Argentina Beer – The Ultimate Guide That Will Make You Thirsty

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You might think that Argentina is all about Malbec wine. Let’s get real, the craft beer craze has taken hold all over the country with delicious Argentine beers to offer.

While it is true that you are more likely to find Quilmes, the emblematic Argentina beer. Today, you will notice several micro-brews and craft beers burgeoning across the country.

On our quest for authentic food, we could not help but notice the popularity of beer in Argentina.

If your travels take you to Argentina, be sure to sample the many beers, regional ales and artisanal brews, the country has to offer. 

Let’s take a tour of the Argentina beer landscape with 10 must-try brews.

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Quilmes Beer – The National Beer of Argentina

Quilmes The most popular Argentina Beer Authentic Food Quest
Quilmes is a hard to miss beer in Argentina

Quilmes beer is arguably the most popular beer in Argentina. Light and refreshing, this lager beer has a pale golden color with a crisp and mild hoppy taste.

Quilmes brewery was founded in 1888 by a German immigrant, Otto Bemberg. It took its name from Quilmes, a small city in the province of Buenos Aires known for having high quality water. 

The beer grew to become the most popular beer in Buenos Aires and then in all of Argentina. 

Today, it is like a national symbol and it represents 67% of the Argentina beer market. 

You will find this beer everywhere, and if you have never tried it, give it a go. Personally, while refreshing, I found this lager beer to be very light with a flat taste.

Patagonia Beer and Quilmes Regional Varieties

As you leave Buenos Aires and travel through Argentina, you will find regional Argentine beer  brands made by Quilmes. 

They do not have the Quilmes label on them, and instead go by their regional brew name.

Patagonia Beer – A Premium Beer

Patagonia Beer in Argentina by Authentic Food Quest
One of my favorite Argentina beers

In Patagonia, in the South of Argentina, you will find Patagonia beer, named after the famous wild region. 

It is a Quilmes craft beer version. Brewed in Bariloche, this Argentinian beer is a premium beer and one that is made right. 

You will find Patagonia beer offered in various different styles. The most popular are the pilsner, amber and wheat version.

The Patagonia bohemian pilsner is a light, malty beer with hints of zesty flavors. While the Patagonia amber has a malty flavor, with caramel notes that leaves a subtle sweetness in the mouth.

I personally relish wheat beer and Patagonia Weisse didn’t deceive. Citrus and spicy, with fruity and clove notes, this refreshing brew will satisfy any thirst.

RELATED: 10 of the Best Authentic Food in Patagonia You Don’t Want to Miss

Quilmes Regional Varieties – Quilmes Copycat

Norte Argentina Beer Authentic Food Quest
Be ready for large beer bottles in Argentina

In the north of Argentina, in the provinces of Salta, Jujuy and Tucuman, you will find Cerveza Norte. Originally founded in 1914, this regional Argentine beer is now produced by Quilmes.

A light lager, its taste is very similar to Quilmes, with a crisp, dry thirst quenching finish.

In Mendoza, you will find the Andes beer that is made by Quilmes. Like the Quilmes, it is a light pale lager slightly hoppy, refreshing when served cold.

Schneider and The Number 2 Beer Player in Argentina

CCU Argentina, is the second beer producer in Argentina after Quilmes. Some of their most famous beer brands in Argentina include Imperial beer, Schneider and Salta.

Imperial Beer – A Classic Buenos Aires Favorite

Imperial Poron Argentina Beer Authentic Food Quest
The art of fresh beer in Argentina

Imperial beer is popular and predominant in the Buenos aires province. This Argentina beer is a premium light lager.

Easy to drink with light flavors, the Imperial beers are a step above Quilmes in terms of taste and aromas.

In addition to the most commonly served lager, the Imperial brand also offers Weissbier, Red Lager, Strong Ale and Stout brews.

Schneider – CCU Argentina Flagship Beer

The most popular beer from CCU Argentina is Schneider. This pale lager was born in 1912 in Santa Fe, a city in the Northeast of Argentina. 

Santa Fe is located at the junction of the Parana and Salado rivers, which provide great water for the production of this regional beer. 

This Argentina beer is named after the brewmaster Otto Schneider. A German immigrant, he originally created the brewery with locals from Santa Fe.

While the most popular Schneider beer is the pale lager, you can also find Red Ale, and Stout brews.

Salta – A Northern Choice

Salta Argentina Beer Authentic Food Quest
Salta beer pairs best with Salta empanadas

In Salta province and the Northern part of Argentina, you will encounter Salta beer, a popular choice on local tables.

