Saturday, December 7, 2013

Bariloche in Patagonia: Blest and Berlina for starters

OK, Bariloche does not mean "South Bend" in Spanish, but for brewpub density it's right up there with Bend, Oregon.  I rolled in on the Patagonian Train Nov. 30 and looked around at a stunning bit of scenery.  A city of about 100,00 on the end of a long lake, Nahuel Huapi, that knifes way far into the Andes.  Most of the shore is roadless and wilderness, so you can't compare it to European lakes like Como or Geneva. But it does have this city and fashionable ski resort, so it isn't like Chelan or Alaskan lakes.  Maybe the Canadian lakes in the Okanagon are most like.  But I digress, there is beer out there to taste.
A city bus about seven miles out along the lake delivered me to the Blest Brewery in a pretty setting with the mountains right in back.  As the website will tell you (making allowances for how Google translates Spanish to English), Blest opened as a production brewery in 1992 and became the first genuine brewpub in the country in 1997.  Brewpub=food on same premises where beer is produced.
Inside, the small brewing system is quite visible in the back, and they offer lots of eating and drinking space.  I tried the bock, which was a good deal darker and hoppier than what I normally find in this style.
(Visited 11/30/13)

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