Within a five-minute walk of El Casco Art Hotel are two of Bariloche’s craft brewpubs, Cerveceria Blest and Cerveceria Berlina. More than one local we consulted recommended Blest over Berlina for lunch, but I’m not so sure. Blest had a charming wood-paneled interior clad with countless coasters on which previous patrons had doodled or written words of wisdom. And I liked our appetizer platter’s herbed olives, eggplant caponata and mini meatballs in tomato sauce. Nevertheless, I can’t excuse Blest’s beers. Only one, the floral and surprisingly savory Hop Shot IPA, was anything other than forgettable.
Nearby Cerveceria Berlina is smaller but more stylish, with weathered wood walls, ample windows and a stone fireplace topped by a steer skull. The staff spoke English, in contrast to the employees at Blest, and most important, the beers were delicious. My favorites were the aromatic and bitter India Pale Ale, the rich Belgian Blonde and the sweetly herbaceous Sporty Hop. The food menu looked casual but appealing, with pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and salads.