Artesanal es Mejor, Craft Beers in Peru

Who, exactly, should be credited with starting the revolución cervecera in Peru can be a hotly contested discussion, but BarBarian is typically regarded as being first on the scene. Opened by three friends in 2011, BarBarian had a singular vision of bringing better beer to Peru’s monopolized market of light lagers. A handful of microbreweries closely followed, passionate about crafting high-quality beers and with a keen eye for branding. Nuevo Mundo, Sierra Andina and Cervecería del Valle Sagrado were among the second wave of cervecerías, and today the number of Peruvian microbreweries has skyrocketed from a mere handful in 2013 to roughly 100 breweries throughout the country.

 

Peruvian craft beer fair at Larcomar in Lima.

 

 

Where to drink craft beer in Lima

It would be criminal not try a local cerveza artesanal while in Peru. Thankfully, most mid-range, and all high-end restaurants throughout the country will carry at least one Peruvian craft beer. In Miraflores, BarBarian and Nuevo Mundo both have draught beer bars off Parque Kennedy with beer tastings and branded merchandise. Bar Cañas (formerly Cañas y Tapas) is another cult favorite stocking a wide selection of Peruvian craft beers.

 

In the neighboring district of Barranco, a number of bars cater to the craft beer following, including Wicks brewpub and Barranco Beer Company. The latter brews on site with a spacious restaurant and bar to sample its range of beers; including a collaborative imperial brown ale with the Cervecería del Valle Sagrado.

 

Outdoor festivals celebrating Peruvian crafts are also arranged throughout the year. All Things Annual in the Lima Mini Guide has more.

 

Peruvian craft beer at Lima’s annual gastronomy fair, Mistura. [Photo M. Pavkovic]

 

Are there brewery tours in Lima?

Absolutely. Nuevo Mundo offers free tours of their Surquillo plant, along with tastings and brewing workshops with prior reservation. Drink Lovers Peru has a handful of booze-related tours including a relatively new craft beer tour. Should you find yourself in Lima in October, the annual Lima Beer Week organizes a number of events including brewery tours, discussions with Peruvian microbrewers and bar specials.

 

 

Why is the rest of the world not enjoying the Peruvian brew craft?

Challenges related to raw material costs, high taxation on alcohol production and even higher taxation on microbrewers have limited the expansion and exportation of Peruvian craft beer to markets outside the country. The absence of a draught beer culture in Peru has also forced brewers to focus attentions on bottled beer production, at a higher cost and lower profit margin than barrels. However, in 2016 BarBarian was the first Peruvian microbrewery to export their beer, proudly sending its first shipment of craft brew to Spain.

 

 

 

A big thank you to M. Sommer for sharing a few cold brews and all he knows about microbreweries in Lima.