Last Updated :25/07/09
Many thanks to Lee Croot, Per Samuelsson and Nigel Pearson who have sent me updates!
uenos Aires is both an amazingly beery and very frustrating place to scoop in as most pubs don't open until 18:00 or so meaning you need to have something non-beery to do during the day - which isn't difficult as it's a fascinating city. To help you find the pubs I'll create a set of maps using the amazing Buenos Aires government website's interactive map to show you where to go, or just type the addresses in yourself; be sure to check here for all the latest gen. As for currency matters, the exchange rate between the Peso and Sterling is around 6.5 Pesos to the £ (as of October 07), but check here to be sure.
Buenos Aires is easy to get around with a frequent rail network (worked by some very noisy 1955 American diesels), a whole myriad of buses ("Colectivos") and a proper subway system (the "Subte"); where possible I'll give as many options to get to a particular place as I can although with buses it's usually a case of see what arrives! Get yourself a 10-viajes (trip) Subtepass for ARG$9 from a metro ticket office and keep some change for the buses (state your destination to the driver and then insert your money into machine behind him - change given - and collect the ticket, generally 90 pesos a trip) to get around. You must buy tickets before using the trains, but a single to Palermo is only ARG$0.45 so it won't break the bank; a single Subte trip is ARG$0.90 whatever the distance covered, just insert your Subtepass into the barrier and it'll tell you how many trips you've got left on it.
I have added some useful maps of the city's public transport to the phots section at the end; these include a metro map, tram maps and a suburban rail map. To see what the little glasses by the pubs/beers mean see this page to observe my scoring system for beers. For pubs, basically 1 is crap and 5 is really good!
Mark Enderby / Steve Westby's report is here...
-- Brewpubs --
Sadly the number of brewpubs has shrunk drastically over the past couple of years, although there's still a good beer scene in the city... hopefully this will be a blip and more will soon open to fill the gaps!
Buller Brewing Company - Presidente R. M. Ortiz 1827, Recoleta. ()
Opened: 1999. Also Buller Pub Downtown (), Paraguay 428. (NW of centre, 1km W of Retiro stations). Open 12:00 until late, certainly well past midnight for both! Map.
A typical American-style brewpub, looking more like some sort of dodgy nightclub, Buller brews six beers which can be bought as a tasting tray for AR$20 (or so). Also has a (non-brewing) branch at Paraguay 428 close to the Hotel Central Cordoba and Plaza San Martín which is even more like a nightclub. All beers were acceptable, with the Honey and Oktoberfest being my favourites, and the food is decent enough if at tourist prices with large pizzas the mainstay. I didn't really take to the place but the beers are decent enough if not very Argentinean. Happy hour finishes at 21:00 making it more expensive than the UK!
The brewpub is very close to the Recoleta cemetary, the one where Evita is buried, so it's well on the tourist trail; it's a touch too far to walk so either get a bus or take a taxi as the nearest Subte (metro) station is a fair plod away, although a new line currently being built should stop nearby. The Buller Downtown (told you it was American!) is in what's termed the "microcentre" and easily reached from Plaza San Martín, Av Cordoba or Florida (the road, not the state).
Light Lager (4.5%) - Vaguely sociable creamy malt brew.
Oktoberfest (5.5%) - Good brown sugar and malt tasting, sweetish, nutty malt brew.
Cream Pale Ale (5.2%) - Bitterish, malty, very English brew tasting like a standard best bitter.
Honey Beer (8.5%) - Quite sweet yet balanced by bitterness. Mellow, smooth honeyed finish.
IPA (6%) - Deep brown, astringent, good bitter and hoppy if a little dark for an IPA.
Dry Stout (5.8%) - Massively intense roasted, burnt brew with sweet coffee - too OTT for me.
Ceres - Av. Libertador 2539, Punta Chica, San Fernando, Buenos Aires. ()
A roadside brewpub with some kit on display inside the bar, this pub is situated in one of the oldest areas of the city and is often full of well-to-do customers who come for the excellent pizzas. They also have a bar closer to the centre (maybe in Olivos?) although I can't remember where it is... sorry! Their website is currently parked.
A way from the centre, out by the coast past Olivos, you need a car or specialist knowledge of public transport to reach this one... they also own a pub by one of the metro stations on Av Libertador, which one eludes me!
Cossab Cerveza Artesanal – Carlos Calvo 4199 (jct of Jose Mármol), Subte E, Avenida la Plata. ()
A superb pub which is home to a micro-brewery as well as a large range of other guest beers. Open Wed-Thu 19:00-01:30, 19:00-03:30 Fri and 21:00-03:30 Sat; no admission after midnight Fri & Sat . Map.
Was the best "scooping" pub in Buenos Aires (although see the Cruzat beer house under Pubs for a larger range!), Cossab brews 6 of it's own beers plus offers three brewed by Murrays as well as Dalinger Stout, Antares barley wine and a whole fridgeful of bottles from Argentinian artesanel brewers alongside other beers from elsewhere in the world. Subdued lighting, varied music and sociable staff make this a great place to spend an evening (or two) filling your book with winners; the essential visit in Buenos Aires.
Easy to get to by Subte; take line E to Avenue La Plata, follow signs for the "San Juan 4200" exit, then take the first left into Muñiz (good empanada/cake shop on the left) and then right at the end into Carlos Calvo; Cossab is on the corner at the next intersection. Bus 180 stops a mere 50 yards away along with many others!
Rubia (5%) - Excellently bitter, hoppy and citrussy beer with a malty, bitter finish.
