By Ruth Faulkner, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This week further steps were made to bring together six Rio de Janeiro locations into a tourist route to highlight their world-class breweries. Brazil’s Secretary of Tourism, Nilo Sergio Felix, met with Alexander Zubaran, project consultant, and Mozart Rodrigues, president of Arbor Group (the group owning St.Gallen Brewery in Teresopolis) to begin building promotion strategies for the tourist attraction.
The route is planned to go through Petrópolis, Teresopolis, Nova Friburgo, Cachoeiras de Macacu, Santa Maria Madalena and Guapimirim. There will be over fifteen participating breweries, including major players in the industry such as Bohemia in Petrópolis. The Brewery Route project will receive US$8 million in State Government investments to aid its kick-off.
“The State Government believes that the beer route will be a huge tourist attraction. Beer is a popular drink in Brazil and around the world. It is a theme that appeals and attracts visitors. It is important to provide the public with all that this state of Rio has to offer,” said the Secretary of Tourism, Nilo Sergio Felix.
The project’s objective is to provide visitors with an immersion into beer culture and gastronomy, complemented by the rich mountain scenery, popular waterfalls, national parks and other tourist attractions in the region. The State Department of Tourism will include the brewery route on their official materials, in events and in national and international fairs.
“Our state can benefit from the tourism sector of the mountain region. It will create jobs, income and improve the quality of life of the residents,” Felix added.
Brazil currently ranks third as a producer of beer in the world and the sector accounts for twelve percent of the domestic industry and two percent of the GDP. Today, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, about 350,000 jobs are associated with the production of beer and the consumer market is growing about twenty percent a year across the country, according to a government report.
Since August 2014, Rio’s microbreweries can also benefit from a State Government law that reduces the tax on sales and service. The reduction of taxation from 25 to 13 percent is expected to stimulate the economy and develop the sector.