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In Mexico, besides "cerveza" we call beer the following:

  • cheve
  • chela
  • pisto (anything with alcohol)
  • bironga
  • helada
  • fría

These are used informally.

Are there any other words used to address beer in spanish in other countries?

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In Spain it is vey spread call it in a slang way as "birra" (not a word accepted by RAE but it means beer in Italian). You can also hear "rubia" for a lager. And "caña" if it is a beer in a glass instead of in a bottle. – Javi Dec 28 '11 at 16:15
@Javi: You should post your comment as an answer. – Icarus Dec 28 '11 at 17:38
Peruvian slangs for beer: chela, chilindrina, helada, helena, rubia – César Dec 29 '11 at 18:42
+1 for mention beer mention. – chrisjlee Jan 1 '12 at 2:06
@Javi: caña confused me when I went to Spain, as caña in Argentina is another alcoholic drink, Licor de caña (de azúcar) – Petruza Jan 3 '12 at 1:11
up vote 5 down vote accepted

In Spain it is very spread call it in a slang way as "birra" (not a word accepted by RAE but it means beer in Italian).

Necesito una birra. (I need a beer) [slang]

You can also hear "rubia" for a lager. "Cerveza rubia" is the complete name, though some people call it just "rubia" (it is more informal to call it "rubia" intead of "cerveza rubia"). The context of the sentence should make it clear you are referring to a lager beer instead of a blonde woman.

¿Me puedes poner una rubia? (Can I have a lager beer?).

And "caña" if it is a beer in a glass instead of in a bottle (which is called "botellín de cerveza" if it is small, "litrona" if it's a bottle of 1 litre). Also as Peter Taylor suggests (thanks) third a litre is called "tercio" and you can use it to ask for 33cl of beer.

Quiero una caña. (I want a glass of beer)

Quiero una botellín de cerveza. (I want a bottle of beer)

Quiero una litrona (de cerveza). (I want a bottle of beer of one litre)

Quiero un tercio (de cerveza) (I want third a litre of beer)

As MikMik points out there are some different names for the beer depending on the size of the glass. When the size of the glass is small (about 125 or 150cl) it is called in many ways, for example:

  • Corto
  • Zurito (name typical in the Basque Country)
  • Chato de cerveza

the name of "caña" is usually for a bigger glass.

As MikMik also points out "Garimba" is also a term used, at least in the Canary Islands.

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Just a note: caña refers to a normal serving of keg beer. But it is quite common to ask for "half servings" (about 125 or 150 cl.) which go by the names of chato de cerveza, zurito, corto and others. – MikMik Dec 29 '11 at 8:54
And another word I've heard for beer, though not very commonly, is garimba. – MikMik Dec 29 '11 at 8:55
@MikMik thank you, I've updated the answer with the information. I have never heard of Garimba. which regions uses that word? – Javi Dec 29 '11 at 11:55
I've no idea, really. I've heard it, but a couple of times only, not often. If you look up the word in Google, the first two results have to do with the Canary Islands, but that's all I know. – MikMik Dec 29 '11 at 12:04
@MikMik ok, thank you. I've added it to the answer. This article confirms the name for the Canary Islands:… – Javi Dec 29 '11 at 12:11


  • Birra
  • Birrincha
  • Pola
  • Amargas
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In Spain we mostly use "birra" and "caña" (besides "cerveza").

  • Birra It's used like "cerveza", but it's more casual.
  • Caña Usually it's a beer from the tap, not a can or a bottle.
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In Chile: Chela:

¡Vamos por unas Chelas!  →  Let's go for some beers!

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