Beer 511

Exploring Craft Beer and Homebrew in Peru (Country Code 51) and the USA (Country Code 1)

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Barihuait Barley Wine by Nuevo Mundo (Lima, Peru)

A few days ago I popped open a bottle of Barihuait Barley Wine that I had brought back from Lima five months ago and carefully stowed in my fridge.

The beer held up pretty well. It presented with a low hop aroma and was initially quite effervescent, with a head that dissipated quickly. There was some lacing but it fell almost immediately.

The brew was malty and a little sweet, with sharp bitterness and pronounced hop flavor evident with first draught. There were also some pleasant fruit and caramel notes in there. It had pleasantly bitter finish that hung around for a bit on the palate.

The beer improved as it warmed (I’d had it stored at 47°F) and some of the effervescence dissipated. The flavor seemed fuller, and rounder at the warmer temperatures.

Being a barley wine Barihuait comes in high in both abv and ibu – 9.5% and 60, respectively. It is brewed by Cerveceria Nuevo Mundo, in Lima’s Surquillo district. It was one of the first Peruvian craft beers I encountered a few years ago and remains one of my favorites.

The name, incidentally, came about by happenstance, as once explained to me by Alain, one of the French partners who started the brewery (he’s since moved on to focus on his other business, high-end chocolates). When explaining the style to Peruvian friends, he said, one of them exclaimed that “barley wine” sounded like “Bari Huait” –Barry White, said phonetically in Spanish– and the name stuck!

The new Nuevo Mundo Draft Bar (Lima, Peru)

Having arrived in Lima the night before, last Monday afternoon I went in search of craft brew.  Heading to Miraflores district, I found BarBarian closed for the afternoon while some work was being done on the place, and that Dörcher Bier’s place was gone and being replaced with a Peruvian-Asian fusion eatery. I was not to be frustrated, however, for right next door was a new taproom for Cerveceria Nuevo Mundo!

When I say new, I mean it was literally quite new, having just opened its doors in mid-June.  It turns out that the old Nuevo Mundo taproom around the corner and a block or two down Avenida Larco, closed and is now Lupulo Draft Bar.  The staff at the new Nuevo Mundo Draft Bar said that they have the Nuevo Mundo concession. I’m not sure what that means, but if it works, who am I to argue?

The place is about the same size as the old one, but because of the layout it feels a bit smaller.  It is easier to get around in, however, as not having a staircase taking up some of the space allows one more room to maneuver in.

Between Nuevo Mundo’s own offerings and a few guest tap, the beers, naturally, are as good as they’ve ever been.

 

Nuevo Mundo Draft Bar
103 Calle Manuel Bonilla
Miraflores, Lima

Cerveceria Nuevo Mundo (Lima – Peru)

Two weeks ago, while trying to locate a craft brewery that I had an invitation to tour, I injured my knee and so, even once I had the correct address, I was forced to take a pass on the invitation.  Then, a few days later, I had to skip another brewery tour and guest list-only soft opening of their tap room.

Last Friday, I was finally well enough that I felt able to take on the tour, and so I got myself and Juancho on the guest list for it.   The young woman signing us in was somewhat incredulous that there were two of us with the same name and surname, until she saw our IDs!

The brewery was Nuevo Mundo, in Surquillo.

Their facilities are small, producing only 75 barrels a month, but they are expanding into a building that is being constructed next door, on the same property, that will allow them to install larger kettles and fermenters.

The brewery was started by a couple of Frenchmen, one of whom, Alain -originally from Alsace- gave us the tour and explained the brewing process, ingredients, and different beer styles.  No small feat, considering that most Peruvians have not had exposure to many styles of beer and brewing terminology.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been easy for small brewers to break into the beer market, although Cereveceria Barbarian, has done a lot to pave the way by getting its products into several major grocery store chains – Metro, Wong, and Plaza Vea.  Most access to craft beers is through a few restaurants and by directly ordering from the brewery.

Nuevo Mundo does have a small bottle shop and bar at the brewery where one can buy bottles –or cases!– of brew, or put down a few draughts of their selection of British and Belgian-style ales.  However, they are hoping to expand their exposure and sales volume through their new Nuevo Mundo Draft Bar located in an upstairs space right across the street from the main park in Miraflores, on busy and touristy Avenida Larco.

Miraflores city hall hasn’t come back with the final permit approvals, so Nuevo Mundo has been carrying out an extended soft-opening of the Draft Bar for invited guests.   As part of our tour event we had entry to that evening’s session, for which Nuevo Mundo had secured a number of guest beers –including a yummy sour ale with sauco from the Cerverceria del Valle Sagrado, in Cusco– and rolled out a brand new special offering of their own, an imperial India pale ale (about 8% ABV).  We also got the opportunity to compare the bottle and draft versions of their Barihuait barley wine (which I like a lot!).

The space is nice and well-appointed, and the staff is quite nice.  I hope the bar does well for the brewery.

I think it will.

