The ancient alpine house where the brewery works has a large hall, big tables, dishes, pictures, mugs and ornaments with German reminiscences, as well as the casks that make up the beer technology of the site.
During our visit to Villa General Belgrano
, we discovered why Viejo Munich is a synonym for a good beer. We visited the facilites of the most famous brewery in the picturesque mountain village and tasted the authentic beer brewed in this site.
"The beer brewed here is 100% handcrafted. It complies with the "Beer Purity Edict" passed by Duke William IV of Germany in 1516" asserted Diego Assadourian, owner of the Viejo Munich brewery and restaurant, when we interviewed him. Such edict states that a kind of beer is authentic if made only with hop, barley, yeast and water.
After a brief introductory lecture with the onwer, we were invited to learn about the brewing process of the most famous beer in Villa General Belgrano. The place we were visiting is the site of encounter par excellence for the German immigrants living in the area and, especially, for the already famous sailors of the Graff Spee battleship.
First the barley is malted by moisterizing the grain at a certain temperature. Before the aparition of germination, the grain is dried and the starch becomes soluble. At the same time, the grain undergoes a roasting process, which generates its characteristic aroma and color.
Once the malt is obtained, it is milled and then mixed with water. It is permanently stirred at the same time it is subject to certain temperatures. This proces is called kilning.
After this step, the mixture is filtered in order to obtain a liquid rich in sugar and starch, which is heated for two hours. Afterwards, the hop is added. This way, the wort is obtained.
Then, it is cooled and the yeast is activated. The sugar will be turned into alcohol and carbon dioxide by means of a fermentation stage, which takes from 15 to 20 days.
Finally, the beer is filtered and later stored in casks or bottles. If in bottles, the beer must be pausterized in order to manage a natural conservation of up to 6 months. If the beer is stored in casks, it will maintain the yeast alive, thus making it possible to be enjoyed at any time.
“In order to make black or red beer, special malts must be selected. The final result of this delicate process is a non-pasteurized lager beer whose foam is produced by natural fermentation” said Diego Assadourian at the other end of the brewery, as he poured an authentic and real mug of beer, typically used for toasting at Viejo Munich.
The brewery has a production capacity of 500 liters per lot and it produces about 3,500 liters per month. The Viejo Munich brewery specializes in managing a quality product called “Extra”, as the original wort surpasses the 13.5% of alcohol.
After the brilliant explanation, we resolved to taste the handcrafted beer, which we accompanied with a board of German cold meat, liver pâté, gherkins, cheese, olives and pickles. A good way to call it a day.
In Villa General Belgrano, talking about Viejo Munich is a synonym for good beer.