Lords of the Drinks

Atrapaniebla, a Chilean ‘desert beer’ that is made with fog instead of water


The nets that catch the fog in Pena Blanca and provide the local brewery with very pure water.

Since water is a key ingredient of beer, some places may seem unlikely locations for a brewery to settle. The Atacama Desert in Chile for example is the driest desert in the world that is not on within a polar area. There are some places in this desert that have gone without rain for decades. Still the Atrapaniebla (literal translation: fog catcher) Brewery in a town called Peña Blanca accepted this challenge. It‘s beer is made entirely with water caught with ‘fog nets’.

Peña Blanca hardly ever sees any rain. Since the 1950’s the town relied on crafty ways to give fog a liquid form, as a physics professor named Carlos Espinosa Arancibia first experimented with big nets. These nets have openings less than a centimeter across, perfect to form water droplets out of fog. These droplets are then caught in containers. The water is quite clean and safe to drink without any treatment.

Atrapaniebla beers.

This pure fog water has kept the habitants of Peña Blanca alive and kicking for decades but recently got a new purpose, as it is now the main ingredient of a Scottish ale.  isn’t exactly what you would call a macro brewer with just 24.000 liters of beer per year. But according to the brewer this ‘fog beer’ has a unique taste, unlike any other beer brand in the world. It could very well be, but probably any beer will do when your stranded, dusty and thirsty in the Chilean desert. Still worth a try, if you’re ever around.