During a recent trip to visit friends in Serra Negra, a town in the countryside of São Paulo, we managed to shake off our Saturday morning hangovers just in time to make a lunchtime pit stop at Cervejaria Dortmund, the town’s local microbrewery.
Marcel Longo, the microbrewery director, kindly showed us around the site and also provided some generous tasters from a variety of the beers Dortmund produces. He also kindly offered to answer some questions by way of an interview, which you can find in English below and Portuguese at the bottom of this page. Continue Reading
The word boteco (or botequim /butiquim) is derived from the Portuguese word botica (bodega in Spanish), which is itself derived from the the Greek word Apotheke – meaning a place or store where goods are sold.
However, if in Portugal a botica was a place of storage, in Brazil a boteco evolved into becoming the place where you go for a beer. In other words botecos are the Brazilian equivalent of a pub.
Where can you find botecos?
Brazilian botecos, like pubs in the UK, are ubiquitous and can usually be found on most street corners around the country.
Botecos do not discriminate, regardless of social class or standing and you can find them in most parts of Brazilian cities, from the favelas to the most ‘chic’ (or chique as Brazilians like to say) neighbourhoods. Unlike bars they do not charge entrance fees or add service charges, and there’s certainly no dress code.
What are they like?
Well, like pubs it varies, although there tends to be a ‘typical’ type of both.
For example, at one end of the pub continuum you have the rough locals-only boozer where you can buy stolen DVD players for a tenner, whilst at the other there are poncey gastropubs serving gourmet burgers for £15 (excluding chips).
Avoid both where possible.
The pub frequented by my father and I on (too) many occasions over the years.
Whilst Brazilian beer consumption (per capita) may lag behind us binge-drinkers from Europe, the demand that its much larger population creates means that as as a market and producer it is the third largest in the world.
A few other factors also contribute towards making beer Brazil’s alcoholic beverage of choice:
- Brazil is very hot + beer is very refreshing = Kerching!
- Its climate is not particularly conducive to producing wine, apart from in the South.
- Apart from cachaça, spirits come from outside of Brazil and are quite expensive (see my post on imports). Continue Reading