Originally posted on Summit Brewing Company’s Blog
By Chip Walton
Recently, Summit’s Quality Assurance/Quality Control Lab Staff hosted an international visitor. Daniella de la Puente is a brewer and biologist for Cervecería Barbarian in Lima, Peru. Daniella spent more than a week shadowing and working with our lab, brewing and packaging crews learning what processes, procedures and equipment Summit has in place to guarantee consistent high-quality results in our beer.
Craft beer is a fairly new idea and product in Peru. Daniella says Cervecería Barbarian is one of eight craft breweries currently producing beer in the country. Producing commercial beer for two years, the brewery is still small – employing fewer than 10 people who share in the responsibilities of brewing their three beers (a red ale, IPA and porter), marketing, sales, and research & development. They produce and distribute 6,000 of beer each month (roughly 50 U.S. bbl), split nearly even between bottles and kegs for mainly on-premises consumption at bars and restaurants.
“As a country, Peru is food-focused,” explains Daniella. “We have always loved tasting new and interesting flavors and creative cuisines. Now we have the opportunity to do the same thing for beer. Being a new craft brewery, we are helping to train the Peruvian palate in the new world of beer.”
To make sure more people in Lima can access their beer, Cervecería Barbarian is moving into a larger facility to increase production. Part of the plan is to build a QA/QC lab for Daniella. She has family roots and industry connection here in Minnesota; through our partners at The Growler magazine, Summit arranged for Daniella to come into the brewery and lab and see how our staff does things.
She joined our lab staff and assisted with propping yeast for future brewers, running analysis on beers in different stages of fermentation, and checking the specs for beers coming off the packaging line. “I was amazed at the dimensions of Summit’s brewery,” Daniella says. “The sheer size of the fermenters is amazing. And the technology in the lab was helpful. I now have experience using pieces of lab equipment I had never even seen before. I have a lot of great advice and suggestions to take back home to help make our beer even better.”
On the final day of residency here at Summit, a taste panel of lab staff and head brewer Damian McConn sat down to taste panel the three Cervecería Barbarian beers that Daniella brought with her from Lima. They were solid beers brewed with good ingredients, certainly worlds away from whatever mass-produced lager the people of Lima may be used to. The Cha Ski Porter was my personal favorite – rich with coffee and chocolate notes and a medium body that I imagine would be more approachable in the warmer climate than a more dense porter.
Of Summit’s beers, Daniella like the Oatmeal Stout the most and says that using nitrogen in the production and serving beer is something that she would like to see BC utilize in the future. As for the frigid and often subzero conditions here in Minnesota during her stay, the Peruvian says “it was like sticking your face into the fridge. I had to borrow coats from family members in the area.” She jokes: “my Lima clothes just did not work here!”
Thanks to Daniella, Cervecería Barbarian and The Growler for working together to make Dani’s time at Summit Brewing Company possible. We enjoyed having her around and look forward to seeing her again the next time she’s Up North.
For more photos from Daniella’s visit – see this photo set on Flickr.