Bitter - Sociable brew, well flavoured and bitter with a tangy malt & hop finish.
Rojiza (6%) - V impressive; red, some perfumey hops, toffee-sweet maltiness. Luscious.
Brown (6.5%) - Interesting beer, malty with chocolate and lots of cascades fighting it out.
Negra (6%) - Excellent black, burnt, coffee, liquoricey and fairly bitter stout.
Honey (6%) - Very honeyed and pleasant brew.
It's worth pointing out that the Argentinean range of beers was reduced from my last visit although there were still a few I required! I'm not sure if this is a permanent thing or not.
De Cao Cerveza Artesanal – Bar Hermanos Cao “Café Notable”, Independencia 2400 (Jct of Matheu), Subte E to Pichincha. ()
Open all day? Has been seen open at 11:30 by myself and Crooton. Take Subte E to Pichincha, then a ten-minute walk up to Independencia.
Lovely old pub which looks like something from Edinburgh, this bar is situated on a main thoroughfare and seems to get a reasonable passing trade. The beers are made next door to the pub (well, sacks of malt were there!) and are available on draught only. The Rubia was slightly infected but the Negra was excellent on my visit. I recommend the Picadas (large snacks) very highly; overall, a very laid-back, well run and enjoyable pub.
Take Subte E to Pichincha and follow the map I've created - it's only ten minutes and there's also an empanada café (Mystica) on the corner of Pichincha and Indepencia.
Chopp Rubia - when not infected this should be a citrussy, hoppy cracker!
Chopp Negra - Deliciously chocolatey and rich dark brew, very good.
Chopp Roja - new beer.
Rina Bar and Tapas (ex-Dalinger) - Gorriti 5801 (jct of A. Carranza) Palermo. ()
Nigel Pearson and Crooton report that the beers at Rina are still badged as Dalinger and the full range is still available at AR$8 for a half pint. The brewery still seems to be operating - the beer is on draught in Cossab - but as we didn't visit Palermo this time I cannot confirm or deny this gen. Rumoured to make "house beers" for most of the Irish pubs around town.
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 18:00. Nearest to Palermo San Martin station or Subte line D station Plaza Italia.
Was a sociable brewpub in the fashionable Palermo district near to some other places worth a look. The brewer speaks good English and was able to confirm my suspicions about several other brewpubs nearby, but it's now a restaurant although it apparently still sells the full range of Dalinger brews... the stout ("tirada") is available at Cossab and may also be the "house beer" at many of the city's Irish bars.
Take the San Martin train or Subte D to Palermo. It's actually closest to Ministro Carranza station on the Mitre line but you'll need a map...
Golden (6.5%) - Pale, buttery, some phenol. Not quite right.
Belgian (6.5%) - Golden, grainy, malty, but still a bit phenolic.
Brown (6%) - Very good toffeeish, deep red beer with bitter chocolate in the finish.
Stout Tirada (6%?) - Full black, bitter, caramelly and tasty black beer.
Spangher - Miller 2905 (jct of Tomas Le Breton), Buenos Aires (Villa Urquiza). ()
Tues-Sunday from 18:00 onwards. Near Dr L M Drago station, 1km west of Viejo Belgrano, although it seems a world away!
A strange place, this one. It's quite a way out in the west near to Dr L M Drago station in a largely residential area but it's a real gem and seems more like a trendy Soho cafe than a brewpub! There's not a lot of room so you may need to overspill onto the pavement tables to get served the beers. Sociable staff who are keen to serve you jugs of beer (ARG$20) and plates of excellent-looking cheese and meats. Recommended.
Take a Mitre train from the Retiro Mitre station to Dr L M Drago station (Suarez trains) then follow this map; it's only about a ten-minute walk along deserted residential streets which may convince you that it's never going to be there, but trust me...
Rubia - Pale beer, sociable malty taste with a smooth, toffeeish and complex finish.
Roja - Good treacle toffee and subtle beer with malt and toastiness.
Negra (6%) - Caramelly and roasty, sweetish yet subtle and tasty. Short caramel and sweetish malty finish.
Stone Brewing Co, Panamericana Ramal Pilar Km 53.5, Colectora Oeste, Bajada Ruta 25 Pilar, Buenos Aires. (). The pub seems to be open from around 18:00 each evening, although this isn't confirmed and I don't know any way of finding out the proper gen! All I know is that it opened at 18:00 when we were there...
I wasn't sure if this was really a brewpub until I found this hidden part of their website which shows it all! They also make what must be one, if not the, only cask beer in Argentina available in the Gibraltar Pub, Peru 895. Very good beers and a nice brewpub too.
Not in the centre (Pilar is a good 20 miles out of town) nor easy to get to; a taxi from Pilar station (direct trains from Retiro every 30 minutes, takes an hour) may be the best option!
IPA (cask, 6.4%) - Amber with a fruity nose then a good, rich maltiness and bitter finish. Good.
Stout (4.8%) - Jet black, excellent roasty flavour, frazzled to a crisp yet not extreme in an unbalanced way. The flavour explodes in the mouth; interesting and very drinkable.
XB (5.5%) - Amber, bitter, floral and tasty with a bitter, malty finish. Good drinking.
-- Closed brewpubs --
This list is becoming worryingly long...
Clandestina - Uriarte 1838, Palermo Soho. () Sadly, this brewpub has closed in 2007.
Near to Sullivan pub, Ru and Dalinger. Opened May 2006. Happy hour Tue-Sat 18:30-20:30. Map.
