Beer is a favourite national beverage of Brazil, a perfect antidote for the hot climate. And beer lovers will be pleased to know that craft beer in Brazil is on the upswing. Here’s a guide to help you find good beer in Brazil.
Craft beer in Brazil
Cervejas artesenais have grown in popularity in Brazil over recent years. Some of the first microbreweries to establish themselves came from areas of Brazil with a strong German influence. The likes of Eisenbahn and Baden Baden who were at the vanguard of craft beer in Brazil have since been bought out by a bigger corporation (Kirin Brasil). But the scene is maturing and a new wave of brewers inspired by the craft beer movement around the world, are pushing the boundaries to produce some creative beers exploring the full range of the taste spectrum.
Here’s a breakdown of where to find good beer by city.
Good beer in Sao Paulo
In a city of 20 million people and renowned as Brazil’s culture capital, you would expect to find some good beer, and you can. A few places that would be worth checking out are:
- BrewDog bar – BrewDog, the infamous Scottish craft brewers opened a bar here in 2014! They also showcase local craft beers.
- Emporio Alto dos Pinheiros – a huge range of beers both local and international beers that are some of the very best in the world.
- FrangÓ – a bit out of the centre but a bar renowned for its good beer and food.
Look out for beers from these Sao Paulo brewers:
- Colorado – one of the top Brazilian craft brewers, look out for their IPAs and porter called Demoiselle.
- Bamberg – they have a rauchbier and other German-style beers.
- Baden Baden – although not in the state of Sao Paulo, this brewery is within visiting distance, situated in the lovely German-style town of Campos do Jordao, and pouring a number of great beers like their Imperial Red Ale, or Golden Ale with hints of cinnamon.
- Cervejaria Nacional – a brewpub located in heart of Sao Paulo with an array of styles on offer
- Invicta – brewers of some hoppy beers including a 1000IBU IPA
Good beer in Rio de Janeiro
You may have to look a little harder for beers beyond the beloved chopp in Rio. But there are signs of good beer becoming available in Cidade Maravilhosa. Bars worth checking out are:
Brewers to check out are:
- 2 Cabecas are a new brewer focused on producing true craft beers with not a pilsen to be seen. Ther passionfruit IPA ‘Hello my name is Ze’ collab with BrewDog was super fruity!
- Therezopolis – a brewery founded in 1912, offering a good pilsen and a few other styles.
- Petropolis group own a number of brands offering a range of German-style beers, such as Petra and Weltenburger Kloster, that aren’t too bad.
- Devassa – another owned by a big corporation, these brewpubs are best known for their sexual marketing that once featured Paris Hilton.
Beer in Curitiba
Brewers worth checking out include:
- Hop ‘n’ Roll – a brewpub with 24 taps of beer, sounds like a winner!
- Bodebrown – made an appearance at Good Beer Week 2013 in Australia, brewing a hoppy bock with Hargreaves Hill. Recently collaborated with Stone Brewing to produce a Cacau (cocoa) IPA that is currently the top rated beer from Brazil on RateBeer, it’s a brilliant mix of hoppiness with chocolatey flavours that is a must-try
- Way – another brewery that is gaining some international attention – they have a cachaca barrel aged barleywine and some sours with added Brazilian fruits like Graviola and Acerola in their repertoire.
Beers from the South
Further down south, the German influence is stronger and the brewing traditions too. Blumenau in Santa Catarina is the site of the largest Oktoberfest in the world outside of Germany and a number of breweries are set up in the region. This includes Eisenbahn, Brazil’s most famous craft beer brewer, who have a solid core range and some interesting specials.
Further south in Porto Alegre, you can find the brewer Tupiniquim who have collaborated with the likes of US gypsy brewer Stillwater to brew Saison de Caju, a saison with caju fruit, and with Evil Twin to produce a fantastic funky and hoppy Brett IPA called Lost in Tranlsation.
Beers from other areas
- Wäls – a brewer from Belo Horizonte that does some big beers including a Belgian quad, an imperial stout, and my personal favourite, the Saison de Caipira, a Belgian saison style beer also brewed with cane sugar.
- Amazon – these guys produce an Acaí Stout using the famous earthy superfood fruit from the Amazon.
- Xingu – a black beer that is not bad.