Drinking Patagonia In Patagonia
A brew with a view
There never existed a brewery in a more idyllic location than the headquarters of Patagonia beer. EVER. It is so crazy beautiful that I insisted we go back there a second time – and I don’t even like beer!
The Patagonia Cervecería, aka brewery, is tucked away in a fold of the well-known Chico Circuit 25 kilometres out of San Carlos de Bariloche, a beautiful town nestled in the foothills of the Andes in Argentina’s Lake District. Bariloche is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike who arrive in droves for snow sports, trekking, mountaineering, eating lots of chocolate and continuous eye-orgasms.
One half of my travel team likes drinking beer rather a lot and, when travelling through Argentina, had become quite taken with this well known brand of beer. So it was no wonder that 30 minutes after picking up our hire car we arrived on the doorstep of the Patagonia cervecería bang on lunch time. “Rude not to” was the response to raised eyebrows.
To be fair, there’s something to be said for drinking Patagonia beer in Patagonia so it’s not like I needed a whole lot of convincing but as soon as we walked into the restaurant any snippets of reservations evaporated.
The bar and restaurant sits atop a sloped lawn with floor to ceiling glass offering expansive views over Perito Moreno Lake, its bushy inlets and snow-capped mountains. It’s a view so perfect it actually is on postcards.
No expense has been spared on the tasteful fit out of the interior which, with plenty of stone, wood and copper, beautifully echoes its natural surroundings.
You can expect at least a dozen beers on tap – everything from lagers, to stouts and several IPAs which the region is known for. Their amber lager is the pick of the list for us.
The menu could be described as modern high end pub grub. A plethora of slow-cooked loins and legs compliment other comforts like risotto, pizza, baked trout and burgers. Bonus points awarded for a decent number of vegetarian choices, lighter options like salads and a kids menu. The veggie burger and bacon topped cheesy chips were heavenly but the show was stolen by the out-of-this-world dulce de leche mousse and chocolate brownie dessert. Much salivating. Much happiness. Maybe the best thing I ate in all of South America.
Although subsequently purchased by American beer giant Anheuser-Busch the cervecería definitely feels like it has maintained its local flavour. Tours of the brewery run at 4:30pm and 6:30pm every Wednesday through Sunday with the price changing between $7 - $12 depending on whether you would like two half pints included. There is also a tour at 9pm for around $25 for a three course meal including tastings.
If you’re up for a challenge hire bikes in Bariloche, ride out there and make a day of it. You’ll definitely work up an appetite on all those hills!