The history of Chester Beer is directly linked to the life of Chester, who is the creator and currently owner and brewmaster. His name is Derek Way, though all his friends know him as "Chester". His story starts after arriving in Chile in 2003 and his quest for good hand-crafted beer in a place where there were few to none. After years of drinking only gassy industrial lager, he was decided to brew at home for himself and his friends to recreate the taste of the real “ales” he was used to drink in the United States and in other parts of the world . His experience as a professional cook and especially his love for good food led him to the brewing Chester Beer. His vision of a future world and the need for recycling and establish businesses with low environmental impact, brought him to build a recycled shipping container brewery in the outskirts of Puerto Varas. So here is the Chester Beer story and therefore a short history of Chester himself and how Chester Beer came into being.
Anyone living outside of their home country, knows that one of the first questions to arise during a conversation is “So how did you end up living here? In Chile ther just ask. So Why Chile? It is a very good question and a question that Chester has asked himself many times. The coincidence, the love for the greatness of the natural wonders of Chile and identifying with Chileans, their lifestyles and culture may be all good real answers to the question.
But to keep it short, Chester is a real "gringo" from the United States. He comes from the state of Pennsylvania (for all my Chilean friends, Pennsylvania is not Transylvania, there are no vampires or Dracula), and he arrived to Santiago in May of 2003 while flying from China. Yes, from China to Chile. Apparently he has a thing for the C-h-i. After graduating from university in 2002, he headed to China to teach English. That same year he traveled with his friend Yapa to visit Yapa’s grandfather Mauricio after he invited them to visit him at his home in Santiago. Thanks Mauricio and thanks to his entire family, if it weren’t for you... there might never been Chester Beer.
Why Puerto Varas?
After arriving in Santiago, Chester continued teaching English for a time and started cooking putting his years as a professional cook to use. But after living in Santiago for three or so years, he yerned for the green country-side he has been accustomed to from his home in U.S.A. And after taking a mountain bike trip through southern Chile, he met for the first time the city of Puerto Varas. It was love at first sight, the splendor of nature, its volcanoes, Lake Llanquihue and water ... water everywhere, rivers of which you can drink pure water, which can make a great beer.
Why the name "Chester Beer"?
Chester was a nickname given to Derek when he was four years old by a neighbor who had nicknames for all the kids in the neighborhood. Out of all the nicknames that have been given to him, "Chester" was the only name to stick. When Chester, started brewing beer in Chile, it was inevitable that his Chilean friends starting calling the beer "Chester Beer" and so were his friends who gave the name to Chester Beer, who identified with the product, who have an unquenchable thirst, which keeps Chester Beer continues to grow. After six years, he had the opportunity to make his own way of doing business and went from home-brewing 19 liters to produce 4 different styles of craft-handed beer ale in productions of 500 liters at a time, Chester Beer was born.
Currently, we continue to grow and you can find us in bottles and on tap in many of the best places in Southern Chile. We are taking on more clients and as we grow our list of clients we continue to grow the production side of the brewery. Thank you very much to all who have helped and have been part of this adventure and for those looking for adventure come down to southern Chile and grav yourself a few cold Chester Beers.