10 craft beers to try from Brazil

By Andrew Short

 

1. Mula IPA – Cervejaria Nacional

Mula IPA Cervejaria Nacional

Named after a Brazilian folk tale about a mule with no head, this over-hopped IPA has a kick at 7.5%. The pungent citrus odour with a bitter aftertaste combines well with bolinhos de bacalhau (cod fritters).

 

2. La Sorciere Belgian IPA – Cervejaria Urbana

La Sorciere Belgian IPA

From craft brewery (or laboratory of beers as they call themselves) Urbana, this Belgian style ale has sharp maple and raisin aromas. A well-balanced brew, perhaps a little weak for an IPA but a fine effort from these upcoming beer scientists.

 

3. Júpiter American Pale Ale – Cervejaria Júpiter

Jupiter American Pale Ale

The light citrus flavor – with a touch of passion fruit at the tailend – means this is a perfect beer for a hot and dry day in São Paulo. A hand and lightning rod also creates an ace beer label.

 

4. Cosmonauta – Cervejaria Burgman

Cosmonauta Cervejaria Burgman

You’ll have to make the 100km trip from the city of São Paulo to Sorocaba to sample this beer fresh from the tap (but at least it’s not as far as the moon). A solid brown ale with hints of chestnuts and caramel with a bitter backend marks this beer as perfect for a good session.

 

5. Weiss Premium – Cervejaria Madalena

Weiss Premium

A brewery paying homage to the bohemian neighbourhood of São Paulo, Vila Madalena, with a Weiss that reminds me of a winter day in the biergartens of Brazil’s German-influenced Serra Gaúcha.

 

6. 108 Imperial Stout – Cervejaria Invicta

108 Imperial Stout

As strong as wine at 10.8% and as thick as treacle, this beer is bursting with flavour and aromas – notably caramel and dark chocolate. Hits you like an anvil.

 

7. Indica IPA – Cervejaria Colorado

cerveja-colorado-indica.png

Not sure if Colorado is a craft beer anymore as mega-brewing conglomerate Ambev bought it this year, but I have enormous nostalgia as this was the first Brazilian beer I tried. Made with rapadura (a very sweet Brazilian candy), Indica does not have the vibrant hoppy quality you’d expect from an IPA but a smoked out nutty flavour instead, reminiscent of an English brown ale. Goes down well on a warm tropical day.

 

8. Pilsen Premium – Cervejaria Karavelle

As a smooth as the owner of Karavelle, Brazilian singer/songwriter Seu Jorge, this beer combines with anything cooked at a churrasco (the word for BBQ in Portuguese).

 

9. IPA – Dama Bier

IPA Dama Bier

A well-made IPA with a nose of orange rinds and caramel. Try saying "Piracicamirim, Piracicaba", the name of the neighborhood and region this beer is brewed at, after a few of these.

 

10. Chopp 250 – Les 3 Brasseurs

Chopp 250

One of those fruity beers that quenches the thirst after a long day at the office. It’s also worth sampling some of the food at this French inspired micro brewery.