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Craft Beer World Cup: The Favourites – Brazil

Brazil World CupAre you enjoying the football? You aren’t the only ones! News broke that there could be a beer shortage (a crisis in our minds!) as demand is so high. Harry Kane’s last minute winner might be held responsible for this. The World Cup isn’t just about the football, it brings the world together and what is the best way to share culture? Beer! With Brazil being tournament favourites we thought we’d check in to the Brazil craft beer scene.

Brazil might best be associated with diversity, colour, carnivals, cocktails and Latino culture but it’s climate and resources offer the opportunity to brew vibrant beers, best enjoyed cold on warm, humid days.

Brazil craft beer has had a growth spurt, these days it’s widely available throughout the country from supermarkets to ‘hipster bars’ (yep, there’s hipsters in Brazil too!) and restaurants, offering Brazilians many opportunities to grab a decent beer, brewed with skill.

Brazil Craft Beer OktoberfestThere’s several key breweries that are currently favoured in Brazil, inspired by Europe and America. The European influence can be traced back to the 1800s when German immigrants brought their beer craving with them. This continues today, Brazil’s Oktoberfest is one of the biggest in the world, lasting 18 days, attracting 730,000, proving Brazilians, love beer as much as their carnivals! There’s plenty of other beer festivals that happen in the country which are highly attended.

Although South American beers are yet to have a major impact on the craft beer market, that could be changing thanks to unique ingredients and palettes which have woken up interest from the likes of Brooklyn Brewery and Mikkeller.

Due to the hot weather, hops are hard to come-by and importing can be expensive making brewers think more creatively. Dia da Cerveja Imura is an event that produces some of the most diverse beers in the world as no yeast, hops or water are allowed! What makes the taste unique is that many breweries are ageing beers in barrels previously used for tropical spirits.

The wealth of natural ingredients can be found in many pints including Amazon Beer, who use passion fruits and coffee can be tasted in Cervejaria Colorado’s iconic Demoiselle.

2cabecas Brazil Craft Beer2cabecas are the brewery you’d hope for in Brazil, their passionfruit IPA and Funk IPA have that tropical taste, from one mouthful you are ready to party.

4 years might not seem long but in craft beer times it can be like a lifetime and Hocus Pocus have become well established in South America with Belgian golden ale, Magic Trap and their American pale ales.

Nina JeffreyJeffrey, from Rio de Janeiro are on of the most recognisable breweries in the country, two of their most popular beers are influenced by Europe, Nina, brewed like a Belgian white beer and their Pilsen has a familiarity to Germany. Three Monkeys, also from Rio offer something a little different with their popular Wit Vezpa, an Indian white beer.

Three Monkeys Brazil Craft BeerSao Paulo is Brazil’s most cosmopolitan city and the heart of craft beer scene. Cervejaria Nacionak are one of the front runners thanks to their citrus Mula IPA, guaranteed to bring the party to life, coming in at 7.5%. The high-rollers in Sao Paulo clearly love their stronger beers as Cervejaria Invicta’s popular imperial stout will leave you buzzing at 10.8%!

Growth in sales and the number of Brazilian craft breweries is growing 40% year-on-year. Who knew the Brazil craft beer scene was as vibrant as their party spirits? It’s probably the reason Neymar is always falling over! There’s plenty of football left, it’s best watched with a beer in the hand, our bottle shop at Ecclesall Ale Club is fully stocked with beers from around the world.

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Craft Beer World Cup: The Hosts – Russia

Russia World CupYou might have heard, there’s a football thing happening right now. Football is great but it’s much better with a nice pint in your hand. This years World Cup is being hosted in Russia, everybody’s favourite worst enemy. If they aren’t trying to poison people they are probably downing their finest vodka, but wait, there’s more to Russia than killing off spies or vodka, the Russia craft beer scene is booming right now.

If you are heading to the World Cup you don’t need to pack your suitcase with cans of your favourite beer on the 2,0000 mile trip, they have some great bars and breweries. Don’t fancy risking your life in planet Putin to taste what the Russian’s are brewing, they export too!

Unlike many, Russia’s craft beer scene revolves around the darker side of a pint, the stouts and the porters, which kind of suits the perception of the country. Tropical pales can get lost when drank in the countries cold weather and winter warming food.

The Russia craft beer inspirations can be traced back to London in the late 1600’s when Russian tsar, Peter the Great enjoyed stouts and porters drank by the dockworkers. Ever since, Russia brewers have continued to take influence from Britain but switching it up a level, as in, making the ABV higher, again this keeps in line with the stern Russian perception. The Russian Imperial Stout was born.

Soviet Russia (1922 – 1991) saw restraints on the availability of ingredients, making drink habits change. Vodka and mainstream lager became much more accessible but since the turn of this century the Russia craft beer was revived and their dark beers saw the light again!

Af Brew RussiaThe scene has grown fast, craft beer bars, shops and breweries have been popping up across the vast country. AF Brew from St Petersburg were the first to excite Russian’s with a pale ale whilst Rule Taproom and Craft RePUBlic in Moscow showcase the countries best breweries which are devise and unique. Jawsspot is one of the most successful breweries in Russia, their pale ale can be found all over.

Rule Taproom Russia Craft BeerSt Petersburg plays a key role in the Russia craft beer scene, it’s the home of Stepan Razin (no longer on operation) and Vena, Russia’s first breweries were founded here whilst tap rooms and microbreweries can be found throughout the city including Redrum and Bakunin Brewery.

Russia might not have the best reputation as a holiday destination but that can all change after the World Cup which seems to be going smoothly so far… It’s got an interesting history, great buildings and from the sounds, a vibrant and growing craft beer movement. It’s the third biggest producer of beer in the world.