After El Bolson, I flew up to Mendoza, as the Andean peaks got higher. I really liked El B as a lively town, about the size of Helena or Mt. Vernon, and I really liked Mendoza, as a medium sized city, like Spokane or Tucson. Especially Tucson: it's in a desert, the Andes having wrung every drop of moisture out of the soggy winds coming over from Chile. The many vineyards, planted mostly to Malbec, depend on irrigation just as much as those in the Yakima Valley.
The city has nice plazas and parks, and at first I thought I had finally found an Argentine city that maintained its sidewalks. However, most streets have open irrigation ditches and the many sycamores sit in open wells on the sidewalks. So it is still incumbent on the pedestrian to look down as he walks.
Jerome brewpub. There are some reviews on Beer Advocate and RateBeer; Mendoza is a popular tourist destination and Jerome is the leading craft brewer in the city.
The trippel was excellent, nice balance with banana and cinnamon flavors and a coppery color I wish I had taken a picture of. The barleywine had good balance too, avoiding that oversweet taste some brewers give it.
The brewery is in a small town west of the city, on the road to Aconcagua and Chile, and the story is worth retelling. It is recounted on a wall inside the pub, at length in Spanish and somewhat abridged in English. Here is the latter:
I wish I had been able to sample more, but after a day in the vineyards, two pints was my limit this evening. The reviews referenced earlier indicate that Jerome is doing quite well on the more popular styles too. I had a medium t-shirt from Hale's Ales in Seattle in my pack and traded it to my waitress for a nice mounted set of Jerome coasters. I hope she gets some good use out of the shirt; I will remember her brewpub a long time.