Argentine Beer: Have a Pint or Three

Gringo in Buenos AiresDrink7 Comments

The world of beer drinkers can be easily divided ‘in twain’ (which is just a fancy way of saying ‘in two,’ but I like to keep things interesting). In the first, much larger group, we have the people who like beer and drink it often, but don’t really do so for the taste. They’re happy to drink any beer that’s cheap, cold, refreshing, easily available, not horrible-tasting, and contains alcohol.

Now, if you’re a member of this group and you find yourself living in Buenos Aires, then your needs are well catered for. Quilmes is an entirely reasonable lager, and if you get sick of it or want a slight taste variation, then just about every beer fridge and bar in Buenos Aires offers you a host of alternatives: Stella Artois; Isenbeck; Budweiser; Heineken; Schneider, and so on.

The second, smaller group of beer drinkers however are aficionados who DO drink it for the taste. Now, when you eat or drink something ‘for the taste,’ that almost always means that you want a lot of taste. And lagers (like those listed above) just don’t have it. If you need proof, point your browser at www.ratebeer.com, check out their Top 100 list for 2010, and count how many of them are lagers. Or don’t bother, because I’ve done it for you: there are none. Zero. Not one.

So if you’re a beer aficionado living in Buenos Aires, forget the beer fridge at your local chino or the tap beers at your local bar. But now what? Unfortunately, Argentina is just not built for beer lovers (maybe it’s because the wine is so good). While your transfer to Germany or Belgium comes through however, the decent selection of microbreweries in BA might just tide you over. Here are three of the best:

* Antares. Antares is a microbrewery with seven pubs in Argentina. The one you’re most likely to find convenient is their flagship pub at Armenia 1447 (between Cabrera y Gorriti) in Palermo. They do seven of their own beers and I personally am addicted to the Scotch. Antares beers are also on tap at the Gibraltar pub in San Telmo.

* Cossab. Another great option is Cossab’s ‘cervecería artesanal’ at Carlos Calvo 4199. The surroundings are pleasantly bohemian, they do six of their own beers (the Cossab India Pale Ale is the best), AND they have all-you-can-eat pizza on Wednesdays and Thursdays for 19 pesos per person. Like, what are you waiting for?

* Buller Brewing Company. The good folks at Buller Brewing Company obviously have your interests at heart, because they offer two locations (Roberto Ortiz 1827, Recoleta, and Paraguay 428, Microcentro) for your . It’s a little more expensive than the other two options here, but Buller’s beers are so good you’d swear they were German. In particular, don’t leave without trying the India Pale Ale and their honey beer.

So there you have it. Three excellent purveyors of microbrew and many locations for you to quaff them in. Go on, have another pint!

7 Comments on “Argentine Beer: Have a Pint or Three”

  1. Quinn

    I’m sad to admit that I actually really like the Quilmes Bock. It’s dark, has good flavor and most importantly, doesn’t have that “tinny” flavor so many Argentina beers have. That said, I’d drink puddle water before any of the other Quilmes brews other than Bock.

  2. The Travel Chica

    You have no idea how happy I am to discover this post. I’ve been traveling through Latin America for 6 months, and the best beer I have had is Tona in Nicaragua. I am very excited to try the IPAs, my favorite type of beer.

  3. MaryB

    Cruzat Beer House has an amazing selection of artisan made beers and imports from around the world. It’s true that BA is not a reat place for beers, but don’t dare say that in front of a cordobés (from the province Cordoba)- they have GREAT brewers there, specially in Villa General belgrano.. There are many german descendants there.

  4. paulina

    just a tip: although it doesn’t make much sense, you can find cheaper Antares beer in bars that are not Antares. For example, the pint in Gibraltar bar is 2 or 3 pesos cheaper than in Antares, and they have also happy hours. But outside Antares bars you’ll only find Kolsch, Scotch and Porter. If you want, for example, try the Honey beer – you should do it btw – go to Antares 🙂

  5. k

    I used to be a regular at the Antares happy hour but the service is appalling (even from a porteño´s standards) and as pointed out by another guy you can actually get Antares beer at other bars for cheaper, La Puerta Roja also has a good happy hour with Antares on tap. I would highly recommend Cossab, which is hidden away in the middle of Boedo, great food options, good selection of beer and a unique atmosphere.

  6. Daniel

    My perspective: I will drink a cold Budweiser or Heineken if there is nothing else, but I definitely have a taste for good beers. I’m from the Pacific Northwest, USA, where there are countless microbreweries and so I developed a love for beers from Deschutes, Sierra Nevada, Rogue, Full Sail, Kettle House, Elysian Breweries, etc. (Oh do I miss those beers!).
    However, Argentina has an amazing beer selection for not being a traditionally beer consuming country (although as wine prices go up and beer prices go down, more and more beer is being consumed). Hopefully the microbrews will catch on even more here.

    Here are some other breweries to add to the list:

    Breoghan Bar – Bolivar 860 (San Telmo) has some amazing beer and a true pub feeling. If you like IPA, they make a great one.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Breoghan-Brew-Bar/113171231232

    Barba Roja has won an international award (don’t remember the name) for their beer. They have a sort of beer Disneyland in Escobar. I don’t think they have any on tap options in the city (please tell me if they do!), but you can find it bottled in many supermarkets (cheapest and best selection in China town). Their Red Ale is probably one of the best beers in the country.

    http://www.barbaroja.com.ar/

    Cervelar

    On Elcano and Superi (Colegiales). A great place to drink beer (very floral for me). They also have a large selection of other Argentinian microbrews for sale. This section of Colegiales is well worth the visit if you haven’t been there. It’s currently undergoing a renaissance.

    Quilmes

    Their Crystal is piss in my opinion (I will admittedly drink it on a hot day in January though!), but their other bottled beers are the best deal in the city. Try the Red Lager and Bock beers. They have also embellished their Imperial line which is supposed to be their top line.

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