sexta-feira, 20 de março de 2015

Braukunst 2015

After participating in one more Beer Festival in Germany I am glad to say that the beer scenario is changing all over the world, but changing for better.
Comparing with the same Festival from last year, I noticed some differences that made me glad.
First: there was huge amount of German craft beer, new and old ones. Definitely a difference from last year.
Second: some of these new German breweries are brewing styles that are not common in Germany neither the people are used to it.
Third: it is incredible how many young people were the new entrepreneurs, opening breweries around.
So let me tell you a bit of what I found interesting and was happy to see there.

Lammsbräu in Neumarkt: they brewed their first organic beer in 1977, and now they are proud to say that they have a whole line dedicated to organic production; all the ingredients come from specific producers that produce exclusive for them. They have a high quality organic Hefeweizen that I had to drink 3 of it just to make sure (just kidding, it was that good!) and an Imperial Chocolate Porter that makes you feel warm and feels like melting chocolate in your mouth. In addition, I want to thank them for all the attention and gifts I got. A special thanks to Julian for all the explanation given with all my questions!

Buddelship in Hamburg: they are relatively new brewery in Hamburg, and I had the opportunity to try some interesting beer from them, a Coffee IPA, which is brewed with coffee grains, what I have to admit, for a person like me, who likes coffee and likes IPA, that was an excellent idea! The aroma of espresso was intense and the flavor was rich. The coffee taste is not so prominent although its aroma keeps playing with your senses, challenging your palate the whole time. When I asked Simon, the brew master at Buddelship, about how he got this eccentricity in such unique beer, he told me that he add ground coffee together with the hops in the last part of boiling. Well I guess he got it right!

When I say young people opening breweries, the St. Erhard in Bamberg is the best example. Their region, Franconia, is where there are the biggest amount of microbreweries in the world, and some of them dating from 1400’s, but still they have the inspiration to open new ones and innovate in flavors and design. Christian Klemenz, the founder, innovate with 2 different styles that are a bit difficult to find in Germany and mainly in that area: Saison and IPA. Although their main brew is a Keller beer. They got the German Design Award, with special mention in 2014 with their printed on label bottle.
Nevertheless, talking about what called my attention in this brewery: the Saison. Different from the creators of the style, the Belgian ones, its characteristic are not so prominent, it is very fruity and fresh, but not very carbonated, what makes it perfect for the German taste. Although my favorite one from this brewery was the Farmer IPA with passion fruit e mango notes it was fresh and easy to drink since it did not show that final bitterness characteristic of mostly IPAs.

Doppelleu from Switzerland had a unique selection of beers. The one I tried the name is already fancy: Oak Wood Red Ale. Definitely a piece of art in the beer world. Alcohol volume of 6,5%, however it is not reflected to beer taste, which goes soft and easy, with its caramel and vanilla aroma and a bit of oak in the end. The taste is like a caramel candy. A beer to be careful!

Well, I guess that is all for the Braukunst, I wish I had had more time to try more beers and talk to more people! I hope I can visit some of these new breweries soon and try different and new types!

quinta-feira, 21 de agosto de 2014


Before writing about the beer or the beer history in Iceland, I have to talk about the people I met there.

Iceland can be consider by many as the land of ice, but even traveling all over the world, I haven’t met yet such welcoming people like the Icelanders (and I am from Brazil!!). But anywhere I was visiting or talking to people they were all opened to answer all my questions, they were interested about what I was doing and, of course, they were inviting me to drink beer!
"Cheers" in Icelandic
And, it was over some beer drinking that I talked to the people and I found out the real “strong” history about the beer and the alcohol consumption in Iceland.

So the funny fact started in 1908 with a referendum where the Icelanders voted in favour of a ban on all alcoholic drinks, going into effect 1 January 1915 (because they had to finish all the remain alcohol).  Probably somebody thought that the Icelanders were drinking too much, maybe true!

