8 Takeaways from Mondial de la Biere Fest Rio
Eqaut Brewery from Recife were first timers at the fest.
- Despite the recent economical dip the country has suffered, Brazil’s craft brewing scene shows no sign of slowing down with new breweries and beers appearing on an almost daily basis.
- The smaller gypsy brewers are getting more resources. In Rio 3 Cariocas opened a bar, as did Motim. 3 Cs is also looking to open its own brewery and just completed a crowdfunding campaign.
- The larger brewers, which were once wary of craft brewers are now embracing them as witnessed by Grupo Petropolis’ new nanobrewery which has an open invitation for collaborations.
- Brazil now has its own beer style – Catharina Sour. Research for developing Brazilian-grown hops is also underway.
- Brazilian brewers are plugged into the global brewing scene. They jumped all over the New England haze craze and are on top of the new Brut IPAs. International collaborations are common, especially with U.S. brewers. Koala San Brew of Belo Horizonte poured a Double IPA with brewer and hop researcher Scott Janisch at the Mondial.
- Access to ingredients has improved tremendously. Importers have set up an infrastructure for sourcing popular US hops and German, US and British malt. But transportation and taxes still make craft beer expensive. In a bar you can easily pay $5-8 for a half pint.
- Gypsy brewers are leaving some of the established larger regional breweries to brew at smaller, newer, more specialized outfits like Lagos in Saquarema and Potonas in Nova Friborgo.
- Women are very involved in the craft beer culture. Many women are beer sommeliers and five of the 12 judges at this year’s Mondial de la Biere fest were female.