My trip to Brazil proved to be quite a success. The main purpose was to attend one of the biggest craft beer events in Brazil, Beer Day in Curitiba and learn about the growing craft beer market. Beer Day had quite a selection of craft brews from local brewers, home brewers, and international breweries like Brooklyn Brewery. The styles of beer ranged from mild lagers to intense imperial stouts and IPA’s. I was impressed with all of the different styles and variations and what is happening in the beer world in Brazil. There were food trucks selling food from around the globe including kebabs, bratwurst, jambalaya, and the Brazilian version of an empanada “Pastéis”. “Curitibans” I was told, are really into rock music so the local bands at the festival played a lot of indie rock, covered some classic rock, as well as a healthy amount of grunge (they apparently really like Pearl Jam). Beer Day was much like a craft beer festival in Brooklyn and, despite the rain, it was a lot of fun.
Sao Paulo was my second stop and it was the same vibe with more incredible food. At a beer bar/restaurant/store called Emporio Alto dos Pinheiros, I ate a heart of palm still contained in the trunk of the palm doused with a good amount of butter and topped with giant capers. A group of us drank some impressive Belgian style beers from an award winning local brewery called Wals. Although we were from different parts of the beer world we were all connected by the Brooklyn Brewery in some way. There was such a good energy as we all ended our day eating, drinking and enjoying each other’s company. The night ended with a bottle of Sorachi Ace followed by some Black Chocolate Stout for dessert. I also checked out a bar called Emporio Sagarana in Sao Paulo. I was treated to a delicious sandwich with crispy pancetta, queijo minas (a white semi soft cow’s milk cheese), arugula and cane molasses that paired perfectly with the Belgian dark sugar and honey flavor in Brooklyn Brewery’s Local 2. It blew my mind and I’m on a mission to recreate this duo in the states.
The passion of craft beer drinkers in Brazil was inspiring. I quickly realized the craft beer world is its own special community that I’m lucky to be a part of. I really appreciated the warm welcome from everyone. I wasn’t ready to leave and I will have to go back soon. Keep up the good work Beer Maniacs and all Brazilian ambassadors for craft beer!