Brand new brewpub opened in the posh Soho area of Palermo, this classy place is run by a lovely couple who have been brewing beer for themselves for a few years and have been persuaded to go commercial! The brewery is located above the bar visible through windows and turns out a cracking stout as well as the standard rubia and roja alongside specials using only Argentinian ingredients (cascade hops). The food is very good too as is the home-made popcorn served with the beers! Highly recommended.
Being in Palermo this pub is easy to get to with a choice of bus, Subte or train leaving a ten-minute walk down to the pub. Subte line D is probably the easiest, alight at Plaza Italia and then find Uriarte and walk 6 blocks south. The pub is on the right-hand side of Uriarte and is missable; if you reach a strange V junction with a Renault place on your right you've gone too far! Close to some other decent bars, see the Palermo map.
Rubia (6%) - Hazy, slightly phenolic dry and malty beer with promise.
Roja (6%) - Amber, toasty, dryish with a grainy, bitter, cascadey finish.
Negra (6%) - Rich, burnt, coffee and toasty black beer with a good complexity.
Purpura Americana (7%) - Interesting reddy beer, sweet malty and fruity flavours. Made with roasted corn or something!
Red Hot - obviously a chilli beer, but not yet available (June 06).
María Felipa Cerveza Artesanal "Ni tan Santo Ni tan Telmo" Restobar, Bolivar 1112 (jct Humberto).
I can't find any information which confirms that this was actually a brewpub, but if it was it didn't last long...
I can't tell you much about this place apart from the fact it's very close to a lot of the other San Telmo establishments as it was closed every time I visited it throughout the week, although it didn't look permanently closed. Apparently it's a very new (April 2006) micro brewery supplying the bar only, but it seems to have vanished without trace, sadly.
Take a look at the San Telmo map to find the bar - it's on a logical route from Patio Fabrica to the Gibraltar or beer museum. Indepencia Subte station is only a ten-minute walk away along Estados Unidos or, unsurprisingly, Indepencia.
Patio Cervecero Fábrica, Av. San Juan 399, San Telmo. Also other bars at Defensa 1084 and Flores (Ramón Falcón 1901). (). As it's never brewed it's not really closed, but where else do I put it?!?
Still not brewing as of October 2007 and may not do...
"Brewpub" closed Mon (others 16:00 onwards), other days 09:00 to 03:00.
Makes great play of it's beer list (which is so-so if a bit on the expensive side) and shows off it's shiny (and as yet unused) brewery along one wall. A bit tacky, gimmicky and not really Buenos Aires but good for a few scoops before moving on to the better bars. The food is okay and includes loads of different empanadas! It was closed when we tried it on a weekday evening, although I don't think it was permanent.
See the San Telmo map, it's easy.
Beers : None brewed yet but the brewery may yet happen... The beer list includes loads of El Bolson beers (including Tango Porteño, Graf Spee and Gold Brick), Antares, a few guest beers in bottle plus usual shite such as Quilmes.
Peor Para el Sol (Worse for the Sun), San Martin 6066, way out in the west. Closed 2006.
Yet another that was closed when I visited (Friday at 19:30). It used to be located near to Viejo Belgrano but moved here last year and, with the website "suspendido" and a broken window, it looked permanently shut to me... but I may be wrong.
It's a right old trek out to this pub; take Subte line B to Frederico Lacroze, walk across to the train station and take a train (about every 15-20 mins) to the fourth stop, El Libertador. Exit the station and follow the busy San Martín towards the centre (don't cross the tracks, head back on yourself) for about 150 metres to find the pub on the right... closed. Don't blame me, I warned you...
Ru Bar - Humboldt 1585, Palermo Hollywood. Thursday-Saturday 22:00-03:00. Opened 2004., closed 2006.
Yet another closed brewpub; I think a pattern is forming here! Tim Proudman reported this place was closed on a Saturday evening but I had hopes of finding it open with the strange hours it keeps. On both occasions I passed it was firmly closed with a note in the window which said - I think - they were on holiday. The brewer at Dalinger, when asked about Ru, pulled a face and said "They have been on holiday for three months!" so I assume it's shut for good, and their website has now died too!
Another on the Palermo crawl - although there's no point visiting now! See the Palermo map here.
Rubia y Negra - Libertad 1630, Barrio Norte (Recoleta). Open 12:30-15:30 and 18:30–03:00 (may open earlier). ()
Nigel Pearson reports that the pub no longer brews, and this is sadly confirmed by Luis from Murray's.
A strange bar situated upstairs in very posh building in a very posh area, somewhere you'd never expect to brew - I certainly didn't and thought I'd been conned until I looked above the bar and saw the vessels gleaming away! Brews 8 beers in a wide variety of styles for the bright young things who inhabit the place (it's more like a club than pub) who obviously have lots of money - ARG$15 for 5 samples or ARG$12 for a glass is London prices! Decent beers nevertheless and, if you're lucky, The Smiths on the sound system! Happy hour in the evening where you get 2-for-1, so that's the time to go!
In the posh Bullrich/Recoleta area, not a million miles from Buller (see map). It's only a ten-minute walk from Retiro rail stations along the busy Del Libertador highway and Libertad is the sixth on the left, about 750 metres. Put simply, it's just off Avenida del Libertador, near the Bullrich shopping centre and Jockey club!
Cream Ale (4.5%) - Light, gentle, bitterish and reasonably malty.
Pilsen (5.5%) - Malty, nutty and sweetish in the Czech style but lacking a hop punch.
Bitter (5%) - Amber, toffeeish, malty with a suggestion of bitterness. Not really a bitter.
