HOME > Chowhound > Beer >


Has anyone tried Quilmes?

When I went to Argentina, EVERYWHERE I went they had Quilmes, Quilmes, and more Quilmes. It wasn't just that this Argentinean beer brand was popular there, it was practically the ONLY beer on the menu. Others that they'd sell were Heineken or Stella Artois, but there wasn't a single place I encountered that did not have Quilmes!

I tried it and it was alright, definitely tolerable but nothing special. I might compare it to American Coor's.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Every beer drinking country has their ubiquitous bland industrial made lager. Always surprises me that people come back from vacations trying to find that beer they drank while away when there are plenty of options in the same catagory that they can easily find at their local liquor, beer, or grocery store. Its not like these clean tasting lagers taste all that different.

    4 Replies
    1. re: LStaff

      My brother-in-law came back from the Bahamas a few years ago raving about Kalik.

      1. re: Chinon00

        Yeah, there's been a number of threads here looking for Kalik, IIRC. (It's a Heineken owned brand and, from what I see on the shelves, they've seen the requests and are bringing it in now, via it's Star Brands subsidiary BUT it's not the RIGHT KALIK! Has nothing to do with being on the beach in the Bahamas vs.sitting on your couch watching reality game shows.)

        Some have taken to calling it "Vacation Beer Syndrome", but I've noted over the years that it's generally "Nostalgic Beer Syndrome", since it will often include ILL's consumed in huge quantities in college (there were no "light beers" when I did my underage drinking but if there were, I think I'd have been smart enough to realize that if we're drinking this *stuff* to just get drunk, why are we buying a lower alcohol beer?). I see lots of post over on the other beer groups where folks admit they still have fond memories of those "keg party" cheap beers, even tho' they recognize their shortcoming.

        And, of course, foreign beers (some not exported to the US) will also be lusted for by ex-servicemen- tho' not "vacation", I guess the "drinking beer with the boys- no family or other cares" aspect of it is nostalgic enough (and, conversely, in wartime, was probably a relief from "normality"). Over the years a lot of guys who served in post-war Germany would get nostalgic about the beers they drank there (can't blame 'em, of course, was better duty than Korea, in that case).

        One friend started telling me how he used to drink this smokey tasting beer in Germany- I interupted, "Oh, you can buy that here."

        "Oh, buy me some, buy it for me next time you find it! It was just like drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette!" (This from a guy who occasionally drank one light beer at a party and I NEVER saw smoke.)

        "Yeah, well, I've heard it compared to drinking beer and eating bacon or smoked fish but...OK."

        He, of course, hated it, 40 years later- he could not choke down one glass. (Worked for me- I wound up with a free bottle of Aecht Schlenkerla- shoulda bought more than 2 for him.) At least he didn't say the old mantra- "It doesn't taste the same here as it did in Germany."

        It's a hard "syndrome" to convince people they're suffering from- I'll often ask them "Do you ever notice no one ever has a strong desire to have the beer they were drinking the day their dog died, or the night their girl friend stabbed them?"- but it's no use. And, needless to say, the beer marketers are aware of it (see: "Corona, popularity of") but once a beer becomes ubiquitous, it often loses it's nostalgic power.

      2. re: LStaff

        I am not raving about it, I was just curious if other Chowhounders knew about it. It'd be fun to drink it here but I understand why Argentina isn't exactly known for their beer!

        1. re: Chew on That

          I think it's a step up from Coors. You can find it in New York at the Argentinian restaurants and a few bodegas in the outer boroughs.

        1. I've had a bottle or two of Quilmes at an Argentinian cafe in Rockville, Md. certainly nothing to rave about, but it was a crisp, very lightly hopped pilsener - satisfying on a hot day.

          1. Yah, I picked up a six pack of it recently (http://eatanddrinkitall.blogspot.com/...). I thought it was pretty good, especially for a lager from South America, which I've found to be fairly bland. I'd certainly have Quilmes over a Heineken, Stella or Coors any day.

            1. My step-dad is from Argentina and LOVES Quilmes! I have had it and agree that it is comparable to our bland American lagers. I once left a 6 pack of Stone pale ale in his fridge and he later told me that it was the most disgusting thing he had ever tasted and that it made him want to yak.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Foodnerds

                I had a very similar incident with some uncles. I brought over a case of Dock Street Illuminator to drink during a boxing match we planned to watch on TV. Before the fight one of my uncles who had cracked open one brings me into the kitchen and breaks the news to me that he thinks my beer had gone bad. Not wanting to insult him I just nodded and the gave him a shrug.

                1. It has been said, that anyone can drink a Lager, but it takes a real beer lover to frink an ale. If you observe all the popular import beers coming from wherever, you will realize they are just the "Budweiser" of that area. Fosters, Stella, Birra Moretti are all just the popular Lagers there. It doesn't mean they are great beers, because they make them in Spain, Argentina, or wherever, it just means they are the beer people drink. Mainly because they sell it everywhere. Not because everyone says, "this is the best beer I ever had. Mexican's drink Modelo because it reminds them of home, Guatmaulans drink Famosa because "El Gallo" (The Rooster) Reminds them of home. So please don't go back to your local liquor store, beer store, and start badgering them about some crappy lager you drank in Venezuela when you were there on business. Just remember that it was something kinda like Bud or Coors and sherish the memory. My old friend Dave Samuels from down under told me, "Fosters, it's Australian for MIller LIte." And after drinking some Stella Artois, I believe it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MichaelWarren

                    "It has been said, that anyone can drink a Lager, but it takes a real beer lover to frink an ale."

                    Said by whom?

                  2. My experience in BA was very similar and Quilmes is a very good light beer. Perfect for a hot humid day. Although, I would offer Imperial as the best Argentina specific beer, but haven't seen it in the states at all.

                    What many here don't realize is the market dominance of Quilmes. I believe it is 70-80% of the beer market down there. It is astounding walking into a beer aisle in a BA supermarket and seeing 80% of the same label on the shelves.

                    1. it's swill. i did drink it on draft a couple of times. there are loads (!) of non industrial beers in Argentina. for a wine country it's pretty impressive.

                      just got back from my holiday there today (actually, only hours ago) and i drank too many decent, interesting homemade/small scaled beers.

                      1. i've just tried it. it was the only choice i could stomach in a small mexican market where i go to get my burritos (well, they had modelo especial, which i kinda wish i tried instead). the bottom line is i was completely underwhelmed. it's not offensive, but the first swig did not motivate me to take another.

                        1. I am from Atlanta - I have been a fan of many beers (CoronaExtra, BlueMoon, New Castle), but I have an allergy, which lagers can activate and give me a headache (no-not hangover). I find the Quilmes Crystal (their standard Lager) is that same typical bud, miller, etc taste.. and sometimes headache.. but YOU MUST try the Quilmes Stout.. it is a dark beer, but DELICIOUS.. I am going to try and get it when I get back to US.. it is a must and my wife hates beer.. loves this stuff.. it is like sweet, smooth, not too thick not too watery.. awesome!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: tpaulengineer

                            Assuming you and your wife are drinking this Quilmes Stout on vacation I think that the sun and fun is affecting your taste buds more than this being some great discovery. The whole "and my wife hates beer" is a dead giveaway. If you do like stouts though there are many others that are good and easier to get a hold of.


                            1. re: Chinon00

                              It is winter in Argentina right now.. we weren't "Beaching it up". We were there helping a family member with an apartment there and I worked for two weeks on my computer job.
                              It wasn't just a vacation, we were living there... and I assure you, we brought home some bottles and everyone who drinks but isn't a beer fan, goes "HEY, i don't like beer that much but that is different". I am telling you.. it's special