At the recommendation of Eduardo de Tomás, we stopped in for a visit to the fine folks at Cerveceria Andina in Huancayo.
Although we dropped in unannounced, they were incredibly accommodating. Production boss Francisco Ospina Corilloclla and his mother welcomed us with a bottle of their pilsner, and gave us a rundown of the brewery.
Cerveceria Andina only brews two types of beer, blanca (pilsner) and negra (a very malty sweet dark beer—they didn’t have any when we visited, but Francisco told me it’s similar to Cuzqueña Negra). The blanca had a very citrusy scent—when we smelled the hops later they had the same hint of lime. Saaz from Spain, Francisco told me.
Lorenzo Escalante Cungas, Cerveceria Andina’s owner, arrived after a few moments with his sister, Nelly. Let the brewery tour begin!
They sell their beer only in 650 ml bottles for fiestas and events, so unless you’re attending a wedding in Huancayo it may be hard to get a taste. The blanca is the most popular for the parties, and they sell the negra primarily to make jugo. “Jugo?” I asked. As far as I knew the word meant “juice,” so I assumed there must be another meaning.
Francisco nodded. “Sí, en jugerías (juice shops).” He explained that they make a “ponche” with beer and fruit that is quite popular.
(We tried this out later, and found that they make the “ponche” with banana, papaya, milk, honey, black beer, and a raw egg. It tasted sort of like cinnamon cake batter.)
They produce about 60 boxes of bottles every day—just enough to keep up with the local area’s reputation of “more fiestas than there are days in the year.” And Cerveceria Andina certainly was a fiesta in and of itself: they broke out a second bottle for us to drink during the picture session.
Gracias a todos!