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The Jaguar from Patagonia

If you’re like me, when you think of beer from Argentina you think of Quilmes. It’s been the best-selling brand for decades and since being acquired by InBev, has been imported to over a dozen countries, including the United States. But there are actually over forty breweries in Argentina.

Another one of them, Patagonia, announced today they will be importing their beer into the U.S. through Aladdin Beverage. They already received label aproval and the first shipments should hit the docks of New York sometime in May.

From the press release:

Brewed and bottled in the oldest Brewery in Argentina (est. 1884), Patagonia represents the exact type of brand which Aladdin looks for. “Patagonia is a wonderful tasting Blond Ale. I love Blond Ales, so I have a bias towards them, but this is truly one of the best Blonds I have tasted. So much so that we have entered Patagonia into the 2008 World Beer Cup and I think we have a good chance of winning,” states Ted O’Connor, President of Aladdin Beverage.

Patagonia prides itself on being brewed with only all natural ingredients. In fact they go one step further and adhere to an old law dictated by Bavarian Duke William IV, which stated, beer is only considered premium if it is brewed with pure malted barley, hops, yeast, and water. That is it!

Curious about that odd-looking label? I was, and here’s the answer. Patagonia’s logo is a stylized representation of the jaguar. Apparently, jaguars were common in Patagonia (roughly the southern third of South America) until the 19th century, when they were hunted to near extinction by European explorers and settlers. To the native population, jaguars were sacred as a symbol of power and in some circles even considered a god. They were often important in local religions and were also associated with Courage, fertility, intelligence and magic.

The Jaguar is one of the four “big cats,” and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. The others include leopards, lions and tigers, oh my.

The Patagonia Jaguar.

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