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The Beers You Should Be Drinking: Santiago

By Ben Wood

[Patrick Hieger]

[Patrick Hieger]

Although the cuisine of Peru and some of the world’s leading chefs like Gastón Acurio, Alex Atala, Virgilio Martínez and more have helped put South America on the world map as a continent of culinary forward thinking, the beverage industry can’t be forgotten.  Spirits like Pisco and cachaça, and the obviously important wine culture are staples when it comes to talking about South American gastronomy.  When talking about gourmet culture in South America, though, the burgeoning craft beer industry that is causing a frenzy in nearly every country on the continent can’t be forgotten.

From Lima to La Paz, Bogotá to Santiago, beer has long been a staple beverage in weekend get togethers, but it’s now beginning to take center stage.  Brewpubs are popping up all over the place, sommelier classes are being offered, and international beer cups are drawing well-known names to the far reaches of Patagonia to act as judges.  Beer is here to stay, and we couldn’t be happier about it. 

Best Places To Grab A Beer In Buenos Aires

By Kevin Vaughn

[image: Como Sur]

[image: Como Sur]

Had you come through Buenos Aires just a few short years ago, you would have noticed a severe lack of quality brews. Unlike other beer-centric regions (like Cordoba or Patagonia), the local Quilmes has long been the undisputed king of beers in Capital Federal. No one has knocked it off its foamy pedestal just yet, but the craft beer movement has undoubtedly hit Buenos Aires with a fury. All you need to do is take a quick walk through Palermo or San Telmo to see that the city is spilling over with a variety of brew pubs to choose from. What the emerging community of brewers lack in years is made up for with an inventive approach to new flavors: like Broeder’s Golden Rosemary or Sexton Beer’s Dulce de Leche Ambar. We’ve done our homework, separating the great from the ok, the full-bodied beers from the watered down ales, and have compiled a short list of the best places to grab a cold pint.

[image: Como Sur]

Foaming At The Mouth: The Post-Ñam Pub Crawl

By Ben Wood
Ben Wood is a seasoned beer industry veteran, sommelier and co-owner of Beervana, a specialist beer store and importer located at Los Leones 106 in Santiago, Chile. Beervana has the finest beers available from the United States, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Mexico, and beers from Chile as well.

[image: Como Sur]

[image: Como Sur]

So, a very special time is upon us, and this year’s event is sure to propel the Chilean and South American culinary scene to a whole new level. I’m talking about this year’s edition of Ñam, as in nam nam nam nam nam, because it’s going to be freaking delicious.  Three days of some of Latin America’s best chefs and restaurateurs holding demos, workshops, and talks about their craft and trade. This year Ñam will be at the GAM (ha!), otherwise known as that big metal building near the Universidad Católica metro stop.
But, you’re probably wondering, what to do after seeing all of those gastronomical and culinary wunderkind?  Well friends, if you’re like me, you’ll probably be walking around Lastarria and Bellavista looking for a place to sit down and have a beer.  Below, check out a few spots for doing just that.
Valle De Oro | Bernardo O’Higgins 298
A Santiago classic, this “picada” style sandwich shop is almost directly across the street from the GAM, and has become home to hipster-ish art shows and fixed gear bike events.  Luckily, they’ve got a pretty solid beer lineup from Kross, Rothhammer, and some German favorites like Shoffenhoffer and Erdinger.
Berri | Rosal 321
This little gem on the corner of Rosal and Lastarria is a neighborhood classic. Make sure you check out the incredibly beautiful second floor, their homemade hamburgers, and their impressive lineup of constantly changing beer offerings.
Café Escondido | Rosal 346
Another hidden hotspot within Lastarria, Escondido has a massive selection of beers, plus a nice quiet patio with outdoor seating.  You can’t go wrong with this hidden gem.
Bocanaríz | Lastarria 276
What?! A wine bar on the beer expert’s list? Well, it’s true. This is the real-deal wine bar here in Santiago. The entire staff are sommeliers or sommeliers in training, and hey, a glass of wine every now and again is pretty delicious.
The White Rabbit | Antonia Lopez de Bello 0118
Sure, it’s a bit of a hike from Lastarria, but getting there is half the fun, right? The White Rabbit has a solid menu of late-night nibbles if you’re still hungry, plus their beer, wine and cocktail list is nothing to mess with. Hang out on the steps and watch the Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Any night partying go by in the heart of Bellavista.

See you at the show!

