Reineke Fuchs in La Paz

Last week I had the chance to finally stop in and try the beer of Reineke Bräu at the Reineke Fuchs in Sopcachi in La Paz. It was a Wednesday night and I was in the city for work, so I didn’t have a lot of time to savor the visit. Alas, my companions in the establishment were a solitary foreigner sipping a Leffe Brune (!) whilst reading, and the four (based on their English and affinity for Sam Adams, North Americans in university) study abroad students discussing craft beer over German food. I have to compliment the young lady who was dominating the discussion on beer with spot-on knowledge about how temperature affects the taste of beer, style expectations and history, and so on. Kudos to her.

Anyway, between the altitude of La Paz and all the travel I decided to only have one drink, so I went with the house Pilsner on tap, advertised as more bitter than the Lager, at 30 IBUs. Also on tap was the Amber. I have to admit I got pretty excited when I noticed the mash tun and boil pot at the end of the bar, making this a proper brewpub. I asked my waiter if I could take a look (sorry, no camera on me!), and he said they were 550 L apiece, and that they brew 5-6 times a month. I forgot to ask how many fermenters were located below, but alas. This setup supplies both the La Paz location and their restaurant outside of Santa Cruz.

This being a rather packed work trip, there was no way I was going to be able join in as they were set to brew the next day starting around 4 am and going for a good 10 hours. The bags of Weyermann malt indicate that obviously they import their malt. The waitstaff didn’t know what kind of hops they used, so perhaps that’s for another days to find out. Apparently they brew a specialty beer each month, such as the aforementioned amber, but also stouts, kölsch, and others I have since forgotten.

To return to the Pilsner, in their branded short-stem tulip, it pours clear with a lovely, rocky white head over a golden color. The aroma starts with a brief whiff of noble hops before moving quickly to malt. The taste was quite straightforward, grainy with a slight lingering bitterness over a light body that goes down easily. All in all, it was a tad hard to belief this is 30 IBUs bitter. It is more bitter than the usual pilsner available here, but it certainly was not “hoppy.” A bit disappointing, but then I’m from the West Coast of N. America and my tastes are skewed anyway.


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