Beer 511

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

Category: Taprooms (Page 1 of 3)

Cervecería Artesanal El Oráculo (Ayacucho, Peru)

This past weekend I traveled from Lima to the city of Ayacucho (aka Huamanga), where my family is originally from, on my dad’s side. There, I had a great time meeting Richy Ledesma, a craft brewer whom I’d been in contact with on FaceBook and who is also friends with a couple of my cousins.

Richy received me at his place, Cervecería Artesanal El Oráculo, and plied me with beers as we spent the evening talking about craft beer and other subjects.

Entirely self-taught, Richy is one of only two craft brewers in Ayacucho, a city 363 road miles from Lima and 9,000 feet up in the Andes.  He produces four or five batches a week on a 100-liter system, which he mainly distributes in bottles, which he fills by hand and carbonates with priming sugar.

In the evenings he opens his little taproom, which is located in a fourth floor walk-up space in downtown, and dispenses beer from his two-tap draft system.

The relative isolation means that everything that goes into a beer but the water, has to be imported. Once to Peru, and thence from Lima to Huamanga. It also means that Richy is fighting against a lack of popular knowledge about beer styles and about hand-crafted beer.

Further, it also means that Richy does not have easy access to examples of the styles he wishes to brew nor to a support community of fellow brewers.  One result of that is that some of El Oráculo’s beers are not quite consistent with what we, in the US, would consider the standard for those beers –for example, Punana Porter falls a bit shy when it comes to body  and mouthfeel.

Richy, however, is undaunted and by dint of hard work in what is essentially a one-man operation, he is opening doors for his brews in town and elsewhere.  His beers are even poured at events and festivals as far away as Lima.

El Oráculo’s tastiest beers are, by far, Judas and La Vidente.

Judas is a 7.5% abv, 30 IBU, 13 SRM, smooth pale ale with a lovely white head.  I didn’t take any notes, so I’m going from memory here, but I believe Richy said that he used Columbus and Kent Goldings hops in this one.

La Vidente is El Oráculo’s biggest beer, coming in at 13% abv.  One wouldn’t know it, though, when drinking it. It has a bit of warmth, but is not “hot” with alcohol. Rather, tropical fruit notes predominate in the mouth and nose.

If you like craft beer and supporting small independent enterprises, El Oráculo is well worth checking out should you find yourself in Ayacucho.

 

 

Cervecería Artesanal El Oráculo
Calle Nazareno, 2do Pasaje #133
Ayacucho, Peru

www.facebook.com/CerveceriaArtesanalElOraculo/

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

The Rake (Alameda, CA)

The Rake is Admiral Maltings‘ own taproom, attached to the malt house in Alameda.

The Rake has the distinction of serving only beers made by local breweries using Admiral Maltings’ own malts.  And, for the cherry on top, it is one of the very few beer bars –probably the only one, in fact– which overlooks the very malting floor where that malt is produced!

 

The Rake
651A W Tower Ave
Alameda, California 94501

http://admiralmaltings.com/#rake

Alvarado Street Brewery tap room in Salinas (CA)

Here’s a collage of some images from a visit I made yesterday to Alvarado Street Brewery’s production facility and tap room in Salinas.

The brewery and tap room had been on my list for a while but, somehow or another, I never managed to get there whenever I was in Salinas.  Yesterday, however, I was in town and I had a few spare moments before leaving, so I decided to give it a shot.

The brewery is in an industrial area of town, and if you know Salinas you know that that means mainly agriculture-related businesses.  They start their days early, and so things shut down early as well.  As I drove to the brewery a little after 5:30 in the afternoon, the area was pretty much deserted except for a couple of guys at a food truck and some straggler semis pulling out of some of the plants.  I thought, “Man, this place is dead.”

The tasting room, however, was hopping. Alvarado Street has managed to create a really nice, almost intimate, space in the midst of fermentation tanks and what could’ve been a kind of cold industrial warehouse. Consequently, the place was packed with people –a lot them clearly just off work from the surrounding plants– having a good time and enjoying some quite tasty beers.

After sampling a few of Alvarado Street’s brews, I asked my server to point me to one that I really should not leave without trying. He steered me toward Minesweeper IPA.

Minesweeper is very pleasant 55 IBU, 7% ABV, hazy IPA.  It is not as “juicy” nor as bitter as some examples that have come into prominence lately, but that actually enhances its drinkability.   My server pointed out that Minesweeper was “the one that really put us on the map.”

 

 

Alvarado Street Brewery  & Tasting Room
1315 Dayton Street, Suite E
Salinas, CA 93901

www.alvaradostreetbrewery.com

 

 

Watch these spaces…

2115 Pacheco St, Concord, future home of Hop Heavy Brewing Co.

Recent surveys by the Brewer’s Association indicate that in the US new craft breweries open at about one every two weeks.  Our area is certainly part of that trend, with several breweries opening or due to open in the near future.
Calicraft just opened its taproom in Walnut Creel last week, after a four year effort, and the much-awaited Farm Creek Brewing’s brewery and taproom is set to open to the public on August 6th, under the direction of founder/owner Randy Janinda and new head brewer Winn Whisenhnut (formerly of Bartlett Hall in San Francisco).
Danville Brewing Co., meanwhile, is in the final stages of preparation, with estimates of an end-of-summer or early fall opening of its taproom on Railroad Ave, in Danville, with Matt Sager as head brewer. Matt is an award-wining homebrewer and until recently head brewer at Rock Steady Brewing in Martinez.
Also nearing final stages is Livermore’s Shadow Puppet Brewing‘s brewery and taproom with Craig Danielson at the helm, in his first foray as a professional brewer. Craig is also an award-wining homebrewer with years of experience under his belt.
Another accomplished homebrewer going pro is Max Brown, who is steadily working away at getting his taproom ready to open in downtown Concord. Hop Heavy Brewing will be located on Pachecho Street, just a block from Todos Santos Plaza.  Max is expecting to open within the next six months.

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