Bolivians brewing beer with coca leaves

A brewer in Bolivia is utilizing the same plant used to make cocaine to create beer. I guess we always knew that drugs and alcohol went well together.


The beer in question is called Ch’ama, or “Strength” in the Aymara language of the Lake Titicaca area natives. It is made from malt, yeast, hops and soaked coca leaves, with no additives or preservatives.

“This is a highly fermented white beer with five per cent alcohol content, unfiltered, unpasteurised, and has the moderate aroma, colour and flavour of coca leaf and hops.”

Unfortunately for those of you who love your donuts powdered, the leaves are soaked in water, not gasoline or whatever you use to make cocaine. Tough break, fellas. It sounds like a whole lot of industry buzzwords thrown in there, plus coca. It’s much like the brewers that are making beer with hemp seeds because they know stupid stoners will buy it even though there is no difference.

The coca does seems to serve one purpose though. It helps fight altitude sickness for those unaccustomed to the air up there. I guess that’s reason enough to check it out next time you swing through Bolivia.

New beer made from base plant of cocaine [NZHerald]