Nuevo Mundo brewery
1227 Prolongacion San Lorenzo
Surquillo – Lima

Nuevo Mundo Draft Bar
Av. Larco 421 (upstairs)
Miraflores – Lima

La Cervecería (Lima, Peru)

In my post on Nuevo Mundo’s new draft bar I mentioned that the Dörcher Bier tap room on Miraflores’ Calle Manuel Bonilla had closed.  Well, it turns out that Dörcher Bier, a brewery from Pozuzo –a valley in  the region of Junin, settled by German immigrants– has teamed up with Lima Beer Company, makers of Craftsman Cerveza Artesanal, to open up a joint tap room: La Cervecería.

In a converted early-20th century house, La Cervecería’s layout had to squeeze into the spaces of the home it once was -parlor, living room, etc.– which creates cozy nooks and crannies for sitting in with friends.

The decor follows a pattern that has become almost standard in taprooms here in Lima: rough brick facing behind the bar, a large chalkboard above the bank of taps, and a mural on one or more nearby walls.

The staff are friendly and the beer selection quite good, with 21 taps of house and guest brews; all of which are Peruvian.

Particularly noteworthy for foreign visitors is Dörcher’s Coca, a beer infused with coca leaves, which give the brew a slight green tinge and a light coca leaf aroma and flavor.

 

La Cervecería
Calle San Martín 431
Miraflores, Lima

https://web.facebook.com/cerveceriaperu

Peru’s Craft Beer Explosion

Beer in Peru, as elsewhere, has been undergoing a process of concentration of ownership and production decisions for many decades.  In Peru the process ocurred as the Backus & Johnston’s brewery and the Cerveceria del Sur each out-competed or absorbed local and regional brands, then merged under the Backus & Johnston umbrella, and then itself be bought by ABInbev a few years ago. As result, many styles of beer faded from memory to be replaced with macro-produced lagers.

There were always upstarts and holdouts, of course, but in time they all succumbed. Even, it seems, the well-funded Tres Cruces brand from the AJE Group, an international beverage corporation founded in Ayacucho by the Añaños family.

In the past decade, however, there has been a different set of breweries developing, who played by different rules. – producing small amounts, self-distributing, and putting out a wider variety of styles. However, even though there were rumours of craft breweries in Lima, they were all but invisible, and there was only one brewpub – the Cerveceria De Tomás (later renamed Mi CebiChela) on Ave. Rosa Toro.

Then, three years ago -it seemed all of a sudden- craft brew bubbled up and burst on to the scene. The Cerveza Cumbres brand from Cerveceria Gourmet had made it into some high-end restaurants, and Barbarian and Sierra Andina had managed to get shelf space in supermarkets. Barranco Beer Company had opened a high-profile brewpub, and was soon followed by Barbarian and Nuevo Mundo opening their own taprooms.

Today, there are some two dozen craft beer brands being produced in Lima alone: Ágora, Amarílis, Barbarian, Barranco Beer Co., Beer Stache, Brewson, Brutus, Candelaria, Chinekus, Costumbres, Cumbres, Curaka, De Tomás, Greenga, Hops, Invictus, Jaya Brew, Kennel, Lima Brew, Maddok, Magdalena, Melquiades, Nuevo Mundo, Oveja Negra, Santos Demonios, Saqra, Siete Vidas, Sumaq, Teach, Tío Luque, and Zenith.

Outside of Lima, we find Machay, Mamacha Carmen, and Melkim in Arequipa; Cervecería del Valle Sagrado in Urubamba; Amarus, Oráculo, and Perro Calato in Ayacucho; Dörcher Bier in Pozuzo; Wayayo in Huancayo; and Sierra Andina in Huaráz.  There is also a lone meadery: Ragnarok, situated on the outskirts of Lima, in Pachacámac.  (There are, surely, other small breweries but because their products rarely make it into the Lima market they don’t get the exposure.)

Many of the above were partially, or wholly, founded by foreigners -French, North Americans, Australians, Indians- who settled Peru, or Peruvians who had lived abroad and had come into contact with the European and North American homebrewing and craft brewing communities. Although some of them are well-appointed microbreweries, most would qualify as nano-breweries, and some are not much more than skilled home breweries who are able to package and sell their product.

Many, perhaps most, started by advertising on their own FaceBook pages and taking orders directly  from customers over the phone for delivery within their respective cities. Online vendors, such as La Barra de Grau, La Bodega Cervecera, and 1518 Chela, helped spread the word and provincial brewers to break into the Lima market.  They have been joined in the past year by two brick-and-mortar craft beer bottle shops in Lima: La Bodega Cervecera’s own retail store in Surco, and La Cerveteca, which opened 8 months ago in Miraflores.

In the meantime, Barranco Beer Company has opened stands in other points of Lima and in a couple in other cities, and Barbarian is opening a second taproom in Lima.   Maddok and La Candelaria have joined Sierra Andina and Barbarian on the shelves in major grocery store chains. Craft beer is increasingly finding its way into restaurants, bars, and cafes, and magazines, newspapers and television programs frequently run features craft beer and the best places to get it.

Craft beer is still but a miniscule part of the Peruvian beer market, but it is one that is getting increasing attention, and is clearly here to stay.

 

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