Last Updated :30/12/05
Scooping to Easter Island - Part 1.
By Mark Enderby (with update from Steve Westby).
While I donít tend to travel on dedicated beer trips, no "normals" holiday is complete without seeking out new beers and breweries. This yearís holiday started in Brazil and passed through Argentina and Chile before ending up on Easter Island. Some prior research on the web pulled out some brewpubs in Argentina but not much else, so armed with this information we headed off into the unknown Ö.
This is part 1 of Mark's adventures - Click to see Part 2 (Argentina) or Part 3 (Chile).
While Brazil appeared to have a few brewpubs and micros, I hadnít been able to locate any in Rio which is where our first 3 days would be. As with many tropical places, the standard "pilsner" type beers were stuffed with preservatives and anti-oxidants, rather than natural hops, and were pretty disgusting. However, it appeared that many of the larger breweries produced an "escuro" or dark beer which was much more palatable. Things looked grim so off we headed to Buenos Aires via the amazing Iguassu Falls.
Additional Information - by Steve Westby, April 2005.
We were only in Rio for two nights and like Mark we didn't look like finding
anything very interesting on the beer front. However I found reference to a
brewpub in Leblon in one of the tourist guides, and as this was the next area
down from Copacabana where we staying I talked the management into letting me
take her there in a taxi, despite her fears of leaving the hotel (two of our
party were robbed while we were there).
The Devassa bar, Rua Gen, San Martin 1241, Leblon (21) 2540 6087 turned out to be a very pleasant friendly bar but certainly not a brewpub. However it did sell "chop" (draught) beer from its own brewery located in Vargem Grande west of Rio. It served three good quality brews at around 70p a glass. All three beers were 4.8%, Loura, a lager, Ruiva a pale/red ale and Negra a stout. A most enjoyable evening, the food proving to be very good, but one with a scary end to it. The taxi had taken about 20 minutes to get there, but the one back took 5 minutes and must surely have been driven by Rubens Barrichello himself. He drove just like a racing driver, overtaking other cars on the inside on bends, squeezing between narrow gaps at 80 miles an hour and he must have hit 120mph on the straights. Never in my life have I so understood why people buy brown underwear, so scared were we that we couldn't, or daren't, speak.
On a tour of the city we were taken to lunch at an excellent churrascaria (barbecue house) where the food was served in a buffet but the waiters circulated with large skewers of meat carving off more than ample portions of filet mignon, pork, chicken, ham, sausage, brisket of beef or anything else that's had its head over a gate (as the Rough Guide put it). It was a large place and it was packed, but we appeared to be the only tourists in there. Anyway on the way back to the airport I was telling our driver that I had been searching for a brewpub as we heard there was at least one in Rio and he told me it was right next door to the restaurant - bugger!