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Good Beer Hunting

Apr 1, 2022

Craft beer is starting to show up in places where many of us have never been, and maybe never even thought about visiting. The small South American nation of Paraguay could be considered fairly remote by most standards: Paraguay is fully landlocked, roughly in the middle of the continent, bordered by the much larger countries of Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia. Its capital, Asunción, is fairly off-the-radar compared to popular South American tourist destinations like Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. And yet even in Paraguay, good beer is really starting to make waves, as the writer William Costa reported in his recent story for us, “Mother of Cities — Subtropical Wanderings in Asunción, Paraguay.”

Paraguay’s location makes for some interesting dynamics. As a landlocked country, going to the beach for relaxation or swimming means heading to a river, not the ocean. While Asunción is mostly Spanish-speaking, Paraguay actually has two official languages: Spanish and Guarani, which is the only Indigenous language to be spoken by the majority of a non-Indigenous population in the Americas. And distinctive local ingredients, including yerba mate, cassava flour, and the medicinal herbs known as pohã ñana, are now starting to show up in Paraguayan beers.

In this episode, I talk to Costa, a long-term British resident of the country. We discuss beer, his article, snack foods, and even talk about some unique sounds from his daily life in Asunción, Paraguay.