In 1922, came the trade embargo from Spain, where the Spanish said they would not buy the ‘bacalhau’ (salted codfish) from Iceland, if Iceland do not buy their wine. Since the bacalhau was the only product that Iceland was exporting, they decided it was a good idea. Therefore, the Spanish saved Iceland bringing their wine! The law was amended and the economy flows again.

Since they started to have their homebrew (when the Spanish was brought to Iceland), in 1933 there was a referendum to bring the alcohol back, but just spirits were legalized. Beer above 2,25% alcohol was still banned! What?? Exactly! For some reason the people who could vote in the referendum where men above 40 years old and in good financial condition, and they thought that if beer was allowed children and poor people would start to get addicted and would create a social problem since beer was cheaper to buy.

Nevertheless, in 1939, during the WWII, the beer production started “officially” with the Britain arrival. Well, not exactly, what it was made was a Polar Ale, but it was made for export, since inside any country army base is consider export, right?

One year later, in 1940, the Americans arrived (with bigger guns), so you must keep them happy, and in order to that, the Polar Ale recipe was changed and transformed in a lager, together with a good marketing.

During this time, people in Iceland could drink beer if ‘inside’ one of those bases; however, it was still forbidden outside it.

On Wednesday though was consider an alcohol free day, because it was a day off in the American base and to avoid the innocent women going out with the American soldiers this law was created. I have to mention here that it didn’t work really well, since I met some people that was a result of this alcohol free Wednesday!

Bills to legalize beer were regularly put to the Icelandic parliament, but they were always rejected. In order to get around this, Icelanders would try to imitate the real thing by adding legal spirits to legal non-alcoholic beer, called Pilsner. On 1 March 1989, ironically, Wednesday, was declared a law where would be allowed again the production of beer for the intern market. It actually became a huge news in the world. However, you still cannot find anything stronger than 2.25% in any shop except the state-run chain Vínbúðin (meaning the wine shop).

Nowadays, Iceland is producing a very good quality in general, and many styles. In addition, what helps to make this beer so good is their Icelandic water, very pure and famous!

The different beers brewed by Ölgerdin Egil Skallagrímsson

Their main and bigger brewery is Ölgerdin Egill Skallagrímsson and they also own a microbrewery, the Borg, where they use like a playground to create and try new recipes and seasonal beers.
Most part of the beers I have tried while I was in Iceland where from them, like:
Gull: a lager beer, with a strong floral aroma, very fresh and citrusy. It was consider the best standard lager by the WBA (World Beer Awards) 2011. Its name comes from de word Skull that is used in Icelandic to say Cheers and a Viking way! ABV: 5%.
Sumar Gull: more floral aroma than the Gull and also lighter to the palate, extremely fresh. ABV: 5%.
Bríó: german pilsner. WBA in 2012. Its floral hoppy aroma given with some tangerine notes makes this beer worth an award. ABV: 4,8%.
Polar Beer: American lager. Aroma is mixed of flowers and citrusy. ABV: 4,7%
Úlfur nr. 3: an IPA, has a unique floral bouquet in its aroma, the color is a beautiful medium yellow and the taste is slightly bitter, but which IPA is not? But, so far, this has become my favorite IPA! ABV: 5,9%
The many awards!
Myrkvi nr. 13: a porter. If you like chocolate and beer, you will love this one! The dark chocolate aroma, together with a cappuccino/port wine taste makes this soft porter the ideal desert by itself! ABV: 6% 

Garún nr. 19: an Icelandic Stout. It is named after a legendary woman from one of the most famous tales in Iceland (The deacon of Dark River (Myrká)). It has a very strong character with coffee coming as a first thought when you smell and look at it. It is very licorish and reminds a lot when you have a coffee toffee, however this one is extremely alcoholic with ABV: 11,5%.

