Beer in Chile

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beer in Chile

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 lake district, a region populated by a great number of German immigrants during the 19th century. 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 an 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]

Chilean Beers[edit]

There are two main big industrial large-scale beer producers in Chile: Compañía de Cervecerías Unidas (CCU) and Cervecería Chile. All others are considered small producers (low volume) and/or craft producers.

Compañía de Cervecerías Unidas (CCU)[edit]

Created in 1902 with the merge of Plagemann, Limache and Gubler & Cousiño beer companies. They produce their own brands of beer and some international brands, along with soft drinks and other alcoholic products.[10] Products include:

  • Cerveza Cristal and its varieties Cristal Light and Cristal Zero (non-alcoholic)
  • Escudo
  • Royal Guard and its variety Royal Guard Black Label
  • Malta Morenita
  • Dorada
  • Lemon Stones (low-alcohol lemon-flavored beer mix)
  • Heineken (under license)
  • Tecate (under license)
  • Coors and Coors Light (under license)
  • Sol (under license)

Cervecería Chile[edit]

Produce their own brands and also many known international brands:.[11] Products include:

  • Baltica
  • Becker
  • Malta del sur
  • Brahma (under license)
  • Beck’s (under license)
  • Paceña (under license)
  • Stella Artois (under license)
  • Quilmes (under license)

Small Producers or Premium Brands[edit]

These include smaller volume beer producers and are considered premium brands.

  • Kuntsmann. From Valdivia, founded in 1850 as Anwandter Beer Company, destroyed in the 1960 Valdivia earthquake and refounded as Kunstmann Brewery, it is actually labeled as a craft beer, and is distributed by CCU. Produces a great variety of different types of beer including Torobayo, Lager, Bock, Honey, Blueberry, Wheat, Session IPA, Non-filtered and Non-alcoholic.[12]
  • Austral. Founded circa 1896 in the Patagonia region in Punta Arenas as Cervecería La Patagona, later Polar Beer. It is the most southern beer company in the world. Produces varieties such as Lager, Ale, Torres del Paine, Yagán Dark and Patagona Pale Ale.[13]

Some Other brands[edit]

Other brands that are entirely considered as craft beers. They are generally low or very low volume producers. In Chile there are more than 150 craft beer producers distributed along the 15 Chilean Regions.[14] The list below includes:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Craft Beer in Chile retrieved August 9
  2. ^ Ancient Peru's ritual beer binges, BBC, July 31, 2004, sec. Americas. Retrieved 31 August 2008
  3. ^ La cerveza en Chile en el sigrlo XIX
  4. ^ Investigación aplicada sobre Geografía Urbana: Un caso práctico en la ciudad de Valdivia Archived 2014-10-25 at the Wayback Machine Víctor Figueroa, Jorge Gayoso, Edgardo Oyarzun, Lenia PlanasGestion Turistica, UACh.
  5. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Chile lidera consumo per cápita de cervezas premium Economía y Negocios, Constanza Rodríguez, June 05, 2013 retrieved August 8, 2013
  7. ^ Las variedades de cervezas que presenta Chile June 18, 2013, retrieved August 08,02013
  8. ^ Five of Chile's best craft brewers November 15, 2011, retrieved August 9, 2013
  9. ^ Retrieved 31 August 2008
  10. ^ Compañía de Cervecerías Unidas retrieved August 9, 2013
  11. ^ Cervecería Chile retrieved August 9, 2013
  12. ^ [2] retrieved February 1, 2017
  13. ^ [3] retrieved February 1, 2017
  14. ^ [4] retrieved September 20, 2018
  15. ^ Cervecería Kross retrieved August 9, 2013
  16. ^ "Encuesta de Percepción de la Cerveza Artesanal en Chile 2017", TomoCerveza, July 2017 retrieved September 20, 2018
  17. ^ Cervecería Del Puerto retrieved August 8, 2013
  18. ^ Cervecería Cuello Negro retrieved September 20, 2018
  19. ^ "Encuesta de Percepción de la Cerveza Artesanal en Chile 2017", TomoCerveza, July 2017 retrieved September 20, 2018
  20. ^ Cervecería Guayacán retrieved September 20, 2018
  21. ^ "Encuesta de Percepción de la Cerveza Artesanal en Chile 2017", TomoCerveza, July 2017 retrieved September 20, 2018
  22. ^ Cervecería Tübinger Archived 2018-09-20 at the Wayback Machine retrieved September 20, 2018
  23. ^ Cervecería Szot retrieved September 20, 2018
  24. ^ Cervecería Granizo retrieved September 20, 2018
  25. ^ Cervecería Volcanes del Sur retrieved September 20, 2018
  26. ^ Cervecería Jester en TomoCerveza retrieved September 20, 2018
  27. ^ Marcas CCU retrieved September 20, 2018
  28. ^ Cervecería Die M retrieved September 20, 2018
  29. ^ Cervecería Grassau Archived 2010-05-07 at the Wayback Machine retrieved August 9, 2013
  30. ^ Cervecería Mestra retrieved August 8, 2013
  31. ^ Cervecería Polar Imperial en TomoCerveza retrieved September 20, 2018
  32. ^ Cervecería Quimera en TomoCerveza retrieved September 20, 2018
  33. ^ Cervecería Capital retrieved August 8, 2013