La Constancia
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Beer - My Salvador (savior)
Growing up in Portland, Oregon, I've been on my fair share of brewery tours. That said, the massive brewery for El Salvador's national beer offers one of the best tours I've seen for an operation of that size. While Hienekin has turned their brewery into a mock Disneyland of sorts which almost makes someone forget what they've actually come for, La Constancia strips off the flair, hands you a pair of ear plugs and safety goggles and sends you right into the action. Instead of viewing rooms and looking at the machinery behind plate glass, you get to touch everything, taste the hops and malts, walk through the equipment and stare down the bottles as they're being filled on the conveyor belt beside you. The tour begins and ends in the dark-wood bar which displays paraphenalia and antique machinery from the company's long history that makes you realize how far they've come. At the end of the tour, kick back and taste the five national beers, plus any exports they have on hand, and chat up the bilingual tour guides who will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the history of beer in the country. On top of all this...IT'S FREE!
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