Quilmes brewery was founded in 1890 in Buenos Aires by German immigrant Otto Bemberg. Though named after the area of the city where it was located, the Quilmes were originally a native tribe who lived in the surroundings of Tucumán. In the 17th century, after repeated attempts by the Spanish invaders to control their lands, they were defeated and forced to settle in a restricted colony (reducción) near Buenos Aires, 1000km away from their homeland.
The beer Quilmes quickly dominated the drinks market in Argentina with outlets in all major cities. Having acquired several more breweries, and was at the forefront of the brewing industry: they made the first malt from Argentine barley in 1921 and this enterprise supplied not only their own breweries but practically the entire national beer industry.
Quilmes has a 46% share of its home market – it truly is “Argentina’s Favourite Beer” – and this Argentinian icon is enjoying an international reputation with export growth in the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe, and remains a genuine import – brewed only in Argentina. Quality and provenance are assured from the use of Patagonia hops, barley malt grown in the Pampas and pure water from the Andes.
At the same time, and with the same objective of self reliance, the first bottle-cap factory in Argentina was established at Quilmes to replace cork stoppers. Associated companies owned by Bemberg also produced ice, carbonic gas, and soft drinks
Quilmes is now established as a Premium Lager primarily targeted at stylish conscious drinkers in trendsetting bars, quality pubs, hotels and restaurants.
It attracts adventurous consumers keen to try something different and remains closely connected to all things Argentinean, notably sport.
They sponsor the national football team and are associated with international polo and rugby events and have a notable presence in youth culture through their hosting of rock music concerts.