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
Whilst the majority of Brazilian Pilseners, which make up 98% of the Brazilian beer market, can be dismissed as bland and watery, there are an increasing number of microbrews offering something a little different. One of them is brewed by Göttlich Divina and it is this week’s Brazilian Beer of the Week.
Göttlich Divina – Pilsener Extra com Guaraná
The Vital Statistics
Brewery: Choperia & Distribuidora Opa Bier (Joinville, Santa Catarina)
Size: 600ml bottle
Where purchased: Pão de Açúcar (also seen in larger supermarkets in São Paulo).
Cost: R$11 ($5.50; £3.60)
Background: Göttlich Divina beers are brewed in Joinville, a city in the state of Santa Catarina that was founded by German, Swiss and Norwegian immigrants.
The beers were developed after the brewery’s founders visited the German monastery of Weihenstephan in 2007 – which dating from the year 768 is the world’s oldest brewery. After the visit they decided to incorporate Old World brewing methods with original ingredients from Brazil and around the world.
One example of this can be found in today’s choice of beer, in which the process of Dry Hopping (adding hops to a beer as it ferments) has been used, although in this instance using Guaraná (a Brazilian fruit) rather than extra hops.
What’s it like?
I was quite excited about this when I bought it and expected it to have a very distinctive Guaraná taste. However, it’s flavour is actually quite subtle with the dry hopping process having the effect of leaving only a hint of fruit and citrus. Refreshing and slightly bitter.
Lively, it pours with a clear, golden body and a nice white head, with a fruity aroma.
the book is on the table’s Rating: It’s towards the higher-end of the Brazilian beer market and this is reflected by its price. However, given the extra attention paid to the ingredients and the brewing process it’s worth it. Importantly, it shows that Brazilian Pilsener doesn’t necessarily have to be bland and as cold as humanely possible in order to be refreshing.
At the weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Campos do Jordão in the interior of São Paulo. It was largely an excuse to visit the Baden Baden microbrewery although this isn’t the city’s only highlight.
It could almost be the Andes.
Known as Suíça Brasileira (Brazilian Switzerland), Campos do Jordão is largely a touristic city since its mountainous landscapes and cool temperatures (relatively) make it a novelty in Brazil. At a height of 1639m it is also the country’s highest city, and the abundance of German / Swiss styled architecture all add up to making the place strangely deceptive of the fact that you’re actually in Brazil at all. Continue Reading
Welcome to the first edition of Brazilian Beer of the Week, although the title is a little misleading since this week we’ll actually be looking at three.
The reason for this is because last week, in my post about Brazilian beer, I mentioned that in botecos (the Brazilian equivalent of a pub) the most predominant beers are Pilseners, with the most popular being the Skol, Brahma and Antarctica macrobrews. Typically, these beers are served as cold as possible as their purpose is to refresh rather than to taste, although, quite frankly, there’s not usually much to taste anyway.
However, blandness doesn’t necessarily characterise all ‘boteco’ beers, with a few serving as decent (relatively) alternatives. Like their cheaper cousins they’re also macrobrews, but usually cost a little more and are available less frequently, although in most instances you’ll likely to find at least one of them.
1) Antarctica Original
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