Artisanal Beer in Brazil
Local breweries experiment with Brazilian-based ingredients
by Roberta Graham
As one of the largest markets for beer in the world, Brazil grew tired of the same old choices and started to seek out higher quality options. In order to supply this new demand, small businesses began to brew their own artisanal labels with the use of characteristically Brazilian ingredients in the recipes.
While the lager had accounted for nearly 100% of the market in Brazil, the country soon discovered the wonders of different brewing techniques and fell in love for various ales and stouts. However, with the difficulty of obtaining the right ingredients for the formulas and high prices the companies began to experiment with local alternatives to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.
In the south of Brazil, Cervejaria Dado Bier is working with regional ingredients to add flavor to their recipes. Their spiced beer, Ilex, uses erva matte, a plant very popular in drinks like mate and chimarrão and similar to the tea leaves, to give the necessary bitterness to the final product.
Cervejaria Colorado, a label from the city of Ribeirão Preto, was the first to put the new brews on the shelves. Their lager Cauim has the addition of manioc (an Amazonian root very popular in the country's culinary) while the stout, Ithaca, elaborated with generous amounts of malt, balances its strong flavors and almost 10.5% alcohol by volume with a touch of rapadura, a hard candy produced with the leftovers of sugar production. Now, after a long struggle with American legislation, the brand is starting to export their creations to the US. Due to the success those new ventures are achieving, we expect the international market to be flooded with bubbles of Brazilian creativity soon enough.
To learn more about Cervejaria Colorado visit their website.
Images courtesy of the breweries