The brewery was founded in 1958 in Salta, and is today owned by CCU Argentina. Salta beer comes in two primary styles: Lager and Stout. 

The lager style has a nice golden color and balanced flavors of malt with floral notes.This is one of my favorite beers to pair with empanadas in Argentina.

READ MORE: Discovering Argentina Through Its Emblematic Empanadas

Three Craft Beers Making It Big in Argentina

While craft beers are not mainstream, they’re increasing in popularity.

These three craft beers are some of the top craft beers that you will find in Argentina.

Antares – The First Argentina Craft Brewery

Claire and Rosemary with friends at Antares in Tandil Argentina by AuthenticFoodQuest
Sharing Antares draft beers with friends from Tandil in Argentina

Antares is the leader of craft beers in Argentina. They started the first Argentinian microbrewery in 1994 in Mar del Plata, a city on the Atlantic coast.

The first Antares brewpub opened with three beer varieties in the Buenos Aires province. Given their unique and original concept, this beer in Argentina rapidly grew in popularity. 

Today, there are more than 50 Antares pubs across Argentina. Antares now offer more than 15 beer varieties.

They have also started distributing their beers in bars and restaurants in different cities across the country. 

Despite their rapid growth, Antares still produce their beers using traditional methods to preserve the beer quality.  

While in Tandil, a city in the Buenos Aires province, we had our first experience at an Antares pub with locals. 

Intrigued by the selection of beers, I chose to taste the honey beer. Generally Antares beer have a higher alcohol content than most of the beer in Argentina. 

This Antares beer was indeed strong with an intense amber taste and sweet honey notes. 

While not my favorite, I wish I had the chance to try more of their offering. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try an Antares craft beer in Argentina.

Cerveceria Beagle – Making Beers At The End of The World

Patagonia Beer in Argentina  Authentic Food Quest
Your choice of Argentina beers in Patagonia

Cape Horn and Beagle are two craft beer brands that are leading the market in Ushuaia, the Southernmost city in Argentina.

The two breweries were originally operating as two separate local breweries. Now, the beers are brewed locally under one roof by Cerveceria Beagle in Ushuaia.

This craft brewery uses the traditional German process to produce its beers. They use water from the glacier, malt, hops and yeast without the use of preservatives or chemicals. 

Different brews are produced on site including: pale, red, dark, honey, ale, and wheat.

While exploring the local food specialties in the region, I took the opportunity to taste both beers. I had the Beagle beer red ale and the Cap Horn wheat and both beers were tasty. 

My preference went to the Beagle with its spicy and earthy notes while the Cap Horn had a bitter finish.

READ MORE: Ushuaia: Eating At The End of The World

Berlina – A Brewery From German Tradition

Berlina Brewery Argentina Beer in Bariloche by Authentic Food Quest
Claire outside Berlina Brewery

Berlina Brewery in Bariloche is one of the most successful craft beers in the region.

Bariloche located on the Southwest side of Argentina is a beautiful city, on the foothills of the Andes, close to the Chile border.

The town was founded by Swiss and German immigrants and has a long tradition of craft beer brewing. 

Today, there are about 15 micro-breweries, producing and selling beer at the local pubs called cervecerias.

Berlina Brewery is a must-visit brewery in Bariloche. Open for brewery visits and beer sampling, it makes a great stop while visiting the region.

Berlina makes more than 20 types of beer as well as a cider. They are located at the end of Colonia Suiza, a village with Swiss roots, 20 kilometers from Bariloche. 

Not only Berlina is making a name for itself in Argentina, it is also exporting its beers internationally.

Although we would have loved to visit Berlina, they were not open at the time of our visit. That leaves us an experience to have next time we are in the region.

Flourishing Local Microbrews

There are a few regions in Argentina where microbreweries are booming. If your travels bring you to these areas, don’t miss out on the microbrew scene.

El Bolson – Epicenter For Handcrafted Beers

Rupestre Argentina Beer Authentic Food Quest
One of my favorite craft beers in Argentina

With the craft beer market burgeoning, you will find other regions in Argentina where craft breweries are making an impact.

El Bolson located 120 kilometers south of Bariloche has a growing craft beer scene with eight major micro-breweries.

Rupestre is one of the main microbrews in El Bolson with three different beer varieties: Golden Ale, Red Ale, and Stout beers.

These handcrafted beers are produced with natural ingredients: the local water from the mountain, barley, hops and yeast.

I tasted the Rupestre Golden Ale while in Bariloche and was pleasantly surprised by its fruity and refreshing flavors.

Cordoba – A Growing Microbrew Scene

Córdoba, the second largest city after Buenos Aires, located in the center of the country, has a growing microbrew scene.