[image: Soul Kitchen]

BEER AND TACOS This Saturday At Santiago’s Loom Brewery

[image: Soul Kitchen]

[image: Soul Kitchen]

At the rate both Soul Kitchen, Santiago’s hottest VW van-based mobile eatery, and Loom, Santiago’s hottest new micro brewery, have been self-promoting this Saturday’s party, we’re expecting one hell of a turnout.  Back for more beer and tacos this weekend at their brewery in Macul, the Chuck and Jaime from Loom will be releasing a new batch of their blackest beer, the Monstruous IPA.  Accompanying them will be Soul Kitchen, dishing up tacos and more, with a good dose of funk, soul, and R&B classics.

In case you need a reference for how awesome this weekend’s event is going to be, check back to our coverage of the last time these two joined forces, and get hungry.  And thirsty.  This weekend’s party promises to be even more exciting, more thirst-quenching and more, uh, soulful?  Yes.  The festivities start at 1 pm at Loom, located at Avenida Exequiel Fernández 2321, in Macul.  We’ll see you there.

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Video: Beer Games With Cervecería Loom’s Chuck May

Since today has unintentionally become beer day here on Como Sur, we wanted to share this little gem of a video that fell in our lap this afternoon.  Easily the cheekiest of the growing squad of hip, young microbreweries in Santiago, Cervecería Loom likes to have fun with the brewing process.  That doesn’t mean they don’t take the process seriously.  In fact, quite on the contrary, as this new video from Loom co-founder Chuck May will make you see.  In the heated battle between micro brew and macro brew, May shows us, the common consumer, some fun ways to use those macro beers to beat the heat and have a little fun this summer.  All you need is a chain and a knife. [via Cervecería Loom]

[photo: Broeders]

A Chat With The Brewing Brothers From Bröeders Artesanal In Buenos Aires

Olivia Amter recently got a taste of Buenos Aires’s Bröeders Artesanal at their Beer Night at NOLA. She also got a chance to chat with the owners and brew masters, Marcelo and Francisco Terren.  They like beer.  If you do, too, read on. 

[photo: Olivia Amter]

[photo: Olivia Amter]

By Olivia Amter

We know that your brewery started in your mom’s kitchen, but how? What was it that led to your interest in beer?
We are lucky to have had the opportunity to travel a lot and we have tried excellent beers from all over the world. Not too long ago it was difficult to find good beer in Buenos Aires and that is what originally started our interest in making it. On one trip to New York [Francisco] visited the Brooklyn Brewery plant. [He] knew that they sold brewing kits and wanted to buy one to start trying it out, but when [he] got to the factory it was closed that day. So instead, when [he] got back to BA we signed up for a beer making course. After our first try we realized it wasn’t what we wanted to do [to learn about beer]. From there on out we were constantly studying, researching, visiting other breweries to see their processes and, most importantly, making a ton of beer.

Beer is a total chemical process. What was your biggest challenge when developing your line of beers?
We had many challenges, but I think the most important was developing the protocol for cleanliness and sanitation, which makes the difference between being able to enjoy a great beer and having to throw it out.

What type of beers do you make? Do you have plans to make any others?
We do everything from lighter styles like the Golden Ale, Irish Red Ale and more intense, bitter ones like the Indian Pale Ale. We also have a Basil IPA (delicious) and we are finishing up our darker styles, like the Porter and Dry Stout. We are always trying new recipes, like seasonal styles and sometimes, like in the case of the Basil IPA, we like it so much that it becomes part of our personal staff.

[photo: Olivia Amter]

[photo: Olivia Amter]

Speaking of NOLA, Francisco is co-owner and also in charge of the wines, as well as Chef Liz Puglia’s boyfriend. Did this relationship in some part help inspire the launching of Bröeders Artesanal?
Of course! Since the beginning [Francisco and Liza] met traveling, trying food and drinks from different cities throughout Latin America. That has always been [their] greatest pleasure, from trying and even creating new recipes and sharing them, making flavors and combinations that make people feel like they have found something they truly like. We are all grateful that we can do what we do; it’s what we most love in life.

When did you start the beer night with NOLA?
The Beer Night began about a year ago. It was logical since NOLA was already up and running and the beer being made in the same house, in a room on the rooftop terrace. We decided to wed Liza’s food with our beers, which was really fun.

So you have the Beer Night with NOLA; who else do you work with to bring attention to your artisanal beer?
For now Beer Night and social media are where we are most focusing on our beers. Word of mouth is also really important for us. The eventual idea is to the open a Gastro/Brewpub and to do tastings, beer flights etc.

And we if wanted to, where would be buy beer?
Right now you can find our beer in Bodega Cervecera (Thames 1759), Baraka (corner of Gurruchaga and Coronel Cabrera) and in all three of Cervelar’s locations.

Do you have plans to expand the business in the future?
Always. Three months ago we opened our newest brewery, where we now make 3000 liters per month as opposed to the 300 liters we used to make. For now we are also looking into the Gastro/Brewpub venture with NOLA.