Scotch (6%) - Yet again toffeeish, but it works - slightly smokey and sweetish amber brew.
Stout (5%) - More of a porter; reddy black, caramelly, dry, bitter and toasty finish. Good.
Trappist Abbey Beer (6%) - Showing a slight misunderstanding of Belgian beer by using coriander and spice in an "abbey" beer; toffeeish, malty, spicy, some hop.
Barley Wine (12%) - Matured for 6 months, very good aged and complex brew with some sherry notes and a toffee-bitter finish.
Wheat beer (Trigo) -
Oktoberfest (5%) -
Viejo Belgrano - Amenabar 2363, Belgrano (Vicente Lopez). () No longer brews, although the pub was still open in early 2007. Has a new website which still claims they brew?!? Open Thurs-Sat 19:00 to 03:00. (?)
One of the original three brewpubs in town, this bar is styled in a pseudo-German way with wooden benches and suchlike. The cute little brewery is obvious behind the bar but seems to be used more as a coatrack than a brewery, evidenced by the lack of any of their beers on sale although I scooped Wesensart Rubia from bottle. The bloke with the gen, the Dalinger brewer, told me they no longer brew and my visit confirmed this.
Take Subte D to Juramento station (last but one stop), follow Juramento two blocks west (ascending numbers) then turn right into Amenabar and the pub is two and a half blocks on the right. Even with no homebrew on they have a few decent Artesanal beers from other producers such as Munster so it's not a totally wasted journey. Note the restrictive opening hours.
Pubs, Bars and other beery places to visit in Buenos Aires.
There are some superb bars in which to drink artesanal beer and here I list the best of those which I know about. These vary from posh trendy bars to more basic drinking dens although rest assured that all serve proper beer from small producers.
Thanks to Luis Villa of Murray's brewery (brewers of one of my all-time favourite beers, their superb IPA) for some new gen! "BREOGHAN is a new craft beer bar and this is the trade mark of their ales. It is not strictly a brew-pub because they brew in other place and sell their beers in the bar. The bar is a small one but is very nice. It is situated in Pasaje San Lorenzo 389, San Telmo, Bs. As. For the moment they have a Brown Ale and a Stout, but they produce a "Red Ale" too".
Antares, Armenia 1447, Palermo. Draught : Antares, Kolsch / Scotch / Porter / Honey / Cream Stout / Barley Wine / Stout Imperial / IPA (Brewmaster’s Special – occasional beer) 1/2pt = $5/6 / pt = $8/10 / 2-for-1 happy hour 1900-2100, Bottled : full range to take away. Cheaper beers are Kolsch, Scotch and Porter . Open : 1900+ daily. Large, modern, American-style brewpub in popular area. I was not impressed by the beers with the exception of the IPA which was superb. The others Crooton tried, so he says, were just very poor examples of the types of beer – porter and cream stout, although we had the very good IPA and decent Tripel this year so maybe the "special" beers are the ones to go for! Thanks to Crooton and Nicolás for the gen!
Bangalore, Humboldt 1416, Palermo. Draught : Stone, CASK IPA / Stout / XB / Golden Pt = $7 OR 2pts for $10 during daily happy hour 1800-2200. Run by same people who run Gibraltar. Bar service only including ordering food. Upstairs eating area opens at 2030 but can order and eat downstairs any time. Advertises itself as a curry house and the pumpkin curry is delicious. All curries come complete with rice and naan for about $20. Also the usual burgers and wraps etc available. Very popular bar even early evening with limited seating, 5mins walk from Rina Bar. Thanks to Crooton for the gen!
Bohemia Bar & Art, 745 Estados Unidas, San Telmo. Used to be the Brewhouse Club of Murray's beers (now installed in Cossab) but now a trendy bar with Antares specials in bottle.
Breoghan, Pasaje San Lorenzo 389, San Telmo. New craft beer bar with Murrays and their own beer on tap.
Buller "Downtown", Paraguay 428, Microcentre. Their new central location doesn't brew but looks like it wants to give the impression it does. Serves the six beers made up in Recoleta for ludicrous prices. Very "yoof".
Cossab Cerveza Artesanal – Carlos Calvo 4199. I know this place has already been featured in the brewpubs section but it has such a superb range of beers than I've just got to include it here again! In addition to the eight they brew themselves there is a fridge full of other juicy beasties from small Argentine brewers plus some good and not-so-good beers from the "rest of the world". One of the only "scooping" pubs in Buenos Aires and one of two essential visits in town (see Cruzat for the other). Open Wed-Fri 18:30-?, Sat 21:30-04:00. Map.
Cruzat Beer House, Sarmiento 1617, 1st floor. What an amazing place this is! It bills itself as a "Medieval hall" but this doesn't really wash and they should really just say they're the best beer bar in Argentina at this moment. Over 100 home-grown beers on the massive Belgian-style list encompassing all regions of the country (arranged by region) all kept in the huge fridges alongside the bar. A dozen brews on draught, so any scooper would be well advised to camp out here for a couple of lengthy sessions to get their bearings on the Argentine beer scene. The prices are slightly high although this is a reasonably wealthy area and so average around ARG$12 a bottle which won't break the bank too much... The food looked good too and, overall, I have no hesitation in recommending Cruzat as the best bar in Buenos Aires for scooping purposes!
