For a while now, it’s seemed that Rio has discovered the values of a good beer. For fans, tasters, specialists….this is all great news, especially when traditional brands such as Skol, Antártica and Bohemia were embarrassed in front of so many newbies. This beer boom shows that Rio has learnt to drink better and to learn more about this luxury item. There are more and more beer experts arising all the time, knowing all there is to know regarding different fermentations, fruity beers, beers with wheat, those without wheat, those with a higher degree of alcohol, a bitter taste or a sweet taste. There is absolutely no shortage of the variety of labels, perhaps that is one of the reasons for the growing number of specialised bars which seem to be sprouting out throughout the city.
The success of holidays such as Mondial de La Bière and Beer Experience help to further spread the beer culture. In the holidays, other than the possibility of getting to know some producers, there also happen to be workshops and beer tasting sessions. The next edition of Mondial de La Bière LA happens only once a year in November.
But as November is yet to come, Time Out Rio has produced a guide of the bars that are not to be missed for those who want to better their knowledge of beer, or those who simply like to drink well.
Located in one of the gastronomic centres of the city, Praça da Bandeira, this bar offers an immense variety of national and international labels. There are more than twenty beer taps, which happen to be the specialities of the house. Some of the beer successes are the Blanche de Bruxelles (R$14,90), Delirium Tremens (R$ 19,90), and in particular the most widely-sold Brazilian beers, the Noi Avera (R$8,90) and the Noi Amara (R$ 12,90) – a creation of Botto Bar. The food specialities of Botto Bar are the meat croquette dressed in beer (R$ 26) and the cheese (R$ 25).
Address: Rua Barão de Iguatemi, 205. Praça da Bandeira. Telephone: (21) 3496740. , 17h-24h; saturday, 17h-01h; sunday 15h-22h.
The first branch of Delirium Café in Latin America is a blue two-storey house, extremely comfortable and hidden away in Ipanema. Delirium Café is one of the oldest beer temples in the city. Given that Delirium is one of the most famous breweries of Brussels and Belgium, there is no shortage of beers and typical dishes on the menu. One of the most requested beers of the house is Delirium Tremes (a 330ml bottle for R$ 24,90 and a pint for R$ 19,90) and Chimay Dorée (a 330ml bottle for R$ 22,90 and a pint for R$ 19,90). A recommendation of the house is the Gouden Carolus Cuvée van de Keizer Blauw, which contains water, barley, hops and yeast, and is a celebratory seasonal beer. Production only happens once a year, on the 24th February, in homage to the Belgian Emperor. It is definitely worth trying the Carbonnade Flamande, the fries with roast beef in beer (R$ 36,00) and the casserole of muscles, cooked in beer and wine (R$ 69,00).
Rua Barão da Torre, 183. Ipanema. Telephone (21) 2502-0029. monday-thursday, 17h- 01h; friday-saturday, 17h-03h; sunday, 16h-23h
One of the most recommended bars for those who know their beer is The Ale House. The Rio branch of the São Paulo beer house is located in Ipanema and is a cross between a shop and a bar. The owner is the Belgian Xavier Depuydt, a beer fanatic who has lived in Brazil since 1988. So it is not surprising that Belgian beers dominate here. For those who will be particularly interested, one of the suggestions is the beer of Depuydt’s grandfather, the Deuce Belgian Strong Golden Ale (R$ 17,90) from 1982, launched in the house and produced here in Brazil. The Tripel Karmeliet (R$ 21,90) is made of oats, wheat and barley and made by Carmelite nuns; and Deus (R$169,90) is a beer with an 11.5% volume of alcohol, which spent a year fermenting in the Kings of France region. Both these beers are Belgian. To accompany the beers, recommended dishes are the German sausages mix (R$ 24,90) and the meat cooked in black beer, slightly sweetened and served with fries (R$ 34,90).
R. Visconde de Pirajá, 580 Loja 213, Shopping Vitrine – Ipanema. Telephone: (21) 3256-2595
There could be no shortage of beer bars in the heart of the most bohemian area of the city. The Espaço Lapa Café offers an enormous variety of national and imported labels, totalling more than 500. In spite of so many options it is worth trying the house beer productions, Da Lapa Pilsen (R$ 16,90), Da Glória Weiss (R$ 18,90) and the Do Catete Stout (R$18,90). The accompaniments could not be more traditional and delicious, such as the Feijoadinha (R$ 14) and the Lapa sausage (R$ 28,90). The bar is open Monday to Friday, from 10h to 23h.
Avenida Gomes Freire, 453/457. Lapa. Telephone: (21) 3971-6812
The newly renovated bar is one of the great novelties of Leblon. Located at the corner of Rua Dias Ferreira and Rua General Venâncio Flores, Brewteco is a typical bar, but with a big difference: its beer menu. Among the options is Anchor Porter (330ml-R$22), La Chouff (330ml-R$23), Weistephaner (550ml-R$27), Coruja Strix (330ml-R$22) and Lucifer (750ml-R$54). A good choice would be to try the haloumi cheese with honey.
Rua Dias Ferreira - 420, Leblon. Telephone: (21) 2512-3114
A showroom full of beers does not seem like a bad plan for the day. Located in Cadeg, Dream Beer offers a menu with an enormous variety of labels. The bar is devoted to the sale of beers, but beer experts discovered the place and soon the bar staff put aside a space for the tasting of the products. Some good recommendations would be the Belgian beer Kwak (330ml-R$16,90), the French beer La Goudale (330ml-R$16,80) and the American beer Eel River Blond (330ml-R$16,90), an excellent novelty from the beer market. And to snack on, just choose any of the delicacies of Cadeg and ask for a takeaway. After all, going to Cadeg and not trying its little nibbles would be a crime. It really is an excellent plan!
Rua 13 Loja 5, CADEG, Rua Capitão Feliz 110, Benfica. Telephone: (21) 2214-2250
This is an area dedicated to art, but the speciality of the house is beer. The Jeffrey (330ml-R$14) is a homemade beer, which even won third place last year for the best beers in Mondial de la Bière. Located in Leblon, you would not know that it was a beer house from walking past it and that more importantly, one of their national beers is being praised more and more. Whoever wants to drop by to get a taste is more than welcome.
Rua Tubira, 8, lj c – Leblon. Telefone: (21) 2274- 0000. seg-sex, 10h-19h; sab, 10h-16h.