Whether you’re lying on the beach or hitting carnival in Montevideo, do it with a great beer in your hand.
Daniel Rocamora is Uruguay’s foremost beer expert and chooses this summer’s best craft beers for Guru’Guay.
Witbier by Bimba Brüder
With its citrus aroma,straw-coloured body and thirst-quenching powers, Witbier –a Belgian style wheat beer with a touch of orange peel— could be in the running for Uruguay’s best summer ale. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding one part orange or grapefruit juice to two parts Witbier. Great paired with seafood, especially ceviche. Produced in Paysandú in the west country. (Alc. 3.7%)
Soft Beer by Volcanica
A smooth blond beer ideal for the hottest days of summer. While it’s smooth, it still has a great taste and a hint of hops, malt and fruity flavours give it a perfect balance. Pair it with a picada (typical Uruguayan platter of coldcuts, bread and cheese) or a pizza for a great end to the day or a good start to the evening. Check out this brewery in Las Toscas on your drive to the beaches in the east. (Alc. 4.5%)
IPA by Davok
Produced by Uruguay’s most acclaimed brewery, now in its ninth year of production, Davok’s IPA is one of the strongest beers for summer and a must for hot and humid days. It’s a deep golden American IPA, very hoppy with loads of citrusy and tropical fruit notes. It’s medium bitter with a “dry” finish which implores you to take the another sip. Best paired with American-style burgers, tasty cheeses (like semi-duro or parmesan) and spicy dishes. At the time of writing you can only buy it on tap and in selected stores in growler. (Alc. 6.3%)
Oso Pardo Hibernation Citra
Uruguayan beer drinkers go crazy for Oso Pardo’s Hibernation Citra all year round and in summer it’s just sooo amazing. Citra, the variety of hop used, gives this single hop American Pale Ale a citrus and passion fruit aroma. Don’t let those tropical perfumes fool you, this beer packs a punch. Oso Pardo has recently moved premises and the new bar out front has to be your first port of call in Montevideo. Find Oso Pardo at Joaquín de Salterain 1316, Parque Rodó, open Thursday-Saturday 7.30pm-11.30pm. (Alc. 5.3%)
Pale Ale by Mist
For those who just want to enjoy a beer and not spend time analysing it. A great beer from beach town La Barra which is slightly bitter, slightly hoppy. It makes a good starter beer for newcomers but is tasty enough to satisfy experienced drinkers. Goes great with fish and chips or salads. (Alc. 4.7%)
Dry Stout by Montevideo Brew House
The maximum choice for Stout lovers. Just like the most renowned Irish Stouts in the world (Guinness, Murphys) this dark beer has a beautiful creamy head, very soft body and low carbonation. Very drinkable on warm summer nights. Sold exclusively at Montevideo Brew House Restaurant (Libertad 2592, Pocitos). (Alc. 4.5%)
Where to buy craft beer in Uruguay
Uruguay’s craft beers are of a remarkable quality, especially given the relatively youth of the industry and size of the population.
When The Guru’Guay Guide to Montevideo was published in January 2016, there were 21 craft breweries in the country. A year later there are thirty and counting!
Across the country, many restaurants now serve craft beers and nowadays you can buy bottles in many stores including in convenience stores.
Daniel Rocamora (pictured above) and his partner Adriana Rossi stock the best Uruguayan wines and beers at their small store in Pocitos. They also supply growlers.
Visit them at Los Horneros, Guayaqui 3322, Pocitos, Montevideo.
Photo: Daniel Rocamora