On October 26th, Stella Artois held their World Draught Master Global Finals, which they call the Mondial Maitres Serveurs, in Montreal, Canada. This annual event, always in a different location, brought together more than twenty of the world’s top pourers of Stella Artois, a list that was whittled down from hundreds of bartender contestants from twenty-six countries through a series of regional and national championships.
At the Stella Artois Mondial Maitres Serveurs (the World Draught Master Global Finals), the brand’s world beer pouring championship, twenty-one acclaimed pourers from around the world (visa issues cut that number down from 26) gathered in Montreal last week at the Chalet du Mont-Royal to determine who could make the perfect pour.
Chile’s expanding craft beer scene is still going strong, particularly in Valparaiso where a handful of small breweries are thriving.
Chile isn’t the only South American nation that is taking to craft beer. Colombia, which is better known for mass produced lagers like Aguila and Club Colombia, is taking big steps towards cerveza artisanal. In Medellin, craft brewery 3 Cordilleras is causing something of a scene. On Thursday nights, from 5:30-9pm, they open their brewery doors to the public hosting brewery tours and a lively bar area with live music and the incredible deal of five beers for CP$15,000. The later the evening gets the more crowded it gets. It’s standing room only. During the brewery tours, sometimes lead by the owner Juanchi Vélez, there are groups of 20-30 people, few of which have ever tried anything other than a basic lager. Still, they’re asking questions. What makes a beer dark? Where do you get your hops? It’s the start of something.
It’s Cinco de Mayo, which isn’t Mexican Independence Day (that’s September 16), but a day to commemorate the Battle of Puebla in 1862, which no Mexican outside of Puebla talks about. Basically, it is a Mexican themed drinking holiday in the United States fueled by Mexican beer and Tequila companies. Let’s skip the margarita this year and even the Corona and premium sipping tequilas. Instead opt for one of two real Mexican concoctions that turn a beer into a sort of cocktail: the Michelada or Chelada.
The last five years have seen a boom in artisanal beer-making in Chile and there are anywhere between 70 and 90 microbreweries active in the country, ranging from backyard businesses to much larger operations. Most brewers are concentrated in the Lakes District south of Santiago, from Valdivia to Puerto Montt, as well as places further afield. These brewers are creating a significant turning point for Chilean beer.
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui (or Isla de Pascua) finally has a beer and brewery to call its own. The non-filtered, 100% natural, and double fermented Mahina beer operation is partially owned by explora hotel associate and one time underwater diving champion Mike Rapu. The bottle states that the beer is produced under a full moon using an ancient recipe from the wise man Paca, though that may be a bit of an embellishment.
Peru doesn’t have a well developed beer culture. In most parts of the country there are just two options: Pilsen or Cuzqueña. A few other mass produced brands are available too, though they are all simple lagers that taste quite similar to one another. Even the imports are limited to Stell, Peroni, or Corona. So, when I discovered the stand of the Mushna microbrewery at Lima’s annual gastronomic festival Mistura, I was quite surprised. The small brewery from Tacna, in the south of the country near the Chilean border, had three beers on tap: Irish Red Ale, Pale Ale, and a Robust Porter.
Â I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this upon seeing it in a Cusco, Peru supermarket. I have seen raviolis made from Coca flour, along with cookies, tea, candy, and everything else, but this is the first I have seen of Coca leaf beer. I’m not sure why one… Read More →