Argentina is known the world over for its wines. However, all across the country there are opportunities to enjoy beer in many forms including Oktoberfest in Cordoba, the Hops Festival in El Bolson, closed door home-brew beer restaurants, microbreweries, and groups who love to get together for a pint or two. Check out these 10 things beer lovers can do in Argentina.
1. Visit Microbreweries in Buenos Aires
Photo courtesy of Skye Brannon.
According to Adventures in Alcohol, Argentina has over 250 microbreweries. Some are small and unknown, while others are making a name for themselves among travelers and expats. Here is a brief description of some microbrewery bars in Buenos Aires:
- Cruzat: This bar, located in San Nicolas, offers an impressive list of over 150 beer brands from international and local breweries. It offers a large patio and couches inside for lounging while you decide which brew is for you.
- Antares: There are many locations around the country to enjoy Antares' varieties of beer. The bar has a bar menu that will make many American expats feel right at home including potato skins and nachos. They also offer a sampler tray filled with 7 to 8 adorable mini-pint glasses for those who are not sure what their next pints should be.
- Cossab: This bar is a bit out of the way (in Bodeo), which means it's a great place to set yourself down amongst a bunch of locals. According to their estimates, the bar produces about 2,000 litres per month of six different types of beer, including lagers, ales and stouts.
- Buller: One of the oldest and most successful microbreweries in Buenos Aires, Buller is at the heart of the Recoleta tourist area. Excellent pizza and beer, albeit at Recoleta prices.
For a more in-depth discussion of the locations, prices, and atmosphere of these places, check out this terrific article written by Nick Mills for the Argentina Independent
: Top 5 Microbrewery Bars
Photo courtesy of Adventures in Alcohol.
Aaron Brown, a contributing writer for the blog Adventures in Alcohol
, was so taken by the magic of beer that after he graduated from school he decided to tour the world studying beer culture. Lucky for us, he's made a stop in Buenos Aires. Aaron scopes out the best spots to taste beer, gives insight into the microbreweries about town, and delves into deeper questions about imbibing in his posts. Check them out so you're in the know when searching for your next pint.
Photo courtesy of Drinking Liberally
Drinking Liberally Buenos Aires, founded in 2008, is a group of politically left-leaning folks who get together every Monday to drink and talk politics. They say on their website: "If you´re a liberal, you´re among friends at Drinking Liberally! Drinking Liberally gives like-minded, left-leaning individuals a place to talk politics. You don't need to be a policy expert and it´s not a book club - just come and learn from peers, trade jokes, vent, and hang out in an environment where it's not taboo to talk politics. "
When: Every Monday at 7:30 p.m. until "when ever"
Where: Cilantro, Anchorena 1122
4. Go to the National Hops Festival in El Bolsón (Patagonia)
Nestled in the valley of Patagonia's Lake District
, El Bolsón grows approximately 75% of the Argentina’s hops. The region takes great pride in this and the microbreweries that have established themselves there as a result. The National Hops Festival, celebrated in February, is a great time to experience the brew-culture that thrives in this laid back spot. The wealth of nature activities, arts, and breweries have all contributed to El Bolsón's distinction as the "counter culture capital” of Argentina. Check out this photo gallery of El Bolsón
The small town Villa General Belgrano (outside of Cordoba) was established after a German warship, the Graf Spree, sunk off of the Argentine coasts in 1939. Since then its inhabitants have held tightly to their German roots, having many German related festivals celebrating viennese pastry, chocolate, and, of course, beer.
The Oktoberfest celebrations, officially called Fiesta Nacional de la Cerveza, has been running for almost 50 years. For ten days at the beginning of October, festival goers can enjoy liters upon liters of tapped beer, sausages, sauerkraut, and pretzels. Men and women wearing lederhosen and dirndls walk in a parade and perform classic German dancing. Word is that this Oktoberfest is much more tranquil than the wild European version it imitates. You can get a first hand account from this article
by German born journalist Julian Stetter in the Argentina Independent
Photo courtesy of Skye Brannon.
The Buenos Aires Hash House Harriers is one of many chapters all over the world. The concept is simple: people run a 5-10km route marked by flour then celebrate after ward with beer and song. Hashes take place every two weeks, usually on a Sunday, at various locations around the city including Recoleta, Palermo, La Boca, San Telmo, and barrios further afield. You can find out about the next hash on the BAH3 website: http://buenosaireshashhouseharriers.blogspot.com/
7. Beer Towers and People Watching in Plaza Serrano
Photo courtesy of Skye Brannon.
Depending on where you go they may be called giraffes, towers, or missiles. Luckily, it's easy to pantomime your way into getting a long tube of beer delivered to your table, the signal to all that you have begun your party, or are in the middle of it. Drinking beer and watching people go by is a wonderful pastime for the intrepid traveler. One of the best places to do both is in Plaza Serrano, in Palermo Soho
, on the weekends and preferably after 11pm. You can find your beer giraffe at Utopia Bar right in the thick of things.
Photo courtesy of Buena Birra Social Club.
Taking cues from the explosion of puerta cerrada (closed door) restaurants, the owners at Buena Birra Social Club converted their residents into a closed door craft-brew bar. Open by reservation only Thursday to Saturday, the small space has an excellent and always changing selection brewed from the heart by Ariel ‘Toti’ Golia. It's a family affair with his sister helping with booking and serving and his parents whipping up personal pizzas, nachos, and tacos in the back kitchen.
Find out more in this excellent article written by Aaron Brown for the Argentina Independent: Buena Birra Social Club
Photo courtesy of BA Pub Crawl.
It's just what it sounds like - a pub crawl! The Buenos Aires Pub Crawl operates 7 days a week, so you do have something to do on that Tuesday night after all! Pub crawls are typically in Palermo
, San Telmo
, and Recoleta starting at 10 p.m. During registration they will welcome you with some free pizza and beer (or wine). While you're out and about you'll get a free shooter upon arriving at the bars (up to three), drink discounts, and free admission to clubs. Admission is $100ARG (about $25USD).
Photo courtesy of the Frinking group.
Frinkers like to head out after work on a FRI
day for a driNK
, early or late. The group started in Buenos Aires in the summer of 2010 and has been growing in membership since. They organize meet-ups on Friday Nights (and other days too!) in and around Buenos Aires for drinks with ex-pats and locals alike. There is a great mix of ages, nationalities and personalities. The event is a non-commercial gathering where there is no charge (except for the beer or fernet you drink!). All are welcome to come along and meet up, make new friends, whether you are living in Buenos Aires, or simply passing through. Each week they pick a new bar. You can get details on their Facebook and MeetUp page.
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/Frinking/
MeetUp page: http://www.meetup.com/Frinking-Buenos-Aires/