Monday, November 29, 2010
Beer in Brazil
I am in São Paulo, Brazil for a week to conduct research on child labor (I do occasionally dabble in economics when not writing about beer). There is not much to say about beer in Brazil, but my Paulista friends say there is a new micro-brewery called "Colorado" (not Oregon - for shame!) in a town outside of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, too far probably to fit in on this visit. In the meantime, I went to the Astor bar in the Vila Madalena neighborhood and had a few 'chopp's (the amusing term for draught beer in Brazil). The Astor is a Brahma tied house and so the beer selection is copious: you can choose among the Brahama claro (a light pilsner) or the Brahma oscuro (a dark beer which seems suspiciously like the claro with some caramel color and some added sugar). Both are served on nitro and sport creamy heads. You can also have it served 'Paulista' style with a claro pour and then and ocsuro head or 'Carioca' style with the opposite. Since I am in SP, I chose Paulista. Once you start, watch out, because they swoop on almost empty glasses and replace them with full ones before you even notice save for the pile of coasters that are accumulating which is how they keep track of your tab, sushi-bar style.
The beer is bad, but the bar is great, the neighborhood charming and the wait staff very friendly.
The good news for Brazilian beer lovers is this Colorado stuff looks promising, they have an imperial stout named "Ithaca" and here is a 7% ABV IPA to warm the hearts and gullets of Oregonians. I'll try and find some in the local store.