It is home to Oktoberfest Argentina where you can sample local microbrews, Argentina craft beers as well as international beers. 

Also called Villa General Belgrano Oktoberfest in reference to the local mountain range, it is a great place to taste local beer paired with traditional German foods.

Needless to say, Córdoba should definitely be taken into consideration when planning a beer trip to Argentina.

Buenos Aires – Touring Brew Pubs

Craft Beer Argentina Beer Authentic Food Quest
Artisanal beer sold at a local market in Buenos Aires

The craft beer craze has definitely taken over Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. 

Today, you can find several micro-breweries and brewpubs that have emerged and populated the city. 

Even some of the most iconic bars, called bar notables, have added craft beers to their offering.

There is no better experience in Buenos Aires than relishing on a craft beer and sandwich de miga in these iconic institutions.

We particularly enjoyed Bar El Federal in San Telmo for an immersion into Argentina’s culture.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: You will also see beer tours and beer tasting offered in the city. Check out this beer craft tour in Palermo for an Argentine craft beer and street food tour in Buenos Aires.

How to Order Your Beer in Argentina

Chopp Argentina Beer Authentic Food Quest
Chopp or draft beer in Argentina

When ordering a beer in Argentina, be aware that the beer comes in large bottles from 500ml up to 1 liter. These servings are meant for sharing. 

Although not as popular, you can find a smaller bottle for one serving called a porrón

Draft beer is typically called a chopp unless you are in Santa Fe province where it’s called a liso.

Draft beers are mainly served in three types: Cerveza Rubia, Colorada, and Negra. They correspond to a Pale Lager, Red Ale and Stout.

Imperial Argentina Beer Authentic Food Quest
One liter bottle to share

Cerveceria is the common name for dedicated bars or brewpubs. 

What we enjoyed most about Argentina’s venues is the ability to find both good wine and beers at the same location. 

Where To Taste It All – Argentina Beer Festivals

If all this talk of beer has you salivating for more, check out these beer festivals in Argentina.

Fiesta Nacional de la Cerveza – National Beer Festival

Flyer Oktoberfest Argentina Beer Authentic Food Quest
Flyer for Oktoberfest Argentina

The National Beer Festival, Oktoberfest Argentina, takes place every year in Villa General Belgrano. 

This is a small village located 100 kilometers Southwest of Córdoba.This village was founded in the 1930s by two Germans, who brought with them the tradition of the German Oktoberfest. 

Today, the festival takes place over ten days in the Parque Cervecero or Beer Park, built especially for the occasion. The main beer brands, both national and international, participate in this festival. 

For more information check the festival website: Oktoberfest Argentina

Fiesta de la Cerveza Artesanal – BeerArt

beer art festival artisanal beer in bariloche by Authentic Food Quest
Beer art festival in Bariloche

The Bariloche region is the main producer of craft beers. La Fiesta de La Cerveza Artesanal, also called BeerArt, is a national outdoor artisanal beer festival taking place every December. 

This event celebrates Bariloche artisanal and craft beer in Argentina. This is the largest craft beer event in Patagonia. 

With more than 50 craft brewers styles and beer brands, 16 breweries are presented. There is also an important gastronomic fair during the festival, with music and rock bands playing all week.  

Fiesta de la Picada y La Cerveza Artesanal – Buenos Aires Festival

Buenos Aires also has its own beer festival. It is called Fiesta de la Picada y la Cerveza Artesanal, picada and craft beer festival.

This festival takes place in October in Uribelarrea, a city located about 90 kilometers from Buenos Aires. 

For two days, artisanal beer of Argentina and over 40 craft breweries from across the country are celebrated. 

There is a musical show as well as stands with cheese and cured meats from the region called picada. This is a great way to celebrate Argentina beer with traditional local food.

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In Summary

Argentina, while most famous for its wine, also has an interesting and growing Argentina beer scene. 

Quilmes is an Argentine cultural symbol and a beer you should try once on your travels through the country. 

Beyond the national and regional beers, you will find many craft breweries that are leading the beer revolution in Argentina.

Wherever your travels take you in Argentina, go for the authentic Argentina beer experience. 

Share a one liter bottle with new found friends and take the time to sip the local craft beers.

Have you ever tasted Argentine beers? Tell us your favorite brand in the comments below! 

Savor The Adventure!

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Argentina Beers by AuthenticFoodQuest

35 comments

  1. I was just googling the most drunk beers in Argentina and I got to ur page. I would just like to make a correction, the Norte beer is not from Jujuy or Salta originally but from the small northern province of Tucuman, then it spread to the whole Northwestern region. Greetings from Tucuman.

