Excellent beers come to Brazil from different countries including
Germany and England,
but Brazilians also produce their own good
stuff. One of the best is Cerpa. When in Brazil,
belezola, breja, cerva, um chopinho
and loira gelada are
all ways to say you want a
"stupidly" cold one.
Next time you sit down at a bar or restaurant in Brazil and order a
chopp, remember that you are ordering one of
the oldest drinks ever. Chopp, or draft beer, was first brewed in Mesopotamia* over 6,000 years ago. Hopefully what
you are drinking is freshly brewed, for
chopp has a limited shelf life of 10 days once the keg is tapped. The
`experts’ recommend that serious beer drinkers go to bars and restaurants where the
chopp is always flowing!
Contrary to the popular belief, chopp and bottled beers are brewed with the same ingredients and their
composition is the same when we are talking about the same brand, the only difference is that beer goes through a
pasteurization process. Bottled and canned beers are pasteurized and last longer.
This process of quickly heating and cooling was invented in 1876. It brings a longer shelf life to your beer
and boxed milk, among other drinks. Chopp is not "lighter," it is only fresher and sometimes colder, giving it a
different taste. All beers follow the same fermentation process and range from a 4.5 to 9 percent alcohol level. Wine averages
8 percent and hard liquor, 42 percent.
People all around the world love drinking beer. There are many different types of beer, ranging from cheap
to expensive, dark to light. Although Germany is the home of the most beer drinkers
(chopp is, after all, a derivative of the word
schopp, which is a 300 ml volume measurement in German) there is nothing like a cold beer on a hot day or
night in Brazil.
Excellent beers come to Brazil from many different countries. For example, Germany’s Erdinger Weizenbier
comes in three types: weiss (a specialty wheat beer),
dunkel weiss (a dark wheat beer) and pikantus weiss
(a bock wheat beer). England and Ireland, home to the original Pubs or Public Houses, produce beers like Old Speckled Hen and
Guinness and export them around the world including to Brazil.
If you would like to buy imported beers, try Belgian Beer Paradise. They are open from 9 am to 7 pm and
they deliver. They are located on Rua Adolfo Tabacow 192 in Itaim Bibi, São Paulo. Check out
www.beerparadise.com.br to buy beer online or call them at 3079-6543.
Brazil also produces beer nationally. One of the best quality lighter-colored beers is Cerpa, according to
Sean Hutchinson, president of the St. Andrew’s Society. Some other quality Brazilian beers are Bohemia Pilsen and
Xingu, which is a dark beer. If you are interested in micro-brews, there is one located in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo state,
called Cervejaria Colorado. They have Ribeirânia Pilsener, a light and smooth beer; Ribeirânia Trigo, a
Weizenbier; Ribeirânia Âmbar, with caramelized malt, and India Pale Ale, a highly alcoholic (8 percent) and "floral" beer, winner
of three stars in the Michael Jackson Guide to beers around the world. Visit their site at
www.cervejariacolorado.com.br, or visit them at Av. Independência, 2579Tel: (16) 620.1947 in Ribeirão Preto.
They are open after 6 pm. They provide tours without reservations. Rodrigo and Marcelo speak English, so
you should call in advance if you need them to be there. If you would like to try their beer in São Paulo, it is served at
the following restaurants: Corcoran’s, Arábia, Finnegan’s and Tantra.
There is also Baden-Baden. They have a restaurant and a brewery you can visit in Campos do Jordão. They also
ask to make an appointment for English tours at (012) 262-3091. The restaurant is located on Rua Djalma Forjaz,
93Vila Capivari, Campos do Jordão. Tel.: (012) 263-3610. Visit
www.badenbaden.com.br. The Baden-Baden beers
(Bock, Golden, Red Ale and Stout) can be found at many upscale restaurants and are also available at the Pão de
Açúcar supermarket and specialty grocery stores.
Cooking with Beer
But beer is not just for drinking. There are many ways to cook with beer. Lighter beers complement chicken,
fish and pork dishes while dark, more robust beers, such as Guinness, go well with spicy foods, roasts and other red
meat dishes. There is an excellent recipe for ribs in The Graded Gourmet, which calls for beer. (See Tom’s Ribs Pg.
190) Call Ellen Gruebel if you would like a copy of this great bi-lingual cookbook. 5523-5610.
Try adding a light beer instead of chicken stock when you are making a soup. Replace wine with your choice of
beer when making filet mignon. Meredith Cavalieri first braises a filet mignon tenderloin with onions and olive oil, and
then continues to cook it in beer on the stovetop. She serves it thinly sliced in the gravy.
Try making Beer Muffinsa recipe from What’s Cooking in Rioand, in doing so, learn how to make your
own bisquick from scratch. These books are in short supply. Call Angie Schemm at 3772-7218 for more information
about buying it, or call me for the recipes mentioned in my articles. (See recipes for more "beer added" recipes.)
