How Lima's Craft Beer Scene is Paying Homage to Its Incan Past

Craft beer is catching on in Cambodia
Craft beer is catching on in Cambodia | © spooky_kid
Brandon Dupre

Peru’s beer scene has exploded in the last couple of years. The country that once proudly only brewed Pilsen, Cristal and Cusqueña, now has countless craft beers and bars to choose from. Check out how Peru’s beer scene is looking to the past to create progressive beers that are entirely Peruvian.

If you go to a super market or to a gastropub, you’ll recognize many of the beers. You’ll find your IPAs and pilsners; you’ll find your stouts, pale ales and porters; you’ll find most every ale and lager and they’re all delicious.

After you’ve tried all your home-town beer-style favorites, you’ll notice others that you’ve never seen or tried before. You’ll find purple corn beer, quinoa beer, Peruvian coffee beer and chica pilsner. These beers boast unique flavor combinations you couldn’t ever have tried in the States or in Europe and they pay homage to Peru’s Inca past.

Quinoa is used in beers in Peru

The beers

Cumbres – Lima, Peru

Cumbres was one of the first to arrive on the craft-beer scene, trailblazing a path that was completely Peruvian and creating exotic flavors that the beer world had never tasted. From unique grain choices to Amazon fruits, this brewery has done it all.
Maiz Morado IPA

In this beer they use Peru’s purple corn as a base. The beer is a popular drink in just about every part of Peru and it’s cool that they decided to make it into a beer, even cooler that they turned it into an IPA. The beer is surprisingly fruity with hops hitting your pallet next.

© PhotoMIX-Company/Pixabay

Quinoa

This beer explores the possibilities of one of Peru’s most famous grains and chief exports. The smell is very fruity and has a sort of lemon zest taste.
Coffee Beer

While coffee beers are done all over the world, this beer uses locally grown Peruvian coffee, which is some of the best in the world.

Sacred Valley Brewing – Cusco, Peru

This brewery is one of the highest in the world and in the heart of the Inca’s sacred Valley.

Craft beer has exploded in Peru

Chicha Pilsner

Part pilsner and part Inca corn beer. This beer uses the chicha to jora, which is fermented corn beer that dates back to the Incas and a unique tradition that the Andean region of Peru still keeps alive.
Coffee Stout

With fresh Peruvian coffee and cocoa, what’s not to like about this beer?

Labeling

Not only do the beers use ingredients and traditions that are uniquely Peruvian, but the beer bottles also pay homage to their rich cultural history. The Sierra Andina brew company uses images and names of iconic Peruvian people and places. With names like Inti (Andean sun god) Golden Ale, Shaman IPA, Don Juan Porter and Pachacutech, the Sierra Andean Brew company keeps traditions and myths alive. While some beers may copy certain styles from abroad, they still find ways to make their brewing and drinking experience authentically Peruvian.

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