Chilean beer

The primary beer brewed and consumed in Chile is pale lager, though the country also has a tradition of brewing corn beer, known as chicha. Chile’s beer history has a strong German influence – some of the bigger beer producers are from the country’s southern lakes district (Los Lagos Region), a region populated by a great number of German immigrants during 18th and 19th centuries. Chile also produces English ale-style craft beers while also developing its own craft beer identity.[1]


There is long tradition of brewing a drink called chicha[2] that might be classified as corn beer by modern standards, though is not considered as such in South America. Chicha was originally brewed with corn, influenced by the Andean cultures of northern Chile and Peru, but during colonial times apple and grape chicha started to be brewed across the country as a cheaper alternative to wine. There were at least four major alcoholic drinks during colonial times in Chile: wine, pisco-aguardiente, apple chicha and grape chicha.

Modern beer (Spanish, cerveza chilena) history in Chile began in the 19th century when European beer was first introduced in the years after Chile gained independence.[3] With the arrival of German immigrants around 1850, massive beer production began. By the end of the 19th century, beer was consumed all over the country. Beer consumption and culture then spread across the country from cities with high immigrant populations such as Valdivia and Valparaíso. In 1907, 20 million litres of beer were produced in Valdivia.[4] By 1997, Chilean beer consumption reached 28 liters per year per capita.,[5] and by 2013 this had increased to 40 litres per year per capita.


Pisco, wine and rum are popular alcoholic drinks in Chile but there has been a slow increase in the sales of lager, pale ale from local microbreweries and imported pale lager. Although Chilean beer consumption is low compared to the rest of the South American region, beer is still the most consumed alcoholic beverage and takes 60% of the total market share for alcoholic drinks. Premium beers alone hold a 18% share of the total market, the highest share seen among the countries of the region.[6] Craft beers in Chile[7] Part of the so-called premium sector, craft beers have gained ground in recent years,[8] and today there are more than 300 micro-breweries in Chile. Cía Cervecerías Unidas SA, a local company, is the leading Chilean beer company, producing mainly lager beers.[9]

Some Chilean Beers

Cerveza Grassau

Varieties include:[10]

  • Lager
  • Allien Ale
  • Weizen
  • Bock

Cervecería Chile

Produce their own brands and also many of the best known international brands:[11]

  • Baltica
  • Becker
  • Brahma Extra
  • Beck’s
  • Quilmes
  • Paceña
  • Malta del sur
  • Stella Artois

Compañía de Cervecerías Unidas (CCU)

They produce their own brands of beer and some international brands, along with soft drinks and other alcoholic products.[12] Products include:

  • Cerveza Cristal
  • Escudo
  • Dorada
  • Royal Guard
  • Heineken


Located in the city of Valdivia in southern Chile, the owners started producing beers in the 1990s as a hobby. Today this is one of Chile’s most successful breweries. Some of their more innovative products celebrate the German traditions that make Valdivia famous. Kunstmann beer is branded as “Patagonia” on the international market .[13] Products include:

  • Kunstmann
  • Bock
  • Lager
  • Torobayo Ale
  • Honig Ale (Ale honey flavored)
  • Heidelberre (Cranberry beer)
  • Unfiltriert (Unfiltered lager)
  • Wheat beer


Growing fast, Kross has won more prizes than any other Chilean brewery in the last two years.[14] Products include:

  • Pale Ale
  • Stout
  • Pilsen
  • Maibock
  • ESB
  • Various Experimental Beers


Another of the breweries based in Punta Arenas, Austral is one of the oldest premium brands and produces different varieties.[15] Products include:

  • Lagers
  • Dark Ale
  • Pale Ale
  • Helles
  • Calafate ale (made with a berry native to Southern Patagonia)

Other brands

Other fast-growing brands include:


External links

  • Del Puerto
  • [2]
  • Mestra
  • Szot
  • Capital
  • Austral
  • Kross
  • Kunstmann
  • [ Compañía de Cervecerías Unidas]
  • Cervecería Chile
  • Cerveza Grassau

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