The Lake District Feature

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Beer Sampling

This region has long been the biggest producer of hops in Argentina, and with a local population dedicated to agricultural pursuits, it's logical that entrepreurial cervezarís artesanales (artisanal breweries) would become a growing industry.

Otto Tipp. Otto Tipp was a German immigrant who opened the first local brewery in 1890. Beers here include the classic triumvirate of blonde, red, and black—plus non-alcoholic malt beer and a fruity wheat beer. You can watch beer being brewed and bottled from a bar stool. This brewery is four blocks from the tourist office. Islas Malvinas at Roca, El Bolsón, Río Negro, 8430. 2944/493–700. Closed Mon.

Cervezería El Bolsón. About 2 km (1 mi) north of town, Cervezería El Bolsón is the brewery that started the Patagonian "cerveza artesanal craze," and even if it's now the least artisanal of the bunch, it has become a local landmark. Every night from December through March, and Fridays and Saturdays for the rest of the year, the brewery's tasting room turns into a hopping bar and restaurant, where picadas (kind of like tapas), pizzas, sausages with sauerkraut, and a hearty goulash are listed on one side of the menu with suggested beers on the other. For instance, black beer is suggested with smoked meats; chocolate beer with dessert. There are 14 types of beer for you to taste, and descriptions of their ingredients are provided. A large campground is conveniently located by the river in back. There is now a second location (tap room and cafe) in town at the corner of San Martin and Juez Fernandez. It is called Cervezeria El Bolson Centro. Ruta 258, Km 123.9, El Bolsón, Río Negro, 8430. 2944/492–595. www.cervezaselbolson.com.

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