But if you are in Iceland and want to try a good selection of local and imported beers, you should go to the Micro Bar, located inside the Center Hotel. They offer on tap 10 local beers that you can try the small sample combination. In those 10 are:
Gaedingur Stout: roasted coffee and nuts aroma. It is very soft to drink.
Bruggsmidjon IPA: very hoppy and floral.But one of the bitterest IPA I have ever tried.
Gaedingur IPA: citrusy and orange zest aroma. In addition, you can feel it in the palate.
Gaedingur Hveittbjor: wheat beer. Very hazy but smells like roses and taste like fennel tea. Great option if you are not a beer fan and want to start in this world (maybe just to follow your boyfriend/husband).
Nordan Kaldi: lager. ABV 5%.
Gaedingur Imperial Stout: at the day I was there, it unfortunately was not available. ABV: 5%
Skjálfti: lager. Barley and breadcrumb aroma. ABV 5%.
Lava: stout. Roast coffee notes and espresso taste. It feels strong and heavy.
Gestir: double IPA. The citrus aroma from the hops is something that comes out at a first thought.
Gaedingur Pale Ale: it reminds a floral parfum. Extremely refreshing. ABV 4,5%.

As you can see, Gaedingur and Ölvisholt Brugghús are also important breweries in Iceland.

Wherever you go in Iceland and Reykjavik, enjoy the best of it, people are amazing and very warm welcoming!

I have to thank to everyone who made my visit in there some amazing and memorable, especially Sylvia from the Ölgerdin Egill Skallagrímsson and Steinn from Microbar. I learnt a lot with both of you and I hope I can visit you soon!

Needless to say, such a small country with great beer and great people is always worth a visit!

quarta-feira, 9 de abril de 2014


Such a small and amazing country! So many things to do and so many things to tell. I have been visiting Singapore for a long time already, I made friends there, and gone for crazy parties, but never realized how good they also are in brewing beer.
Singapore is a new country, as we know it today, started in 1963 when they declared independence from the United Kingdom. Since then, Singapore has developed rapidly, earning recognition as one of the Four Asian Tigers.
It is difficult to talk about the history of beer in Singapore, since it is so new market, not many people have written or discovered about it yet. Tiger is the most famous beer there, produced by APB (Asia Pacific Breweries) since 1932. They also brew Heineken there under a license and there is also a Paulaner brewery. However, since the late 1990s a number of microbreweries have emerged on the Singapore market, the first being Brewerkz; others are Pump Room, Red Dot Brew House and Level 33.
In Singapore also happens an annual Beer Festival, Beerfest Asia, in June each year and attracts over 30,000 beer lovers and over 350 beers from around the globe. The Asia Beer Awards is the largest Beer Awards held in Asia and attracts close to 500 entries, demonstrating the demand for new beers and growth of a taste for beer in the region.

After so many years going to Singapore, was my first time in trying one of the breweries. And the one of the choice was Brewerkz.
Brewerkz in Clark Quay
Brewerkz brew at least 12 types of beers and some are seasonal. Their quality is something impressive for such a “new” place and market. They have many winner beers.

The prizes

The 12 samples

While I was there I had the grateful opportunity of trying the full sample one, yes, they gave me to try the 12 types. And sincerely I don’t know where to start and I can’t talk about all of them, you really must go there and try them yourselves!

I think I will start talking about one of my favorite ones that was the Black and Blue Berry Mead, I have to suggest this one for people who like red wine. This is a slightly sour beer, very carbonated, but their proposition of the beer is exactly the definition of it is a berry mead, in aroma and taste! It has a 8,44% ABV but is so refreshing as champagne! I highly recommend this one!
Another one very surprising was their Saison, with the ABV of 6% has some interesting notes of hibiscus and raspberries. The final taste is something a bit complicated to describe, a mix of sour and bitter at the same time what actually make you want to drink more and more. A very refreshing and light taste beer, ideal for the hot days of Singapore!

The Irish Red Ale is their new brew. Has a very strong color of copper, aroma is a delicious mix of caramel toffee and molasses. Malty flavor what means can have a hint of coffee taste. But it goes very smooth. ABV 5,5%.

