Beer nerds, rejoice: a shift in the market is underway. Brazil’s bog-standard watery, mass-produced beers won’t be going anywhere in a hurry, but they’re being joined more and more by seriously good local brews. Within the last few years, microbreweries like Cervejaria Nacional in Pinheiros have opened up, offering ales and stouts made on-site, and pricier artisanal brands such as the Ribeirão Preto-based Colorado, Baden Baden from Campos do Jordão and Belo Horizonte’s Wäls have been infiltrating the market with well-crafted beers ranging from IPAs to Belgian strong ale styles.
Capitalising on the rising tide of passion for premium suds comes Beer Experience, a festival bringing together over 500 labels, plus beer-related cuisine and live music. Returning to the city for the third time, this edition has expanded to meet public demand by relocating to the immense Pavilhão da Bienal in Parque do Ibirapuera, where the building’s two spacious floors will host fifty exhibitors and welcome an estimated 20,000 beer lovers.
|Thirsty crowds enjoying themselves at 2012’s festival
Highlights of the three-day event include the popular itinerant food fair, Chefs na Rua, where some of the city’s top culinary stars will serve up reasonably priced dishes, paired with complementary beer choices.
Accompanying the ongoing tastings are performances by carioca ‘countrycore’ rockers Matanza on opening night, MPB funkster Seu Jorge on the event’s second evening, and the 70-year-old samba institution, legendary Demônios da Garoa, closing out the festivities on the final day. Continuing with the musical theme – gimmicky as it may be – an area dedicated to rock band-branded brews like Iron Maiden’s Trooper and Sepultura’s Weizen will be on hand, while the mezzanine’s Karavelle VIP area provides high-rolling attendees an open bar and canapé buffet.