Home #WHERETONEXT South America Craft beers and the Oldest Brewery in South America

Craft beers and the Oldest Brewery in South America

The first brewery in South America was founded in Quito, Ecuador in 1566.

Photo credit: JuanPabloVerdesotoE

Beer is one of the most popular drinks in the world and perhaps one of the oldest, since it is believed that since 11,000 BC.C. the liquid was an indispensable part of the most important banquets of Egypt, Rome, Mesopotamia, Greece, among other civilizations of the time.

Beer has a very special place in Quito as the first brewery in South America was founded here by Fray Jodoco Rique in 1566, installed in the Convent of San Francisco in the historic center, today converted into a museum open to the public.

The facilities put together by the Belgian priest still stand and were used until about 50 years ago. Behind the main cloister of the convent is the brewery, which is divided into two rooms. In the first there is a wooden bar where drinks were served and in front there are three long tables with their respective benches. A solid wooden door is the entrance to the second room, space intended for brewing. Five fermentation barrels remain empty in the ground, at the foot of the ‘maceration paila’, a tub where the friars singed the barley-based drink.

Hence, the people of Quito prefer this drink to accompany a meal, an afternoon among friends and special moments with family, but it has also been one of the reasons for the culture of craft beer to spread in the city.  Quito has more than 40 breweries and craft beer bars.

In this way another tourist attraction is born in the city, a new experience for visitors from all over the world to delight in the unparalleled flavor of a beer brewed in Quito. The ‘beer tour’, allows you to get to know in depth the beer culture of the people of Quito, with activities such as blind beer tasting or tasting special flavors; all this while strolling through steep streets, portraying emblematic places and discovering the corners where this exquisite drink is sold.

Some breweries that comply with biosecurity protocols in accordance with current regulations in the city are:

  • Cervecería Santana: In this place you can taste its exquisite production of quality craft beer, with a touch of family hospitality.
  • Cervecería La Quiteña: Here the gourmet beers of the house are the most acclaimed to enjoy and pair with meals, it also offers a tour of the history of the beer plant and a tasting of all types of beer produced.

Beer Day in Quito

To celebrate the International Beer Day 2021, Quito Tourism Office has designed the city tour ‘Traditions and Franciscan Legacy’, an activity to be held on August 21 that will depart from the Plaza de San Francisco in a traditional market of the Historic Center and where ancestral rites will be appreciated.

The tour continues with a visit to Cruz Verde candies, where participants will observe a demonstration of the preparation of traditional sweets in an artisanal way. Then a tour towards the Convent of San Francisco, where visitors will get to know the brewery and perform several activities such as the ascent to its towers, from where you have an imposing 360 ° view of the Virgin of El Panecillo and the entire Historic Center of Quito.

In this way we can discover why beer deserves a day dedicated to its exquisite flavor, which has accompanied us in the evolution of humanity and is a source of kindness, companionship, joy, health and gastronomy, where the best place to taste it is at the middle of the world.

For more information visit https://visitquito.ec.