The COMPLETE History of BEER in Ecuador!

(Well, almost complete).

This is a work in progress, as much of the history of beer has been lost to time and poor historical record keeping.  Unfortunately, beer is not considered a cultural heritage in the country, thus, it’s importance is not relevant here.  We hope to change that.   As we begin to uncover the historical significance of beer throughout the world, we find that it was used to sustain life & culture throughout ancient and modern times.  Ecuador is no different.

As we uncover more and more history of beer in Ecuador, we will update this timeline accordingly.  We will include historical pictures as well as commercial literature (ads, articles, etc) as we come across such findings.  If you have anything you’d like to share, please reach out to us!  CONTACT US HERE.

San Francisco Brewery - Fray Jodoco Rique, Quito Ecuador
Cerveceria San Francisco, Quito EC
First Brewery in Americas - Quito, Ecuador
2023 Update: The Brewery Museum Is Now Open!

San Francisco Brewery founded in Quito, Ecuador

Fray Jodoco Rique arrives in Quito, Ecuador to preach and teach, and at the same time he brings the first seeds of wheat and barley, producing the first beer in Ecuador and possibly all of the Americas (including Central & North America – The earliest record of brewing by non-native peoples dates from 1587 in the U.S.).

In the 6th century, priests, as part of their rules of life and customs, were called to “live off their own work.” Considering that during that time drinking water was not safe due to health risks, they dedicated themselves to the production of beer or wine for internal consumption during meals or dinners.

According to accounts and the general archive of the Franciscan Order, it is known that estates and villages near the convent would donate barley as alms. Similarly, community members revealed that during the 1940s of the 20th century, both hops and yeast were provided by the ‘La Campana’ brewery, which operated in the vicinity of San Francisco.

The Franciscan beer was produced in the Convent of San Francisco for the exclusive consumption of the church and special guests. The brewery still stands, and was in use up until about 50 years ago. Plans are in the works to revitalize the brewery, and create a Beer Museum complete with a functional brewery, restaurant, and tasting room.  

UPDATE 2023: The museum is now in full swing and you can visit the various areas of the ancient brewery and tasting room.

La Ideal brewery is born (Quito)

La Ideal was a German owned commercial brewery, the first in the country, established by Guillermo Dammer. The brewery was located in the old town (centro historico) of Quito, where García Moreno & Simon Bolivar meet, just a few blocks from the Government Palace.

Some historians consider La Ideal to be the country’s first commercial brewery.

If anyone has any more details, pictures, images, posters, marketing material or anything of significance, please let us know.

Cerveceria La Campana, Quito Ecuador
Cerveceria La Campana, Quito EC.

La Campana Brewery is born (Quito)
Calle Chimborazo y Alianza

The only proof we have of the existence of this brewery is the image from this newspaper clipping, and also this pre-pandemic (2019) picture of a door with a bell on it.

Update 2022: The door is no longer there, and the property has been turned into a multifamily home and large parking lot.

Cervecería del Machángara is born (Quito)

Not much information on this brewery other than it existed in 1886.  Details to follow.

Cerveceria Nacional, Quito, Ecuador

Compania De Cervezas Nacionales C.A. (Cervecería Nacional) is born (Guayaquil)

La Victoria brewery is born (Quito)

Cerveceria La Imperial - Ecuador

La Imperial brewery is born (Quito)
Brewery, Malt, and Ice Factory

Photo: Found in the Illustrated Monograph of the Province of Pichincha, written in Quito, Ecuador, on May 24, 1922. Private Library of Ortiz Crespo. Introduction by C. De Gangotena y Jijón, of the National Academy of History.

Pilsner, 1913 - Quito Ecuador

Pilsener brand from Cerveceria Nacional is launched.

Córdova & Mosquera is born (Quito)

Ecuador’s first brew pub is born, Naturbier (Quito)

Naturbier Brew Pub opens in Quito, Ecuador, by PUCE (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Ecuador) Microbiologist, and brewmaster, Javier Carvajal.

FALCO Beer is launched, Naturbier’s house brand, brewed on-site.

Santa Espuma Cerveceria, Quito, Ecuador
Santa Espuma Cerveceria, Quito, Ecuador
Santa Espuma Cerveceria, Quito, Ecuador
Santa Espuma Cerveceria, Quito, Ecuador
Santa Espuma Cerveceria, Quito, Ecuador
Santa Espuma Cerveceria, Quito, Ecuador
Santa Espuma Cerveceria, Quito, Ecuador
Santa Espuma Cerveceria, Quito, Ecuador

Santa Espuma Brew Pub is born (Quito)

Opened in the La Floresta section of Quito, this brewpub allowed customers to watch them brew beer while you sat at the bar or table.

Styles included…

  • “Tunqush” Golden Ale (In Quechua, this means “rubio” / blonde)
  • Pale Ale
  • Jefe Waisse

This former brewpub is now home to Bandidos Del Paramo.  Stop by for a visit.  While the original brewery is no longer there, you’ll find some excellent brews on tap.