Corn beer
Jug of drink
Chicha served in a vessel known as a poto
Region of originCatacaos, Peru
A repoussé silver Chimú kero beaker from Peru that may have been used in drinking rituals with corn beer

Corn beer is a beer style made from corn (maize). The drink is a traditional beverage in various cuisines. Chicha, the best-known corn beer, is widespread in the Andes and local varieties of corn beer exist elsewhere.


Corn beer in the Andes has pre-Incan origins. There is archaeological evidence that elite women were responsible for brewing in the Wari culture (600 to 1000 AD).[1]

In 1796, John Boston created a corn beer, the first fermented alcohol beverage commercially produced in Sydney, Australia.[2]

A recipe for corn beer appears in Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests, Medical, Economical, and Agricultural (1863) by Francis Peyre Porcher.[3]

Italian beers Peroni and Nastro Azzuro are made from maize and barley malt.[citation needed] KEO beer from Cyprus is also made with maize, giving a characteristically bitter taste.


Chicha is popular in Peru and is served in Arequipa's picanterías.[4]

Tesguino is a corn beer made by the Tarahumara people of the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico. It is brewed for local celebrations related to Holy Week.[5] For the Tarahumara, the beer is an elixir for healing and a barter item and is considered a sacred beverage.[5]

Umqombothi is the Xhosa language word for a corn beer made in South Africa from maize (corn), maize malt, sorghum malt, yeast and water.

See also


  1. ^ McIlroy, Anne (November 15, 2005). "The ancient empire that beer built". The Globe and Mail.
  2. ^ Iltis, Judith, "Boston, John (?–1804)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved April 24, 2019
  3. ^ "Early American Beer | Inside Adams: Science, Technology & Business". September 29, 2014.
  4. ^ León, Rafo and Billy Hare. Chicha peruana: una bebida, una cultura. Universidad de San Martín de Porres, Fondo Editorial, 2008: 49-74. (retrieved through Google Books, July 28, 2015)
  5. ^ a b "The Sacred Corn Beer of the Tarahumara".