Doctor Mason, Ardoz 1199 (one block off Cordoba). Draught : Stone Stout / Pale Ale 1/2pt = $8.50 / pt = $12 Bottled : El Bolson range @ $14 a bottle! Open : 1200+ daily. Less than 5mins walk from Antares. The pale ale was not available on my visit and there were a few other taps visible but not mentioned on the menu and not available when I asked about them. Good food – Bondiola Stout is 3 pork steaks in stout sauce with herb potato wedges and pine-nut salsa – delicious. A bit expensive for the beers but at least it’s a daytime option to visit. - thanks to Crooton for the gen!
Dolcetto Café, 2117 Frederico Lacroze, Palermo. Metro Olleros Subte D. Close to Entremes Deli, this nice little bakery and cafe sells two beers from the Koala micro brewery as well as nice-looking cakes and stuff like that.
Druid Inn, Reconquista 1040. Is supposed to have beers brewed for them in the same manner as Dubliners, below (although I have heard it may be Dalinger rebadged). The bar is close to the San Martin gardens, and is the next road east from San Martin itself.
Dubliners, Humboldt 2000, Palermo. Open : 1200+ T-F / 2000+ Sat / 1600-2200 Sun (from guide book only). An average Irish pub in the posey Palermo district which has two "exclusive" beers brewed for them by an un-named brewery although I was told it was "local"... any ideas? It's not that far from Dalinger, basically it's between Palermo station and the brewpub! Per reports what I was told, that the beers are brewed by a friend of the cafe, allegedly in his cellar ! I suspect they're from Dalinger though...
Entremes Delicatessen, Federico Lacroze 2109, Palermo. Deli and wine shop that sells Antares beers. Just down from the Dolcetto Café at 2117 Frederico Lacroze which sells two Koala beers on draught. Metro Olleros Subte D.
Fin de Mundo (Jct of Chile & Defensa). Nice little bar to the north of the buzzing San Telmo district which used to have the quality Shopron beer in bottle although I've no idea what they have now Shopron have sadly closed...
Frankfurt Panchos, Av. Corrientes 750, Galería Corrientes Angosta. Inside a gallery that links Av Corrientes and Lavalle) is a pancho shop where, against all odds, you can get 15-20 beers from Viejo Munich, Antares and maybe others; it's the only place in BsAs selling Viejo Munich beers. It's halfway between C Pelligrini and Florida stations on the Subte line B, close to Avenue 9 de Julio, and the panchos aren't bad either! Well worth a visit for the experience of munching giant hot-dogs whilst drinking scoops! - Original tip-off from Per Samuelsson.
Gibraltar, Peru 895, San Telmo. Open 18:00 daily. Instantly recognisable by the large round 'Stella' sign, this English-style pub sells local beers from Stone of Pilar including, on handpump, Stone cask IPA! (This is now quoted as "Kingston Scotch" - no gen!) Other beers are usually available in bottle. The home-made beef burgers are absolutely superb and taste of beef not - erm - other things! An all-round top pub. Happy hour 18:00 to 22:00 when you get two beers for the price of one (AR$10)! Strangely, it seems like the beers are only served in pint glasses with no small measures available...
Jhon Jhon, Reconquista 930, nr Plaza St Martin, Microcentre. Sells Antares beers from Mar del Plata plus used to do the lamented Shopron but was a bit "yoof" when we looked in in 2006 and we couldn't be arsed this time owing to the deafening noise!
Kilkenny Bar, Reconquista 1000. 10mins walk from Retiro and 3 mins walk from Buller Downtown, this place was advertising "house beers" but Crooton didn't have time to sample them, sadly!! We had a look in and indeed there seemed to be a "house stout", although local sources indicate this may in fact be Dalinger rebadged - if they are still brewing (which I'm pretty sure they are) - thanks to Crooton for the gen!
Lo de Pepe - Av. Maipu y Mariano Moreno, Olivos. Apparently this bar has a good beer list but I didn't get time to see.
Matias Irish Pub, San Martin 979. Simple pub which sells decent steaks and beers from Antares in bottle as well as a few more such as Otro Mundo although nothing rare.
Shamrock, Rodríguez Peña 1220, Microcentre. Apparently serves artesanal beers although it was closed when I arrived so I've no idea what - maybe more Dalinger?
Sullivan Pub Irlandes, El Salvador 4919, Palermo. Decent take on the Irish pub with loads of space (in contrast to many other bars!) and it had the rare Munster beers in bottle. Can be worked into a decent Palermo crawl, see the map. Not visited on the 2007 trip.
The Patio Cervecero chain (Fábrica San Juan 399, Ramón Falcón 1901 or Defensa 1084), 09:00 Tue-Sat / 08:00 Sun ( Plaza Dorrego also opens 16:00 Mon). Tacky theme pubs which squeeze into this list on the basis that the beer list, whilst expensive, sometimes contains some scoopable brews although little was available during our 2007 visit and we walked out of one only to find the "brewpub" closed when it should have been open... The Fábrica site has brewing kit installed and looks ready to go but no beers have been brewed as yet although they were listed on the beerlist as "coming soon". Still not brewing as of December 2006, June 2007 or even October 2007 and I have heard rumours that they might never brew at all...
Territorio bar, Estados Unidos 500, at the junction of Estados Unidos and Bolivar, San Telmo. Open 17:00+ Mon & Tue/ 12:00 Wed-Sat. Nice place with a changing choice of 6 draught artesanal brews from Koala and Antares, around ARG$7 a glass. Very civilised and relaxing little bar which I like a lot even though the beers aren't that exciting - although with the loss of a the beer museum around the corner and Patio's crappy recent beer list it's the only option until you reach Bohemia or Untertürkheim! Still, it's an oasis of calm in this busy area and sitting with a glass of Antares IPA watching happenings outside was a good way to spend an hour!