Golden Ale was the first one from the full sample, and it got me right there. It was so soft and smooth with aroma of flowers and the flavor of oat cookie was impressive! ABV 4,5%.

Their Pilsner made me feel like was drinking a beer in Germany, with that barn aroma and herbal flavor. ABV 5,0%.

They have other types and many different flavors, but the ideal here is give a tip for the next time in Singapore give it a try in this microbreweries. Mainly Brewerkz and try all of them fresh from the tap. I am glad that I could try them all. Nevertheless, definitely I will go there again soon!

segunda-feira, 10 de março de 2014


Hey, mate!

Yes, let’s talk about Australia, the land of exotic and dangerous animals! But Australia is also a very beautiful country with amazing people. It is very isolated from the rest of the world and more than a half of their territory is a desert, but this gives them some unique characteristics.

The Dutch discovered the continent, but the British claimed it theirs in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation; the continent was explored and an additional five self-governing Crown Colonies were established.  Australia is a constitutional monarchy . It uses a parliamentary system of government with Queen Elizabeth II  at its apex as the Queen of Australia.

Anyway, Australians don’t have a long history of brewing beer, since beer in the country arrived with the British colonization. Captain James Cook brought beer with him on his ship Endeavour as a means of preserving drinking water. They do not have very famous beers either (ok, maybe Foster’s – but this one is more produced for exportation than for consume in the internal market) but they certainly like to enjoy it and it is a growing market. Recent estimates suggest that there are now well over a hundred new breweries operating in Australia, though the exact number is hard to calculate. In 2004 Australia was ranked fourth internationally in per capita beer consumption, at around 110 litres per year.

The oldest brewery still in operation is the Cascade Brewery, established in Tasmania in 1824. The largest Australian-owned brewery is the family-owned Coopers Brewery, as the other two major breweries Foster's Group and Lion Nathan are owned by the British-South African SABMiller and the Japanese Kirin Brewing Company, respectively.

Last time I was there, I was in Perth in West Australia (WA), one of the most remote cities on Earth and also one of the sunniest.

There I tried a “local beer”; actually, this is not produced in Perth anymore. It is the Swan Draught from Swan Brewery. The Swan Brewery started in 1857 by Frederick Sherwood.  He saw the Swan River as the ideal place to build a brewery, as the Swan provided fresh, clean water for making the beer, hiring convicts as a source of cheap labour. After so many ups and downs from economy and administration, the brewery became in 2007 a subsidiary of Lion Nathan. On 12 October 2012, Lion Nathan resolved to close the Canning Vale operations of the Swan Brewery by March 2013 and move production interstate. The Swan and Emu beer brands and keg production were transferred to the company's West End Brewery in South Australia and pack production moved to James Boag & Son Brewery in Tasmania. So Swan Beer is not local anymore.

Swan Draught is a mild lager, aroma of rye bread and slightly hoppy, with a medium bitter flavour and full body.
ABV 4.5%

It has been in production since 1857.

My second choice was an Australian beer, but produced in the east coast. More exactly in Sydney and it was an American Pale Ale from James Squire. James Squire was the first to successfully cultivate hops in 1804. The Government Gazette from 1806 mentions that he was awarded a cowherd from the government for his efforts. In 1806, James’ brewery was built on the shore of Parramatta River at Kissing Point. He opened the Malting Shovel Tavern almost halfway between Sydney Town and Parramatta. Actually if you are curious, you can read more about the interesting history about James Squire and their other types of beer in their website: The Story of James Squire.

What made me choose for this one was more the witty name than the type for itself – HOPTHIEF – is a specialty beer American Pale Ale style. It does have the citrus aroma and slightly bitter but the final taste is like orange cake and it is delicious .
ABV: 5,0%
Nevertheless, I don’t regret this very good choice at all.