What are you favorite beers in Argentina? South America? The World?
In Argentina, in the IPA style, we love Sixtofer, Antares makes a great IPA and Triskel. Fuser also makes a great Dry Stout.

Luckily artisanal beer in South America is a rapidly expanding market, taking on great beer makers every day. Chile has made great beers for a long time. Brazil definitely has some of the best beer in South America. Colombia’s beer movement is also growing a great deal with BBC (Bogota Beer Company) opening places all over the country. In general, horizons are promising in terms of South American artisanal beer.

In the world, [we love] Fullers’s Porter (UK), Schöfferhofer (Belgium), and the new IPA styles from the Americas.

 

Get a taste of Bröeders Artesanal’s beer by making a reservation for Beer Night @ NOLA, or by stopping by Cervelar or Bodega Cervecera. Bottoms up!

[photo: Andrew Dare / Zenith]

Brewing With Cusco’s Zenith Cervecería

By Lauren Barragan

Tucked away just past the beautiful hills of the Sacred Valley lay the constantly booming center of Cusco, Peru, the Plaza de Armas.  It is here that you can find all the usual suspects present in any plaza: a beautiful cathedral that’s almost as old as God himself, tourist vendors selling local goods moderately priced because, well, convenience should cost extra, as well as restaurants that rock local foods for visitors to experience.  What you might not expect to find right in the heart of a city as historical as Cusco, though, is a good and proper beer, one that quenches your thirst after a day of discovering an ancient city, but that also awakens your taste buds to the fact that something very new and progressive is happening in this very same city.

[photo: Lauren Barragan]

[photo: Lauren Barragan]

Here in the Plaza de Armas of Cusco that you can walk into Norton Rat’s Tavern (Norton’s, to locals), a very centrally-located bar that, due to the altitude, you will grow to love after a few days of acclimating in Cusco.  You might be thinking, “Sports bar?  Why would I come all the way to Cusco to drink at a sports bar?”  You’d be doing yourself a great disservice by giving into this question and not experiencing it for yourself.  Because if you don’t make the trip upstairs to Norton’s, you simply miss out on enjoying one of the exquisitely hand crafted Zenith beers that are offered exclusively at this bar and this bar alone.

[photo: Andrew Dare / Zenith]

[photo: Andrew Dare / Zenith]

While you may be asking, “Who is this new beer kid on the block that I’ve never heard of?”, Zenith has a more than legitimate background in beer making than most of the new up and coming microbreweries you’ve been hearing about in the Southern Cone. And, quite frankly, the proof is in the pudding.  Owners and creators of Zenith, Zac Lanham and wife Milka Sotomayor, have shared their love and passion for beer in each of their styles.  Currently you can find three to four of Zenith’s beers on tap at Norton’s, including their pale ale, porter, and brown ale.  It was their seasonal Navidad beer that caused quite a stir during the holiday season, a promising blend of festive spices like cinnamon and clove, giving drinkers all of the nostalgic fuzzies one may have experienced as a child while sipping on family recipes for spicy holiday beverages.  While the Navidad didn’t last long after the holiday itself–because fans couldn’t consume enough of it–there are still many beautiful flavors to be enjoyed in each and every one of their beers.

[photo: Andrew Dare / Zenith]

[photo: Andrew Dare / Zenith]

The porter holds up its end of the bargain by allowing its malty, nuttier notes to shine through, while holding a somewhat lighter body that makes this the most drinkable porter to be had in summer months.  Of course, every yin has its yang, and in this case the pale ale would be just that to its darker sister, the porter.  This pale ale holds such a beautiful, light, floral aroma that in one whiff sweeps you away deep into the Sacred Valley and its grassy hills.  It is apparent when you take your first sip of any of Zenith’s creations that they put their heart and soul into it.

While catching up with the Zac and Milka, both spoke of their work in a way that almost gave off a twinkle in their eyes.  They love beer, plain and simple.  They love to make beer and they enjoy sharing it with others.  Between the married couple, along with Zac’s parents who spent a good part of the year away from their home in Austrailia to help out at the brewery, Zenith has all of the feel to go right along side the fact that it really is a big family.  One immediately feels welcome when they share one of the thoughtfully made beers with them.  Zac was kind enough to share a little more about his history of migrating from Australia to Peru, making beer back in college and how that has evolved for him, as well as what’s next in the future for Zenith.  With their popularity growing rapidly and bringing tons of foot traffic to the only bar in Cusco where you can get it, Zac says that they will be expanding this year and begin bottle production in the upcoming months.  In addition to the exciting news of their expansion, Zenith will also be making their first fruit beer and possibly some new seasonal cameos as well.  But not to worry–if you weren’t one of the lucky ones in Cusco for the Christmas holiday last year, they have assured us that it will be making a comeback for this year’s season, by popular demand.

