Corn beer

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Chicha served in a vessel known as a poto, Catacaos, Peru.
A repoussé silver Chimú kero beaker from Peru that may have been used in drinking rituals with corn beer

Corn beer, beer made from corn (maize), is a traditional beverage in various cuisines. Chicha, the best-known corn beer, is widespread in the Andes and local varieties of corn beer exist elsewhere.


Corn beer in the Andes has pre-Incan origins. There is archeological evidence that elite women were responsible for brewing in the Wari culture (600 to 1000 AD).[1]

In 1796 John Boston created a corn beer, the first fermented alcohol beverage commercially produced in Sydney, Australia.

A recipe for corn beer appears in Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests, Medical, Economical, and Agricultural (1863) by Francis Peyre Porcher.[2]


Chicha is popular in Peru and is served in Arequipa's picanterías. [3]

Tesguino is a corn beer made by the Tarahumara people of the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico. It is brewed for local celebrations related to Holy Week.[4] For the Tarahumara, the beer is an elixir for healing, a barter item and is considered a sacred beverage.[4]

Umqombothi is the Xhosa language word for a corn beer made in South Africa from maize (corn), maize malt, sorghum malt, yeast and water.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The ancient empire that beer built". The Globe and Mail.
  2. ^ "Early American Beer | Inside Adams: Science, Technology & Business". 29 September 2014.
  3. ^ León, Rafo and Billy Hare. Chicha peruana: una bebida, una cultura. Universidad de San Martín de Porres, Fondo Editorial, 2008: 49-74. (retrieved through Google Books, 28 July 2015)
  4. ^ a b "The Sacred Corn Beer of the Tarahumara".