Toca y Pica, Amenabar 1917 – wine shop? Sells micro beers…? Didn't visit.
Untertürkheim "Cervecería Alemana" Humberto 1° 899 at junction of Tacuarí, San Telmo. Mon-Sun 17:00 to closing. A decent range of beers including Antares / Barba Roja / Del Castillo / Otro Mundo / Zeppelin ranges, most beers $12 for 330ml bottle or more for 660ml if available. Great German-style bar with appropriate food (the wurst and sauerkraut salad was superb!) and large range of beer making it an essential stop when in San Telmo. The owner is very sociable and you get free peanuts! Map.
Van Koning, Las Cañitas - Buenos Aires, Baez 325. Dutch bar in Palermo which I didn't get time to go and have a look at but I hear does a few proper beers.
Valle del Tafi, Defensa 754 (almost opposite Desnivel). Pizza restaurant which sells the eponymous beers from Tucumán province. Thanks to Nigel Pearson for the gen!
Wine & More wine shop, Av. Maipú 3243, Olivos. Small wine shop selling Bersaglier beers in bottle, but it's a long way to go just for them. Very sociable owner who speaks good English. Take a Mitre train from Retiro to Bartholomew Mitre, exit the station, turn left and walk about a kilometre; shop is on the right-hand side of the road!
The Winery, Corrientes 302 - one block west from the eastern terminus of Subte B at Leandro Alem. Wine shop apparently selling some artesanal beers too although I didn't get to visit.
Sadly the Museo de la Cerveza, Estados Unidos 482, San Telmo has now closed and is a Parilla.
Micros you might see around, and where to get them.
(For Brewpubs, see above)
I've given each brewery an overall score which reflects the quality of the beer I sampled from them, their brewing skills, their adventurousness and a quaint "Gazza" factor which is simply undefinable! I've only included those micros which you'll see in several places and not just those which are in Cruzat.
Antares - 17 Esquina 71, La Plata.
- Quite easy to find in BsAs, these beers vary in quality from average in the weaker ones to very good in the stronger examples with the Imperial Stout being especially flavoursome. Try them in Matias Irish Pub, San Martin 979, Untertürkheim, Humberto 1° 899 Jct of Tacuarí, or many other outlets in the city. Antares have now opened a new outlet at Armenia 1447, deep in Palermo, which doesn't brew but sells the full range of Antares beers.
Porter (5.5%) - Mid-brown, some caramel and then a sweetish, toffee and malt finish. Average.
Scotch (6%) - Smooth, malty, quite sociable to drink and enjoy but not that good.
Imperial Stout (8.5%) - Very good brew; black, full-bodied, with roast malt, alcoholic kick, and liquorice in the slightly bitter yet frazzled finish. Best Antares beer I had by a long way.
Barley Wine (10%) - Bronze brew, full and sweetish, balanced by bitterness. Drinkable for the strength, but too top-heavy.
Baires (Cerveza Artesanal Rioplatense) - Buenos Aires.
- To be honest I didn't think much of the two beers (Rot Dort and Stout) I had but I've had a lot worse! Available at the Patio Cervecero chain (Fábrica San Juan 399 or Defensa 1084) and Gibraltar Pub at Peru 895.
Superior Stout (5.5%) - Not that superior; quite bland and nutty beer with some roast.
Rot Dort - Plasticky, toffeeish, malty beer, not very good at all.
Barba Roja - Ruta 25 Nº 2567, Escobar, Buenos Aires. ()
This place is very unusual... a pirate-themed place with restaurant, shop, brewery and various other things to attract people who think they're getting artesanal beers but, in reality, they're just getting commercial crap (pasteurised and very safe) although the darker ones are worth a go. Don't try the "Lemon beer" unless you want to scoop shandy! Try the full range at Untertürkheim, Humberto 1° 899 or at the huge Jumbo supermarket by, appropriately, Jumbo stop on the Premetro tram line although personally I wouldn't bother...
Lemon Beer (2.5%) - Shandy! OK, it's not bad shandy, but that's what it is...
Winner (4.8%) - Superb name, not bad beer. Black with red lights, it has a restrained, dry, roasty and liquoricey flavour, a bit too light, then a smooth treacle and coffee finish. Not bad.
Rubia (4.5%) - Pale, hazy, buttery beer, nice enough in flavour, nutty malt finish.
Diabla (Roja, 4.5%) - Toffee and caramel on a light body, too bland and boring.
Negra Fuerte (5.8%) - Black, smooth, roasty, a touch on the safe side but a decent treacle-toffee finish with some roastiness.
Bersaglier Cerveza Artesanal - Calle 92 nro. 101, San Martín.
- Nice labels, nice beers. Bersaglier seem to be targetting wine shops and we saw their large display cases in at least two around the city dispensing their three bottled beers. Try them at Wine & More wine shop, Av. Maipú 3243, Olivos. Cossab has the beers in bottle.
Cream Stout (6%) - Black, roasted, fruity, rich and spicy beer, then a full, spicy, liquoricey and very roasted flavour with lots of toast and fruit then a dry, caramelly, bitter and full-bodied finish to this superb brew.
Kölsch (6%) - Sociable, easy-drinking, tasty hoppy brew without special flavours.
Scottish Ale -
Cardos Cerveza Artesanal - Ruta 4 No. 85, Los Cardales. .
- Available at Cossab and Cruzat, these excellent beers from a brewery out in the countryside are full of character and well worth a try with the Barley wine being one of my top 3 beers of 2007.