Cheers mate!!

quinta-feira, 27 de fevereiro de 2014


Well, this place needs many chapters in the subject beer, since they are one of the four schools of beer types (they are the German, Belgium, English and American schools, actually, a subject for another chapter). Anyway, in the Bavarian region (southeast Germany) they claim to have the oldest brewery in the world. Weihenstephan was licensed to make beer since 1040! 1 Wow that is a really long time back, and when you stop to think about it, is the practice that makes perfection!

Germany has the Reinheitsgebot, better known as the “law of purity” where they can use the basic ingredients to produce beer (water, barley and water).

To understand better, let me explain what exactly the Reinheitsgebot is:

            “Until the 16th century, wheat beer was a very common way of brewing beer, but it led to a shortage of ingredients and a price war between bakers and brewers happened. So in 1516, Duke Wilhelm IV from Bavaria and Duke Ludwig X signed off a legislation that made it illegal for the brewers to use wheat in the beer production. (Yeast escaped mention since was yet to be discovered).”2,3

The Reinheitsgebot was withdrawn only in 1988, but most of the Germans breweries still follow the law since they are proud of their purity and quality in beer, not to mention the marketing that it brings.

Even though wheat was not allowed anymore to produce beer they create such a huge variety of beers just changing the quantity, texture or combination of the primary ingredients, that is almost impossible not enjoy yourself with any kind of beer you have in Germany.

However, the main reason I am writing about Germany now is that I had the opportunity of going to Munich and attended to the Braukunst 2014. This is a beer and liquor event, which have not happened for many years; and a place like Germany deserves this event to celebrate their variety of beer production.

I have met there many people, nice and creative people that without forgetting their purity background are producing different and tasty beers.

Unfortunately I could not try each one of them (the time did not permit the attempt!). However, I, for sure, had excellent ones.

I want to mention here 3 of the ones that really called my attention for different reasons.

The first one was from Lösch-Zwerg Brewery, their brewery have mainly 4 different and witty beers, a pils, a radler (mix of märzen beer and lemon juice), a cola weizen (wheat beer and coke) and a würzig (spicy or aromatic lager). I tried their pils which had a light hoppy aroma, not as strong as many others pils in Germany, but still very fresh and tasty. Nevertheless, what called my attention was the marketing call; they transformed an old firefighting truck in "beer delivery", without mention the fire extinguisher change, that as you can see in the pictures, became a beer tap! My father as fire fighter really loved the idea!

 The second one to mention was my favorite of the night. It is from the König Ludwig Brewery and they had this rich banana esters aroma in their weizenbock beer. Even though its ABV was close to 8% that beer was so soft and easy to drink as any normal wheat beer. In addition, I have sincerely to thank the people in there, because their best marketing was the quality of their product and the sympathy that they received us. Mainly Olaf and Andreas, they were really passionate about all!

They also had a Dunkel beer, which actually is the name in the tap; it had an excellent quality too with a very roast grain aroma and a little bit of nuts notes. However, still the wheat beer made me fell for it!!

The last but not least to talk about here is a unique way to make, I would say, a liquor beer, or actually a brandy. This people from the Bukanter (Jopenkerk Bierbrowerij, from Netherlands) developed a technique of frozen beer, and they explained all to me. They brew a beer and after is all ready they freeze it in recipients like the picture. With the ambient temperature, it starts to melt and as you learnt in physics, alcohol has a lower temperature to melt than the water, so it separates one from the other naturally and brings the initial batches pure alcohol. What I really can say about it is that was one of the best liquors I ever tried, rich malt taste and rich caramel aroma! Yummy!

I hope you have enjoyed the 'trip' to Munich and the Braukunst Live! See you soon!

1 Jackson, Michael (2007). Beer Companion. DK Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-7566-3155-0.

2 Jackson, Michael (2007). Beer Companion. DK Publishing. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-7566-3155-0.

