7 de nov de 2012

Beer in Brazil

My first close encounters with beer in Brazil were ordering pints of Brahma, Nove Schin and Kaiser and being given a Choppy instead. I couldn´t understand why I kept being given girly half-pints, half-full with espuma (head).  The beer was cold, so cold I burped ice cubes, and undeniably refreshing but basically tasteless and in lilliputian measures. What was going on?

Soon though I was to discover bottled beers and the strange and shady  world of casco-recycling.  Authentic churrasco is one of the wonders of the world, but unlike the Taj Mahal it goes better with a cold beer.  Big brown bottles of the stuff: Original, Bohemia, Serramalte, their labels slipping off from condensation. When you buy these beers from the shops, you´ll notice that each beer has two prices. That´s because if you bring your empty bottles back to the shop you just pay for what´s inside the casco! Not every bottle is recyclable though and if you build a collection of empties hoping to cash them in, be careful the grateful shopkeep keeps a proper tab. The charitable thing to do is to leave your empties on the street. Here selective littering is a form of charity, as hard laboring poor folk collect cardboard, cans and cascos for recycling.

One of the hardest things to deal with in our different drinking cultures is the Brazilian musketeer approach: All for one and one for all. A 600ml bottle of Original, roughly a pint, becomes property of the collective and is shared equally into pesky little half-pint glasses. The beer evaporates faster than agua com gas, it´s close cousin. Normally if I know my pint is about to be gang-banged,  I try to drink just a little bit faster than everybody else and be sure that I serve the drink, giving plenty of head  to Brazilians who see a lot of espuma as a mark of quality. Here there is no thumb-rule, draught beers from the Shamrock Irish bar to the boteco chopp dispensers are served as if it was bubble bath.

In London, we have a great range of craft ales, we even donate to CAMRA, a society to protect this endangered species. We care more about ales than we do pandas, by and large. If I was to survive Porto Alegre, I knew I would have to find something a little more palatable than thirst-quenching Original. Fortunately, Brazil is at the beginning of what I feel is a beer revolution. The economy is fermenting, people´s salaries are rising and with the world cup brewing, new pubs, breweries and shops are being opened. Yeast is so in right now, that even my wife has dropped out of uni to become a beer sommelier!
Generally, there is a huge mark-up on imported ales. Alas-alack-a-day, you can buy a Bishop´s Finger here but it costs an arm and a leg. Instead, rather than drink expensive imports you can find brilliant national beers.  Seasons, Coruja, Eisenbahn, Way, Helles, Colorado, Rasen, Bamburg and Backer all make good beers. Beers you´d gladly risk walking a mile at night to find.

The well-stocked ´Malt Store´ Cervejas Artesenais - Petropolis

Sharing my experiences of beer in Brazil, how it´s served and where to find it! (Read part 2)

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4 comments / comentários:

Legal o blog.
Realmente o brasileiro não sabe tomar cerveja. Pensa que encher a cara é tudo. Bebe as piores cervejas do mundo e se acha o máximo. Se estiver apenas gelada está ruim. Tem que estar estupidamente gelada. As marcas de cerveja tem as piores propagandas da televisão, fazem apologia ao estupro e denigrem a imagem da mulher. Depois de encherem a cara, o que acham super normal, saem a dirigir normalmente, causando acidentes de trânsito, pois não há punição, e prejudicando milhares de famílias. Eu poderia ficar horas aqui falando mal da cerveja, mas vou terminar por aqui.
Um abraço de um amigo que faz parte da minoria da população por odiar cerveja.

Olá Gabriel,

Obrigado pela visita e muito obrigado pelo comentário!

Um grande abraço!

Difícil mesmo beber cerveja no Brasil depois de beber na Irlanda. Após três anos morando lá, voltei pedindo pints aos garçons também!!! E o sabor é muito diferente...
Boa sorte para nós em busca das preciosas cervejas.
Cheers

Nossas cervejas são muito ruins e caras, em Porto Alegre tambem faltam bares e restaurantes de qualidade como os que se ve no centro de cidades europeias onde servem cerveja em copos grandes e por um preço razoavel. Nossa cerveja nao resiste muito tempo no copo, perde o gas logo e fica com sabor muito amargo, acho que tem a ver com a temperatura.. Acredito que bebemos a cerveja tao gelada para disfarçar seu sabor justamente por isso. Algumas marcas sao aguadas, nada perto das europeias que sao muito mais encorpadas.
Alias seria interessante se algum fabricante europeu resolvesse fugir da crise e vir para cá, hene

 
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