Cream Stout (6%) - Black, burnt, very roasted beer with charcoal and toast.
Pilsener (6%) -
Scottish Ale (6%) -
Barley Wine (12%) -
Del Castillo Cerveza Artesananal - Escribano 82, Chascomus.
- Very variable beers with a wide range in a multitude of styles; if it exists then they'll have a go at it - I had Barley wine, Whisky malt and honey brews from them! A selection of their massive range is available at Untertürkheim, Humberto 1° 899.
Ale (6.2%) - Amber, sweetish, malty, smooth and sociable. Good drinking beer.
Whisky Malt - Malty amber ale, some smoky maltiness, smooth grainy and smoky finish.
Barley Wine (15%!) - Very strong and sherried, presumably from a long maturation, but doesn't taste the strength. Has a complex mix of fruity, malty and estery flavours, very accomplished.
Especial Stout - Rich and full-bodied, lots of dark malt and crystal toffee-ness. Aniseedy, roasted finish to this good drinking beer.
Miel (6.8%) - Pale, sweetish and obviously honeyed brew but reasonably well executed, avoiding being too sickly, with a balanced honeyed finish.
El Bolsón Microcervecería - Ruta 258 km 123,900, El Bolsón.
- Brewpub in the south of Argentina who brew a lot of beers (Gold Brick, Tango Porteño, Graf Spee) for the Patio Cervecero chain (Fábrica San Juan 399 or Defensa 1084) and also do a large range of their own.
Graf Spee Negra (4.5%) - Deep brown, roasty, bitterish, tasty brew made for the Patio chain.
Gold Brick Negra (4.5%) - Mid brown, malty, some caramel, not as good as Graf Spee.
Negra Extra (6.2%) - Near black, sweetish (too sweet), toffeeish with little roast.
Koala Cerveza Artesanal - Bebidas Naturales SH, Heredia 921, Buenos Aires.
- A few draught outlets for these beers in the city; try Territorio at the junction of Estados Unidos and Peru in San Telmo, or Dolcetto Café 2117 Frederico Lacroze. Cruzat has a selection on draught and in bottle.
Scotch - Unusual thick, malty, mid-brown beer with unusual flavours.
Rubia - Very buttery pale and hoppy beer, not bad.
Stout - Deep red/black, sweetish, roasted flavour with a burnt, malty and tasty finish.
Barley Wine -
Munster Cerveza Artesanal - Buenos Aires.
Available at The Winery, Corrientes 302 and Sullivan Pub Irlandes El Salvador 4919. I have heard that this brewery has closed; we didn't see it on our recent trip so this may be the case?
Rubia (4.5%) - Golden, malty, some TCP hints; maybe not quite right?
Negra (4.5%) - Very roasty, black, nutty, excellent beer with some sweetness to balance the dry roastiness. Very much like the old Beamish before they ruined it, very accomplished.
Murrays - Buenos Aires.
The brewing kit from the now closed Brewhouse Club (Estados Unidos 745, now a bar which sells some artesanal beers) has found a new home at the excellent Murray’s brewery run by Francisco Farias, Luis Villa and Martin Grasso. Murrays brew some excellent beers, available at Cossab and Cruzat, and are certainly not shy of hops! Some of the best overall beers in Argentina and consistently good across the whole range, these are beers I'd recommend anyone to try - just check my comments below to see why I like them!
Murrays Scotch (4.6%) - Unusual phenolic, dark, malty, smoky and dryish red ale (I have been informed that this particular Batch had fermentation problems, so it should score higher than this).
Murrays Dry Stout (4.5%) - Nutty, black, roasted and sweeter than the Cossab version but just as good.
Murrays IPA (7.1%) - An absolute monster; a full maltiness but masses of citrussy bitterness from cascades and a huge hop punch. Massive flavours, but all in balance; superb stuff - the best Argentine beer?
Murray's Golden -
Murray's Nut Brown -
Murray's Old Ale -
Otro Mundo - Brewed by Cervecería San Carlos, San Carlos Sud, Santa Fe. No score!
- Available in many bars throughout the city (for example Matias Irish Pub, San Martin 979) although I'd personally not bother!
Otro Mundo (7.5%) No score! - Rancid, sickly, sweet toffee-ish junk, sickly and unpleasant.
Secretos de Monje - San Isidro, Buenos Aires.
- Available in Cossab, plus they brew the Graf Zeppelin beer in bottle too which can be found at Untertürkheim and at the brewpub in El Palomar.
-- Restaurant Recommendation --
El Desnivel Parilla, Defensa 855 (just N of Estados Unidos). The San Telmo map is here. Opening hours not known, but probably every evening.
We visited again in 2007 and can happily report that it was as excellent as the last time with a huge, tender, tasty and lean steak, superb house wine (still ARG$5 a jug!) and an all-round good time was had by all.
As my food intake generally revolved around eating in brewpubs and munching on empanadas (delicious little pasties of meat, chicken or sometimes more adventurous things), panchos (hot dogs) or choris (chorizo-like sausage on a roll) I must admit I only visited one proper Argentinian parilla (pronounced parisha) - but what a meal it was! I was recommended this place by several different locals in bars and, although there were some tourists in there with the restaurant being in the trendy barrio of San Telmo, on my visit it was mainly full of locals tucking into mammoth hunks of cow.
On entering the restaurant you are confronted by a large sweaty bloke cheerfully flinging outsize lumps of flesh onto a huge barbeque before being shown to your table by the head honcho who will greet you in Spanish (he spoke a smattering of English). The menu is extensive but the main events are the steaks whose names are translated into English, although you may not recognise some of the cuts - a lomo is a melt-in-the-mouth tenderloin, whilst bife de chorizo isn't a spicy sausage but a prized, tasty cut of meat.
