market arising in the country. In Argentina, since the early 1900s, there have been craft breweries attempting to get their beers to the main shelves of stores in the country. Breweries such as Antares have worked hard to make their beers popular and drinkable.
Some of the best craft beers in the country include:
- Buller Brewing Company
If you want to order a beer in these breweries or anywhere else in Argentina, simply say the following in Spanish: Por favor, ¿puedo tomar una cerveza?