Cusqueña, a Peruvian Beer

Cusqueña Roja

Brewed by Backus y Johnston (AB InBev)
Style: Red Lager
Cusco, Peru

In the ancient ruins of Macchu Picchu, Peru, thousands go every year to experience the spiritual lands of the ancients in the hope they to can drink some special beer from the brewery Backus y Johnston, at the the seat of the Inca empire. Using pure mountain water sourced from the nearby Andes this beer was founded in 1911. Ok not quite way back in time, but good enough for me and for the general masses who have made it Peru’s number one beer.

On October 1, 1908, Ernesto Günther, and a group of investors, founded the Cervecera Alemana in the ancient city of Cusco. Their bottled brew proved a hit. Over time they changed their name to reflect local traditions, increased production and grew in popularity. By 2000, Backus and Johnston, the largest brewery in Peru, came a calling and took over the company.

Backus and Johnston, the big daddy of brewing in the country, with its headquarters in the capital Lima, is the largest brewery in Peru, and also produce bottled water, soft drinks and other alcoholic beverages. They have taken over many smaller breweries in the country, and run what some have called a monopoly in the beer market with complete ownership of all the most popular brands in the land.

Cusqueña beer comes in four main varieties that are sold throughout Peru: Cusqueña Dorada, a regular lager and the most popular beer in the land, a Cusqueña Roja, a red Lager, a Cusqueña Trigo, a typical Wheat Beer, and a black lager a Cusqueña Negra.

Review: 33cl reddish Bottle of Cusqueña Roja: ABV: 5 %

Coming in a narrow reddish bottle, with the image of the ruins of Machu Picchu in yellow on a label around the head of the bottle. Not a stand out look though it has to be said, would easily pass by it on the supermarket shelf.

On pour I get a dark orange colour with a reddish hue, with no real head to speak off. All fairly flat and not great. Dead in appearance.

The smell is malty and faint, not much to smell. Got a whiff of caramel.

On taste, oh its not great, tasteless, I am not getting anything substantial at all. A slight taste of the barely and caramel, on the initial taste, but that’s basically it, flavourless and has no bite to it with only the slightest bit of an aftertaste. Very dry in the mouth too.

Got the malts and the grains alright, and it certainly is very easy to drink, but not one I will be buying again in the future.
Ok for a light beer, drinkable, but not anything brilliant, quite the opposite in fact!. Perhaps it didn’t travel very well.

On the second bottle things picked up a bit for the beer.
The white head decided to stick around that bit longer, and its appearance wasn’t as flat looking as the first beer I had.

Ok got generally the same tastes, but this one was a little better to sip at, more to savor, and over the time it became a bit more manageable. The caramel and the malts came more to the fore. Still though, wont be searching for it in the beer shop anytime soon!



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