[photo: Andrew Dare / Zenith]

[photo: Andrew Dare / Zenith]

The name Zenith comes from the word meaning the top of a point or the highest peak that celestial objects can reach.  It couldn’t be a more fitting name for this beer, since the sky is the limit for them with a line up of beers this good.  We look forward to seeing them make their way down from the peak and over to our neck of the woods, so we, along with the rest of the world, can enjoy them.

[photo: Lauren Barragan]

Soul Kitchen: Santiago’s New Food Truck

By Lauren Barragan

There’s nothing quite like the perfect marriage to bring pure, joyful bliss to a crowd.  Duos like cheese and wine, dinner and a movie, sunshine and ocean waves, are just a few of the perfect pairings that spread contagious smiles across the faces of people during summertime.  The latest dynamic duo came strong and satisfied all who attended Cerveza Loom this past weekend to welcome Santiago’s latest and greatest concept for a food truck: Soul Kitchen.  Not since bread and butter has there seemed to be a more appropriate union than that of mouth-watering tacos accompanied by thirst-quenching beer.

[photo: Lauren Barragan]

[photo: Lauren Barragan]

Soul Kitchen parked, what will undoubtedly be their signature taco ‘Kombi’ Volkswagen, at the entrance of Cerveza Loom, ready to deliver what the crowd wanted: tacos, tacos and more tacos!  Owners, Gustavo Moreno and wife Javiera Valenzuela, tag teamed the taco truck, with Javiera taking care of orders and greeting customers with a warm and inviting smile, while her hubby manned the grill with precision and quickness that left no one waiting to be fed, all while managing to have one on one conversation with each customer who waited.  Before sinking one’s teeth into one of their three exquisite tacos on the menu, it was undeniably obvious that between the down-to-earth friendliness and enthusiasm the owners shared alongside the bohemian imagery painted across their Kombi, this is not your average, run-of-the-mill taco truck.  While watching both Javiera and Gustavo interact with customers, seeing not so much a transaction between owner and client, but rather a fluid and organic exchange of love for food as both creator and consumer, there was an undeniable presence of good vibes all around, making the new addition to Santiago’s food scene seem to belong more likely parked along the sand of Pichilemu or perhaps the laid back sands of Maui or some other far off sunny, surfer savvy town.

[photo: Lauren Barragan]

On the menu for the afternoon were three select tacos to choose from, though it appeared as though no one was choosing so much as opting for a trio of each.  The first, a beer-braised carne asada taco with pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese that seemed to be the highest in demand and first to go.  Next was a barbecue pulled pork taco that was nestled under a bed of house made kimchi, cilantro and a wicked Sriracha mayo.  Staying true to their mantra of being soulful food for one and all, they of course showed some love to the vegetarians with a fried quinoa and beet croquette taco that shared a tortilla with avocado, onion and a refreshing honey-ginger sauce that packed a little punch at the end.  As if the tacos weren’t enough to make you drool, Soul Kitchen was serving up fried calamari that had flavor and texture like no other, accompanied by a house tarter sauce featuring By Maria’s Pepinos, supporting local pickling queen Maria Gonzalez.  The food was an instant hit and the people showed their love and support by returning to the truck to line up for seconds and thirds.

[photo: Lauren Barragan]

[photo: Lauren Barragan]

[photo: Lauren Barragan]

[photo: Lauren Barragan]


As per usual, the men over at Loom kept everyone’s thirst to a minimum and beer lovers wearing a smile.  Cerveza Loom showed off their hoppy side, unveiling their newest beer, Monstrosa Mapuche, a single hop IPA that bears the latest logo and addition to their Loom Ladies, a strong fisted Mapuche warrior woman with a spear in hand, ready to stake anyone who goes near her tacos, presumably.  Loom also offered their Holy Hops Double IPA, Beibe Mailibu Summer Ale, Mr. Rauch Smoked Porter and Tyson Oatmeal Stout.

[photo: Lauren Barragan]

[photo: Lauren Barragan]


The beers were paired almost perfectly for the exact selection of tacos that were available, so much that you could almost here church bells ringing over the background of the classic American soul music that was blasting from the event, no doubt another connection to the meaning behind Soul Kitchens’ brand.  You’re sure to see more of tacos and beer, together and separate around Santiago streets.  With summer at full speed and slowing down for no one, it’s the perfect reason to have a stay-cation and enjoy all the good things Santiago has to offer: great beer, phenomenal tacos, minimal traffic and quiet streets, all the better to eat, drink and dance your soul away.

[photo: Lauren Barragan]

[photo: Lauren Barragan]