In a nation of such beer lovers, it’s surprising there aren’t more craft beer houses in São Paulo. So we’re always delighted to discover new watering holes to settle in with an interesting brew or two. Opened in May 2012, and a solid competitor to the always-busy, flirty Vaca Véia bar on the next corner, Coisa Boa seems on to a good thing already.
The glass-walled bar comprises a wooden deck on the street, a main bar and a quieter mezzanine. But the best table in the house is the largest one – a long, low communal table beside the supermarket-style chiller cabinet that lines one wall. From this spot, which is technically a waiting area for one of the smaller tables, you can survey an impressive range of over 200 brews from around the world. And depending on how much of a connoisseur you are, you can help yourself to a bottle of pale ale, weissbier or porter – or simply pick the one with the funkiest label. Portuguese speakers would do well to ask the friendly ‘beer sommelier’ for help navigating the selection.
Brazilian brews are few and far between – there are about 15, including a deliciously fruity Karavelle Red Ale (R$13.50), brewed in São Paulo state. One of the owners also runs an import business, which helps explain the international bias.
To soak up the suds, there are Brazilian bar snacks as well as more substantial comfort food dishes. We followed the lead of our neighbours at the big table and went for the picadinho with a brie sauce (R$35) – a (not quite hot enough) mound of beef strips, topped with crispy fried leek, sitting on a cheesey sauce with bread for mopping.