Oh, that Mr. Guinness would have listened to the Robertson brothers.

Here John and William Parish Robertson reminisce on their days (1815-ish) in the Southern Cone. I think these guys are brilliant writers, witty, entertaining, informative...

Speaking of Argentina:

It would scarcely be believed in this country [i.e. the UK], where, although contraband is so much encouraged by our legislature, it is so terribly persecuted by our courts of law, and where court favor is so imploringly, so abjectly sought, yet so dearly paid for, what a handsome amount of the customhouse revenue, and how large a portion of diplomatic influence, Don Agustin Saenz, captain of the polacca Florentina, could purchase for half a dozen barrels of London bottled stout....The captain's double brown stout was omnipotent; and if Mr. Guinness (unknown in our Corrientes days) would establish a porter brewery there, like the one he has in Dublin, I have no doubt he might buy up a large portion of the country, and turn it into a hop-garden for the supply of the world.

Yes, even those two lines have it all: coimas (bribes), contraband, a meandering British legal system, and the sad state of beer in this part of the world.

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