Bolivia is in the midst of a microbrewery boom, and for beer enthusiasts who find themselves living or traveling in the heart of South America, there’s never been a better time to raise a glass and enjoy a cold one.
While there’s much to appreciate amid this local craft beer revolution, craft is not synonymous with quality (neither here nor within the microbrew culture around the world). However, there’s a new bar in town serving some of the best brews in Bolivia, and their approach to artisanal beer is as good as it gets.
For the love of beer
While the beer pub of Sir Pieper Brewing Company may be new to the scene in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the microbrewery itself is most definitely not. The company’s first ale was tapped back in 2015, and has been a labor of love ever since.
Sir Pieper Brewing Company is a dream-turned-reality for founder Jorge Eduardo Molina Jr., a Colombian-born, Bolivian-nationalized entrepreneur and graphic designer who began crafting his own beers for over 10 years before opening operations in Tres Cruces, 120 kilometers east of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
What makes Sir Pieper undeniably unique is how the brewing company (and each of their beer varieties) embodies the spirit of adventure, as the owners have traveled the world to bring the best flavors and brewing techniques back to Bolivia.
Molina’s journey in beer began in Bariloche, Argentina when he visited a local, craft brewery for the first time. It was an instant attraction.
“Since I was a kid I have been interested in how to make beverages, especially beer,” Molina explained while sharing how he turned his curiosities into his work.
And so was born a passion for the artistry of beer making. Soon after, Molina went to craft brew nation of Colorado in 2012 and honed his skills working in Boulder. He then took off to absorb the best beers of the world, traveling with his wife, Mariana, and meeting up with his cousin, Martín Gonzalez Pieper, where they continued to take in Europe’s finest flavors and aromas, and experience Oktoberfest.
Both brewers Molina and Gonzalez are of German descent, and pay tribute to their roots by incorporating their family shield and name into the company’s identity.
The microbrewery started in the Chaco plains of Tres Cruces, 120 kilometers from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, on the property of Bolivian Adventures, a lodge dedicated to hunting and fishing that is owned and operated by Molina’s parents.
It’s safe to say that these guys don’t just appreciate a good beer, they live for it. All of their ingredients are locally sourced, and their passion is evident in each sip. They value the brewing process, and in turn offer rich, full flavors that are unlike anything else you can find on the market.
What’s On Tap
Sir Pieper is currently pouring three, approachable varieties that are satisfying for both novice palates and long-time beer aficionados, as well as seasonal and rotational brews available at different times throughout the year.
La Barba Roja
(The Red Beard)
The brewmasters’ first creation was this full-bodied and bitter amber. The rich presence of hops is pleasantly accentuated with hints of caramel, making this brew a great match for salty foods. Molina suggests enjoying a pint with pasta for an incredible flavor pairing.
This dark stout is the happy accident and good fortune that plays a central theme in Sir Pieper’s history. The Mulata was originally created with the intention of becoming a second variation to their already successful amber ale, but when something went “terribly wrong” and the brew turned black instead of red, they decided to stick with it, and perfected the beer’s interesting flavor profile. This creamy beer ideal is for chocolate and coffee lovers and according to Molina, pairs great with peaches and brie!
Sir Pieper’s newest addition to their lineup is Nubia, a smooth and citrusy pale ale with a hint of honey. Due to it’s light golden color, this beer was named after the ancient Nubian kingdom in Egypt that mined gold along the Nile river for their Pharaohs and kings. In a short of amount of time, Nubia has become Sir Pieper’s best-seller for its refreshing appeal and ability to pair well with just about everything!
Where to Enjoy
Grab a pint (or two!) and sample each of the artisanal varieties over at Sir Pieper’s new pub and restobar in the Equipetrol neighborhood of Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Av. San Martin, Calle I Este #33) Tuesday through Saturday. For the complete experience, schedule a brew tour of their plant in Tres Cruces, and plan for a stay at Bolivian Adventures Eco Lodge where the brewery is located. Reservations are available online at www.bolivianadventures.com