Order your chosen steak with a side-order of the excellent home-made patatas fritas (chips to you and me) and a half-litre of the house wine (ARG$5 or so and very good it is too) and, even with the ARG$1.50 service charge (amusingly called "cutlery fee"), you'll not pay more than ARG$25 (£4.50) for one of the best steaks you'll ever eat - that I promise. My lomo came perfectly cooked - i.e.; medium rare - and, despite being of huge proportions, was so tender and tasty that I simply sat there and savoured what is probably going to be one of the best meals I'll ever eat in my life. The basket of bread you are given is topped up when you finish it and is free despite what you may have suspected!
If you're still feeling hungry after consuming kilos of cow, apparently the Dulce de Leche tart is also superb; Dulce de Leche is a sticky beige goo made by boiling down milk and sugar which ends up tasting like a divine butterscotch and is one of the highlights of Argentinean cuisine. It's liberally plastered over all manner of cakes and pastries - another strong point in the cuisine of a country which must have some of the best food anywhere.
I chose to ignore the roasted innards on the menu and suggest you do the same!
Other eating places.
As for eating in pubs, I'd recommend Untertürkheim at Humberto 1° 899 jct of Tacuarí in San Telmo for it's rather authentic German food including all types of Wurst and sauerkraut! Add to this a cracking range of beers and it's a good evening out all round. The food in the Gibraltar pub, Peru 895, (also in San Telmo) was good too with the home-made beefburger being especially tasty and very home-made!
These little beauties are likely to be your staple snack food when in Argentina. Resembling miniature Cornish pasties, they may indeed be modelled on them since many Cornish emigrated to Argentina to work in the mines, although the name probably originated in Spain where the Empanada Festival is part of Galician culture and empanar means to "coat with bread". Usually containing carne (meat), queso y jamon (cheese and ham) or pollo (chicken) they are made in just about every bakery in every town to unique recipes giving a superb scooping potential and delicious surprise with every one you bite into! Two types of empanada are available, baked and fried, with baked ones being the default unless you're advised otherwise - generally!
Although meat and cheese are the common fillings I encountered various others such as cheese & onion, vegetarian, spicy meat (carne picante - mmmmmm!) and some too far-fetched to remember! Without exception every Empanada I sampled was good (some were superb) with no rancid bits of gristle or suchlike in them; well, originally I thought my second-ever meat empanada was full of bits of fat, so picked them out in disgust - before discovering they were in fact bits of egg which seems to be common practice with the meat ones! Sold for around ARG$2 each (30p) they won't break the bank and are a great snack on the move. Sweet ones are also available - Dulce de Leche being the commonest - although these are quite rare.
With usual selfless disregard for my waistline and coronaries I sampled as many as I could during my stay in Buenos Aires and, as a result of this research, I hereby reveal my tips for the best Empanadas to be had in the capital!
Torre de Retiro restaurant -
Caseros y Sabroso -
Las Leñas -
El Tranvia - Standard empanadas here at this lovely old cafe which is dedicated to the tramways of the city with photos all over the walls of rattling beasties at work. Av Santa Fe 2933.
Café Mystica - on the corner of Pichincha and Indepencia.
Gazza's Beers and Pubs of the trip awards!
With so many beers sampled this is going to be a tough one, but here goes! Overall the standard of beer was very good, much better than I imagined it would be, and many of the beers I had wouldn't be out of their depth in the European scene. So, here I list my favourite beers and pubs from the many I've sampled with the two trips being separate as my experiences were quite different each time!
-- 2007 --
Beers (Top 5)
Cardos Barley Wine - A classic of the genre with well integrated flavours and complexity and my silver-medal brew of 2007.
Szot Rubia Al Vapor Lager - Delicious brew with an easy drinking yet interesting flavour.
Murray's Golden - One of the ultimate thirst-quenchers I've had, bitter and dry with plenty of attitude!
Monte Castro Dorada - Very Argentinean with a sweetish malt flavour and flowery hoppiness.
Bersaglier Scotch - A hint of smoke but mainly a lovely smooth malty flavour, well executed.
Pubs (Top 5)
Cruzat - An amazing place with a huge beer list - what else could a scooper want?
Gibraltar - Bustling, busy bar with a good beer range and easy-going atmosphere.
Territorio - Great location in San Telmo and some cracking brews on tap.
Untertürkheim - Still does the German thing well and has Del Castillo beers which can't be bad!
Cossab - Excellent homebrews and a relaxed atmosphere.
-- 2006 --
Beers (Top 5)
Argentina seems to be a haven for gorgeous roasted stouts which are brewed with a lot of skill and a delicate touch, meaning there was a lot of competition for the top five places!
Murrays IPA - Everything an IPA should be and more, loads of citrussy Cascades; superb stuff, and my "beer of 2006".
Shopron Porter - Delicious roasty, fruity, hoppy beer with perfect balance and poise.
Corsario Negra Black Porter - Gloriously full, roasty, bitter and tasty black ale yet still with everything in harmony.
Bersaglier Cream Stout -
Cossab Negra - Classic stout with a great balance of roast and bitterness.
Pubs (Top 5)
Cossab - Excellent scooping bar with it's own brewery, the best range of Artisanal Argentine beers in the city by a long way (although it's not now!)
Untertürkheim "Cervecería Alemana"-
Cerveza Clandestina -