There aren’t many places where you can indulge in the unique sport of beer fishing, but then there aren’t many places like the Bar do Luiz Nozoie.
‘My father used to sell ice cream, and when clients asked him for colder beer he started hanging the bottles in the iced water we used for the ice cream,’ says Luiz’s daughter Marcia, who fronts the house alongside her two brothers.
A large thermometer registers the temperature of the salt water tank (the salt lowers the freezing point) at -20C. A standard bottle of Original goes in ‘hot’ and is ‘fished’ out perfectly cold in fifteen minutes.
‘It’s not a gimmick – it really works! It can hold 18 bottles. These days, botecos have big freezers, but here in the summer, when the place is full, we can chill the beer much quicker and so never run out,’ says Marcia who, at 50, is just one year older than the bar itself.
Her mother, Shizue, passed away three years ago but her highly original and popular culinary innovations live on, such as the deliciously delicate espetinho de peixe-espada (swordfish skewers).
Fishing is clearly not limited to the beer: a handsome array of fresh frutos do mar (seafood) lie enticingly on the bar, in a pick-your-own cold buffet of octopus, squid, mussels and prawns. But the real star of the menu is Shizue’s crunchy version of a pastel, made with beer batter.
‘Always give good service and keep the quality high,’ is Marcia’s common-sense motto for the boteco, which draws fans from all over the city to the unhip neighbourhood, Saúde. Reel me in an Erdinger please, garçon!