You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Friday 3 July 2015

Bolivian brewery develops coca beer

15th May, 2013 by Andy Young

A brewery in Bolivia has developed an innovative solution to the problem of altitude sickness – coca beer, which is brewed using the same leaves from which cocaine is derived.

Chama beerWith many of Bolivia’s main cities, including Sucre and La Paz, situated at high altitude visitors can often suffer the sickness, known locally as “soroche“.

Many people living along the Andes mountains have chewed on coca plant leaves to deal with the altitude and visitors to cities such as La Paz, which is located 3,600 metres above sea level, often rest and drink coca tea to deal with soroche.

But Cerveceria Vicos, a brewery based in the city of Sucre, has developed a coca beer called Ch’ama, which is made from malt, yeast, hops and soaked coca leaves, with no additives or preservatives.

Cerveceria Vicos owner and manager Victor Escobar, who claims the beverage is an “energising” tonic, told AFP: “This is a highly fermented white beer with 5% abv — unfiltered, unpasteurized — and has the moderate aroma, colour and flavour of coca leaf and hops.”

To produce the beer the brewery soaks the coca leaves in water before adding malted barley and hops, this mixture is then fermented for 20 days before being bottled.

According to AFP, Cerveceria Vicos produces 1,000 litres of coca beer a day and retails for up to $3.60 per bottle. The beer is sold in Bolivia and in towns just across the borders with Peru and Chile.

The symptoms of altitude sickness generally start when people travel to above 2,400 metres and include headache, fatigue, stomach illness, dizziness and sleep disruption, exercise can make the symptoms worse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

Top 10 wines in the US press

An impressive Tannat-Merlot-Zinfandel blend from Uruguay and a Vernaccia from more...

Red wine could help fight depression

A component found in the skins of red grapes could be used to treat depression more...

Top 10 new craft beers

With new beers coming onto the market all the time, it can be difficult to keep more...

PR Manager

Competitive

Venezuela faces beer drought

Venezuela could soon entirely run out of beer as workers at the country's more...

Diageo 'shelves' £240m Chinese scheme

Swellfun, the Chinese subsidiary of drinks giant Diageo, has reportedly more...

US wine brand hopes to ape craft beer success

A wine brand from California is hoping to ape craft beer’s success in the UK more...

Global Wine Buyer

London, United Kingdom

Competitive

Lidl hints at plans for online wine shop

UK supermarket Lidl has not ruled out launching an online wine shop, reporting more...

UK customs seize 550,000 litres of alcohol

More than 550,000 litres of illegal beer, wine and spirits have been seized by more...

Queen releases Bohemian Lager

Rock band Queen have launched a lager to celebrate 40 years since the release more...

PR Senior Account Manager/Director

London, United Kingdom

Depending on experience

Constellation to buy Meiomi for $315m

Constellation Brands is to buy Napa-based wine brand Meiomi for $315 million, more...

World's cheapest city for a beer revealed

The average price of a bottle of beer is £1.07 in Krakow and Kiev, making them more...

The week in pictures

Pub-friendly pooches, Kevin Spacey and a one-off tasting of Achaval Ferrer more...

Digital and Communications Executive

£22,000-£26,000 dependent on experience

Chinese student builds house out of beer bottles

An engineering graduate and his father have built a two-storey house made out more...

Top 10 Hong Kong craft beer bars

Anyone looking to quench their thirst with a ginseng microbrew should more...

Beck's forced to issue $50 refunds

Anyone that has bought a Beck's beer in the past four years could be entitled more...

Marketing and eCommerce Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive, includes equity options

Carlsberg creates beer-shampoo

Danish brewer Carlsberg has launched a new range of men’s grooming products more...

AB InBev invests $1.5bn in US

Brewing colossus Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced plans to invest over US$1 more...

Coors Light heads home

Sometimes, the route to excellence is a process of devolution rather than more...

UK Sales Manager

London, United Kingdom

World's best beer and wine festivals

Forget Glastonbury, these are the festivals you should be making a beeline for more...

Beer festival in China’s Muslim area angers 'exiles'

In China’s predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang, exiled groups of Uighur more...