By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With the craft beer market in Brazil growing at around 30 to 40 percent every year, and with an estimated 200 establishments in the Cidade Maravilhosa now serving beer from smaller, independent brewers, there’s never been a better time to dive into some of establishments in Rio that are driving the Brazilian micro-brew craze.
One of the most successful and best-loved craft beer establishments is Hocus Pocus in Rio’s trendy Botafogo neighborhood. “I really like Hocus Pocus and their bar is absolutely rammed and decent, and I suppose it doesn’t need that much mentioning, but it is probably the best bar that serves exclusively its own craft beer.” says Dominic Parry, of fellow Botafogo establishments Winehouse and Cru Natural Wine Bar.
Hocus Pocus is a relatively new bar riding the recent wave of craft beer enthusiasm that’s taken hold of the city, and they serve a revolving cast of their own (wide) range of beers, such as spiced pumpkin ale, guava IPA, imperial stout, plus mouthwatering burgers and other bar snacks.
“I also rate Hocus Pocus DNA in Botafogo.” comments Tom Le Mesurier, from Eat Rio Food Tours. “There’s also a great place out in Tijuca called Yeasteria. They have a huge selection of beers (mostly Brazilian) and very knowledgeable staff.”
Another young craft beer bar (established, like Hocus Pocus, in 2014) and frequently voted one of the best bars with one of the best drinks menus in town, Yeasteria is a hidden gem in the vibrant ‘Zona Norte’ (North Zone) neighborhood of Tijuca.
Also a staple on the Rio craft beer scene is Jeffrey. Based in upmarket Leblon, their small shop serves as the brand’s hub, often hosting live music, art exhibitions, and other events, alongside selling their trademark brews, such as a red pilsen and their signature ‘niña’ wheat beer.
“Another craft beer I like is Cevaderia at Fabrica Bhering.” comments Parry. Cevaderia is the resident brewery of the re-purposed chocolate factory and cultural center Fábrica Bhering, in Santo Cristo.
They can often be seen around the city at markets and craft beer fairs, selling a select but high-quality range of beers including their ‘Bruges’ Belgian pale ale, and their ‘Groll’ pilsner.
One of the best places to buy craft beer is Beer Underground, which has a store in Lapa and one in Rio’s historic city center. With fridges stocked with everything from top Brazilian brewers such as Hocus Pocus, Three Monkeys, and Gram Bier, to international labels such as Brewdog, Brooklyn, and Budvar, there’s something here for every taste and price range.
Finally, offering an almost unbeatable rotating selection with twenty taps of local and imported craft beers, Delirium Tap House in Ipanema is another locals’ favorite.
With an even split between popular Brazilian breweries such as Cervejaria OverHop, 3 Cariocas, and international brewers such as Paulaner, and of course, their own brand Delirium Belgian beer, the Delirium Tap House offers a comprehensive craft beer experience, with excellent food and occasional live music to boot.