3 Webb, Tim and Beaumont, Stephen. Octopus Publishing Group Ltd. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-84533-633-2. 

domingo, 16 de fevereiro de 2014


สวัสดีค่ะ  or sawat di kha

Is how Thai people welcome you everywhere you go. Thailand is consider the “Land of the Smile”, and for sure, it is one of my favorite destinations.

Bangkok its capital is a bit messy, with traffic jam in some periods of the day, but there are so much to do in here and the city is also famous for its dynamic nightlife!

Thai culture is a bit different, interesting and peaceful. They suffered some years ago with tsunamis and is common have flooding, but they do not lose their smile and their will to reach their goal.

They are very welcoming people and is one of the world's top tourist destination cities and many foreigners fixed residence in the country.

Thai cuisine is much diversified including many desserts. Many dishes are with rice or noodle but in most part of them, they add many spices, so if you have a problem with spicy food, ask first, but do not believe when they say is not spicy. For people like me that cannot take too much of it, what is not spicy for them is quite a lot for me, I have tried many times to do so. My favorite dish is Thailand is the Kao Pad Gai or simply chicken fried rice.

Of course, I had to try the local beers; all of them match really well with my favorite dish so it is ok!

Thai beer is typically lager. The oldest and most popular Thai beer in Thailand and abroad is Singha, brewed by Boon Rawd Brewery. Singha also appears in Thailand in Light (3.5% ABV) and Draught versions. They started in 1933.

Recently, Singha has been challenged by Chang beer, made by Thai Beverages.

Boon Rawd Brewery also makes Leo, a non-premium beer, and Leo Super, a 6.5% alcohol beer. In addition, Thai Beverages sells Archa, a mass-market, non-premium lager.

Other locally brewed Thai beers are Phuket Beer and Siam, in Pathum Thani province. Phuket Beer and Federbrau are the only Thai beers brewed according to the German purification laws or Reinheitsgebot.

ABV: 5%
It has a strong hoppy aroma and it is slightly bitter, but it is a perfect combination with Thai fried rice.

From: Thai Beverage
ABV: 5%
It has blend of sweet green apples and very hoppy. However, it is a full bodied and well-balanced lager.

sexta-feira, 24 de janeiro de 2014

So, my first trip after I had decided to create the blog was to Morocco. More specifically Casablanca!

Morocco is a country in the northwest Africa and has a population of over 33 million and an area of 446,550 km2 (172,410 sq. mi). Its political capital is Rabat, although the largest city is Casablanca; other major cities include Marrakesh, Tangier, Fes, Agadir and Nador. A historically prominent regional power, Morocco has a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Its distinct culture is a blend of Arab, indigenous Berber, African, and European influences.

Nowadays Morocco is a country where around 98% of the population is Muslim and according to their religion they shouldn’t consume alcoholic beverages. However, the French introduced the beer production in Morocco in the 20th century. Currently, Société des Brasseries du Maroc oversees the production and distribution. Popular beers include Spéciale Flag (pilsner) and Stork (light lager). The Moroccan premium beer is Casablanca (also a lager), which costs more than the other two. Casablanca is also exported and, for instance, served in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot in Disney World, Orlando, FL.

The breweries of Brasseries du Maroc are located in Fes, Tangier and Casablanca, also a bottling unit exists in Marrakesh. The best selling international beer in Morocco is Heineken, which is locally brewed by Brasseries du Maroc under the supervision of Heineken International.

While there, I had the opportunity to drink the following 2 beers:

Spéciale Flag
From Brasseries du Maroc, Casablanca.

Ingredients: water, malt and hops.

ABV: 5.2%

It has a very clear and straw yellow color. The aroma remembers grain bread. It is light and slightly bitter in the end, what can make a well-balanced beer.

From Brasserie du Maroc, Casablanca

Ingredients: water, malt and hops

ABV: 5.0%

It has a dark yellow but very clear. Very carbonated. Aroma has a hint of herbs like chive, coriander and thyme mixed. Final taste brings up the sweet/sour of tangerine notes.