PAYSANDU, Uruguay – Micro-brewery Bimba Brüder, a venture that started with two brothers and their cousin brewing beer at home, achieved part of its success thanks to the beer “soul” of this city in western Uruguay.
Architect Carlos Lamarca, one of the venture’s founders, discussed the micro-brewery’s history in an interview with EFE while holding an Heroica, the company’s best-selling beer that pays tribute to Paysandu, a city that has had a close bond with beer since the 1950s, when the plant that produced La Norteña beer opened.
Lamarca explained that while La Norteña stopped making beer in western Uruguay 20 years ago, the region continues to grow barley and the city still hosts an annual Beer Week, a tradition launched in 1966.
“(Paysandu) has a whole beer culture that is driving us in different ways. That aura, that soul, which the city has, is giving us a boost to help us a lot because we are doing quite well with this,” Lamarca said.
The brewer, who has been producing the alcoholic beverage professionally for six years, said the secret of a good beer was research, training and treating the product with respect.
Unlike at the beginning, Lamarca said that now all brewers have the same raw materials within reach since there are companies that import these materials and others that work with domestic supplies.
“But nowadays, the breweries that make good beer are companies that have invested a lot of time in research and in trying to improve the process, which is fundamental to making good beer,” Lamarca said.
Bimba Brüder imports special malt, hops and yeast, but it also uses local “very good quality” malt, as well as Paysandu water.
“We have analyzed the water here, the water network. We do some filtering and we add some salts, but we have very good water quality. We have to adjust it a little and that, along with the local malt, makes the beer come out really good,” he said.
Bimba Brüder produces an average of 7,000 liters (1,849 gallons) per month for sale in 10 of Uruguay’s 19 provinces.
Among the company’s achievements is having been recognized as the official brand of the 2018 edition of Beer Week, which coincided with Holy Week.
“It was a beautiful experience, we had a great time, we ended up very tired,” Lamarca said, adding that to “feed that fair” they needed the support of other microbreweries across Uruguay.