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  2. Now I’ll need to keep 3-4 days for beer tasting and make it coincide with a beer festival whenever I plan a trip to Argentina. Haha 😀

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    • That would actually be a great idea, to make it to the beer festival. You will have the bonus of enjoying the beautiful city of Bariloche where the beer festival takes place. Hope your travels take you to Argentina soon 🙂 Cheers

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  3. I love beer i make a priority when we travel to try as many different beers as i can. I cant say i have tried many from Argentina but i may have make a note try harder lol

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  4. I have to admit I’m not a fan of beer at all. But I wouldn’t have picked Argentina to make their own. I liked the little bit of history behind some of the breweries. I do find the making of them interesting.

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    • Thanks Marteen for your comments. Rosemary is not a beer fan either..so I understand 🙂 Learning about the history and visiting the breweries is fun. Always nice to see the source or where the products come from. Thanks for your comments.

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  5. We tried a bunch of beers while we were in Argentina. In Buenos Aires we found a bunch of craft beer bars where we were able to taste a lot. It’s great that the beer craze is in full swing.

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  6. That’s interesting about the craft beer movement in Argentina – I had no idea. Yes, I thought it was all about Malbec and steak, now I’ll add some Patagonia beer to my culinary list. Thanks.

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    • Hi Carol, thanks so much for your comments. That is exactly what we are striving to do with Authentic Food Quest is to showcase everything a country from the authentic foods perspective so that travelers can have deeper travel experiences. Yes, do add the craft beers from Patagonia. If you are a big beer fan, consider attending a beer festival as well:)

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    • Hi Erika, ahhh..that’s too bad that you did not try any of the up and coming craft brews. While Quilmes is popular, I think you would have enjoyed discovering the other micro brews. I guess there is always the next time 🙂 Cheers!

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  7. I love how simple the beer naming is – Cape Horn, Patagonia, Norte. You definitely know where you are by looking at the beer available! Interesting as well that servings are large and meant for sharing, a departure from my culture!

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    • Great comment Drew about the culture. So much in Argentina is about sharing -from the asado, to the beers, to the cafe culture and more. Food is a shared experience that brings everyone together. Indeed a departure from US norms. The simple naming of the beers does make it easy to remember what you are drinking and from where it comes from. Thanks for your comments.

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  8. Mission accomplished! You got me craving for Argentinean beer!
    I’ve only tried Quilmes, Imperial and Antares. Imperial is my favourite.
    We are heading home(Brazil) next year, I think we gonna extend our trip in South America to include Argentina, need to sip some of the beers you suggested 😉

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    • That’s wonderful Natalie that you have tried some Argentinian beers already. Agree with you on Imperial. Although Antares has many varieties and interesting flavors. I really liked the ones I tried at the pubs. Yes, do save this list for your future trip to South America. You will have an amazing time. As you get closer to your trip, feel free to reach out for any tips. Cheers!

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  9. Thanks for the tips! We’ll be in Argentina in August and can’t wait! Good to know that the big bottles are meant for sharing lol we probably would have gone that way anyhow :D!

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    • You will Argentina and August is a great time to be there. The surprising thing about the 1-liter bottles is how prevalent they are. Rosemary does not drink beer, so sometimes I could not order beer because the bottle was too big. Sounds like you both drink beer…so you will enjoy the tasting the many craft brews. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions to help you get ready for your trip. Cheers

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  10. I was surprised to see a growing craft beer movement in Quito as well. I suppose nothing goes with a good Argentine steak quite like a craft beer!

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    • That’s fascinating that the craft beer movement is also in Quito. In Argentina, it is in part due to the demanding tastes of a younger generation with more sophisticated palates. Curious, what’s driving the growth in Quito? Yes, it does go pretty well with a delicious Argentine steak. Thanks for your comments Brianna.

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  11. My husband is a beer aficionado and even brews his own beers. Whenever we travel, he is excited to see what beers the country has to offer and learn about their brewing techniques and traditions. Maybe I get him to go to Argentina with me now 🙂

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    • That’s wonderful that your husband brews his own beer. He would love the craft beers in Argentina and especially the small and upcoming micro breweries. Share this post with him and plan for a trip soon 🙂 Cheers

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  12. I feel I missed out. I think I spent too much time drinking Malbec! Great post to know what to have in the future.

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  13. I love to do that too, try local beers, especially the crafted ones. This gives me an idea to share my experience on trying out local beers. Thanks for sharing this post!

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    • You are so right Carla, part of the fun of traveling is trying the local beers. Yes, it is a great idea to share your beer experiences on your travels. It gives readers an insight into the country and local culture.

      Reply

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