Beer 511

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

Category: Peru Page 1 of 3

Peruvian Craft Brewers Oppose “Dry Law”

Last week Peruvians were dismayed by a tragedy which resulted from people violating the government prohibition on social gatherings during the pandemic. More than 100 young people had gathered at an informal discotheque for a birthday celebration. When, following complaints from neighbors, the police arrived to break it up, dozens of intoxicated revelers tried to flee via the locale’s sole narrow exit, resulting in a crush which claimed thirteen lives.

Of the twenty-three people arrested, fifteen tested positive for COVID-19.

Public indignation grew more intense when cellphone video surfaced of non-masked friends and relatives drinking and dancing in the cemetery following entombment of one of the deceased.

This, all following a long list of cases of curfew and social distancing violations involving alcohol, reportedly led Walter Martos, head of President Martín Vizcarra’s Ministerial Council, to pose the possibility of a “Dry Law” banning alcohol in the country.

Peru’s craft brewer’s association, the Unión de Cerveceros Artesanales del Perú (UCAP), was quick to respond to this threat to the health of its sector and the livelihood of its members. Below is my translation of the letter they sent to the Production Minister:



Lima, 27th of August of 2020
 
Señor José Salardi Rodríguez
Minister of Production
 
Dear Mr. Minister,
 
There have been made public today the declarations of the president of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Walter Martos, in which the possibility is floated of declaring a “Dry Law” in the whole country. In that regard, we wish to make you aware of the current situation of the Peruvian Craft Brewers MYPES [Micro and Small Industries] sector:

● Peruvian craft breweries are in a critical state, having lost more than 50% of our sales due to the strains brought about by the pandemic.

● More than 20% of craft breweries have had to close their doors permanently

● Breweries that continue to operate have had to reduce their personnel by 40% on average (more than 200 direct jobs and 2000 indirect ones have been lost to date).

● During the first 6 weeks of the state of emergency there existed a “tacit dry law”. During that time, in which there was the highest control by the authorities, we witnessed the proliferation of a “black market” in alcoholic beverages.

● A temporary dry law at this time would not help solve the root problem. The black market would continue, hurting small producers, especially formal ones.

● Given its flavor characteristics and price point, craft beer is an alcoholic beverage of moderation and is not the cause of agglomerations nor of irresponsible acts.

● Those craft breweries who are still functioning do so with all the established protocols and approvals from the Health Ministry and the Production Ministry. This work is undertaken with great effort and at a very high cost.

● A temporary Dry Law would bring about the closure of these enterprises and the temporary or permanent loss of more than 400 direct jobs and more than 2000 indirect ones.

● In short: A temporary Dry Law would be the coup de grace to our weakened sector and its job generation.
 
Within our sector, we have direct and immediate communication with our consumer through our social media. We offer to be communicators and to contribute to spreading the message of the Central Government, which looks for us to be responsible in difficult times.

We hope that you could be the voice that represents us in conversations with the Prime Minister, and who promotes solutions to problems.
 
Sincerely,
 
Gloria Quispe
President
Unión de Cerveceros Artesanales del Perú

2019 Latin American Craft Beer Cup to be held in Arequipa (Peru)

The organizers of the Copa Latinoamericana de Cervezas Artesanales (Latin American Craft Beer Cup / Copa LATAM) have announced that the 5th installment of the competition will be held in the Southern Peruvian city of Arequipa from 16 November to 25 November.

The competition is open exclusively to craft breweries that are 100% independent, and to homebrewers.

Last year’s competition had the participation of some 200 brewers from 13 countries, adding up to about 750 entries representing 100 BJCP-defined styles.

After having been held in Lima and Cusco, this year, as mentioned, the competition location has been moved to Arequipa, which is Peru’s second-largest city and is rapidly becoming a craft brewing hub in its own right.

Arequipa’s cathedral and main square, with the Misti volcano in the background

The event schedule will kick off with a BJCP tasting exam on November 16th, followed by the competition itself from the 19th to the 21st, with awards ceremony on the evening of the 23rd. The conference will be on Friday the 22nd and Saturday the 23rd. And the whole thing will close out with a group tour of the Colca Canyon.

The organizers have also announced that, following on initiatives discussed at the 1st Latin American Meeting of Women in Brewing, recently held in Quito, Ecuador, the Copa LATAM this year will strive to attain gender parity in the judging pool and in the conference speakers’ list.

In Lima …

I’ve been in Lima a few days, and last night I went out for some beers with my cousin. We ended up at the Nuevo Mundo Draft Bar on Manuel Bonilla Street in the Miraflores district.

I’ve mentioned Nuevo Mundo’s taproom before. As always the beer selection was good, but what made the night even better was running into José Alberto Castro, who was playing music at the venue.

Castro is a fellow beer aficionado and blogger, who writes at tomandoaltura.com. He was probably Peru’s first beer blogger, and his beer reviews in particular are one of the reference points on the local brewing scene. I highly recommend reading his blog.

La Red Cervecera Perú (Lima)

During my last week in Lima, at the beginning of August, I took myself to Barranco to get acquainted with the Red Cervecera Perú.

Red Cervecera is arguably one of Peru’s premiere homebrew supply retailers.  Located in a remodeled old early-Republican house on Avenida Francisco Bolognesi,  the Red Cervecera combines a homebrewing supply retail shop, a brewing school, and a brewpub under one roof.

There, owner Joe Forte and manager Francisco Tapiago, among others, provide invaluable suppor to the country’s homebrewing and craftbrewing community by lead courses in brewing, provide opportunities for other homebrewers and microbrewers to gain experience with new ingredients, and offer a venue for beer-oriented events.

I happened to stroll in off the street on a Wednesday afternoon and, though a stranger, was warmly welcomed as a homebrewer and invited in to observe a brew that Francisco was brewing in order to represent the Red Cervecera at the then-upcoming Craft Beer Sessions festival.  While there I also had the opportunity to meet and chat with Joe, and with Megan Garrity, of Greenga Brewing Co., who were collaborating on a Chocolate-Peanut Butter Porter for the same event.

Franscisco was kind enough to take time out to give me a tour of the place and to show me the shop, which sells some thirty varieties of malt and carries a couple of dozen hop varieties as they become available.  One of those was a surprising experimental hop from Hop Breeding Company, HBC 472, which provided all the coconut notes to a Coconut Golden Ale on tap at the bar.

I returned the next evening for World IPA Day, and was again embraced and made to feel at home, and introduced to other craft brewers from across Peru.

At the Red Cervera, Joe, Francisco, and the rest of the team, more or less created one of those brewer’s dream spaces in which all elements of the hobby –from brewing, to owning a homebrew shop, to having your own brand, to serving your beers (and your friends’ beers) at your own bar– are brought together under one roof and shared with wider brewing community.  Their openness exemplifies an attitude of sharing and cross-pollination with, and among that community, that is a hallmark of the homebrew and craft brew community in the United States but is, I’m told, still a bit harder to come across in Peru.

 

Red Cervecera Perú
Av. Francisco Bolognesi 721
Barranco, Lima, Peru

www.facebook.com/redcerveceraperu/
www.redcervecera.com

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

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