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Tired of the perennial Brahma chopp draught and cans of Skol, expensive, imported beers have struck a chord among Rio's ale-lovers in recent months and few venues know their stuff better than BeerJack HideOut. Serving up over 180 different beers of varying strength, origin and drinkability, the owners have even crafted their own chopp, a dark Pale Ale named Hi-5 (R$10), if that isn't too much of a contradiction in terms, that owes itself more to the British real ale than the usual flavourless, near-frozen standards.
Underlining how seriously they take their beer, informative tastings are held on a monthly basis (R$70), gathering up to 15 obsessives at a time upstairs for a themed run-through of the brewing process and resulting subtleties of flavour, colour and even thickness of the foam. Things usually get off to a highbrow, almost chin-stroking start before descending into suitably rowdy glass-chinking by the end of proceedings despite the half-glass measures that rarely last as long as their back-story.
The food is also well thought out, with the chilli beans (R$24) an excellent accompaniment to the strong liquid flavours on offer - spicy, refried and dished out with a tangy sour cream and bowlful of nachos. Taken with a glass of the 9.5% Duvel Tripel from Belgium, it's a combo strong enough to satisfy the most ruddy-nosed of monks, served in surroundings that would make them feel pretty at home, too.