Chile’s Local Beers and The Story Of The Chilean “Chela” Beer Revolution

Chilean Beer or Chela (Chile slang), was greatly influenced by many European countries such as Germany and England. But there’s a Chilean beer story that found its origins in a drink quite famous, back in time – called “Chicha”.


According to today’s definitions of beer, we could label “chicha” as a corn beer. Following the Northen Andean and Peruvian cultures, South American beer was formerly brewed with corn. Later, under the colonial times, Chicha started to be brewed with other fruits like apples and grapes in order to obtain a beverage that was cheaper than wine, which was not affordable for the majority part of the population at that time.

The actual Chilean beer as far as we know today, made its appearance during the 19th century with the Independence of Chile. During that time, Chile also began to open its market to other countries. With the introduction of the European beers and the immigration of many German newcomers in the 1850s, a colossal beer production was developed in the country.

By late 1890s, in cities with the most important number of immigrant communities such as Valdivia and Valparaiso, the European style beer became really famous and was rapidly consumed all over the country.

If you’re looking to taste some exquisite Chilean beers, check out this great beer experience in Santiago here.


Today Chilean companies produce mainly premium lager and pale ale beers. Even though Chile possesses a quite low consumption of beer in comparison with the other South American countries, beer is still one of the most important drinks in the country. Beer represents almost 60% of the total market of alcoholic beverages of Chile.

If you are traveling in Chile and want to learn more about Chilean Chelas, download the TheBesty app to book the best tours and activities, discover fun things to do, and find the guaranteed lowest prices on hotel bookings – all in Latin America.

Download TheBesty app in the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).

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