If you would rather not cook, the All Black Irish Pub (on the corner of Oscar Freire and Peixoto Gomide,
3088-7990 or visit www.allblack.com.br) serves Guinness pie and Irish pasties, which use Guinness in the dough as well as
the ever-famous beer-battered fish and chips. Mark, Vivian and Alex are the owners and they all speak English. There
are many wait staff who speak English as well as other languages such as German, Spanish and French.
The All Black also has many German and Belgian beers for you to try and numerous other delicacies such as
Thai chicken, chicken curry, and steak au poivre to go with your pint or half-pint of Guinness (they have it on tap).
My husband recommends the cheeseburger and cottage fries, which goes well with a cold Weizenbier. Although the
other foods are excellent, I can’t order anything but the fish and chips.
The All Black also makes specialty drinks with beer. They make Black and Tans with Old Speckled Hen
and Guinness, since harp (the ale used in England and the US for this drink) is not available in Brazil. They are poured,
one after the other, in a way that they don’t mix, giving origin to the name Black and Tan. Fernando, from the All
Black, says that another choice beer mix is the Shandy, which is half lager and half lemon soda.
He says some people also order beer mixed with grenadine or milani, which adds a cherry or raspberry flavor to
it. They have a cider called Blackthorn, which some order with mint syrup. Another mix is Blackthorn with Lager, which
is called Snake Bite. A "Carioca" is a
chopp topped off with dark beer foam. So, no matter what you order, no one
will question your sanity.
The foam is called the colarinho in Portuguese. And, like anything or anyone, Brazilians enjoy, cerveja, or
chopp has its share of nicknames. Loira
Gelada is a not so P.C. one, (cold blonde), but who here claims to be P.C.?
Other names for beer are uma geladinha and
um chops, pronounced "showps."
Uma gelada, belezola, breja, cerva, and um
chopinho are all ways to say you want a cold one.
Uma ampola, pronounced "umpowlah" refers to a 600 ml bottle
of beer. However you ask for it, the result is always the same, "ahhhhhh."
Try some of these recipes:
3 lbs beef rump
3 tablespoons coarse black pepper
1 pint Guinness Stout
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon flour
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
4 slices carrots
3 cubed potatoes
1. Preheat oven to 350 F, crush garlic mix with pepper and rub in to beef.
2. Place beef in a roasting tin and mix Stout, 1 cup of water, bay leaf and oil, add to roasting tin. Roast for 90 minutes, add vegetables and continue for 30 minutes.
3. Remove beef and vegetables from tin, pour liquid from tin in to a saucepan, and bring to boil, add 1/2 cup
of water and 1 tablespoon of flour mix gradually. Simmer until thick. Serve.
Beef and Onions Braised in Beer
Submitted by Judy O’Day
For 6 people
A 3 lb. piece of lean beef (alcatra or
6 medium onions chopped and 4 cloves of garlic choppedsauté in 2 tbsp. good cooking oiluse a heavy
skilletremove, and set aside
Cut beef in cubesdredge in 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper, and sauté in oil in the same skillet add more oil if needed
Return the beef to the skillet and add:
2 to 3 cups light beer, Pilsner type
1 cup strong beef stock
1 Bay leaf
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. thyme
Bring the casserole to a simmer on the top of the stove. Then cover and place in the lower 3rd. of the preheated
oven @325 F. Regulate the heat so that the liquid remains at a slow simmer for 3 to 4 hours at the end of which time,
the meat should be fork tender.
This recipe may be prepared in advance to this point. When ready to serve, heat on the stove and slowly
simmer until the meat is thoroughly heated through.
This is good served with parsley potatoes or buttered noodles.
Ellen Gruebel, from the Graded Gourmet, provided these recipes:
Salt and pepper to taste
3 squirrels, cut in pieces
2 cans of beer
Salt, pepper and flour the squirrel as for frying chicken. Fry in deep hot oil until brown. Drain on paper
towels. Place in a casserole dish, pour the beer over, and sprinkle with cumin. Bake, covered at 300 degrees F for at least
2 hours or until tender. Freezes. Serves 4. You’ll never have a tough squirrel with this recipe, and the beer gravy is out
of this world. Seriously, I think chicken might be a good substitute for squirrel (that is, if you are fresh out.)
From "Pirate’s Pantry" Lake Charles, Louisiana
Beer Quick Bread
2 ½ cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 can (12 ounces) beer
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the beer and mix just until
evenly moistened. Place in a well-oiled 4 ½ x 8 ½ inch loaf pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes or until well
browned and starts to pull away from the pan. Invert onto a rack to cool. Serve warm or cool. Freezes well. Cut into thin
slices and serve with butter and honey. Makes one loaf.
From "Recipes to Warm the Heart," Iowa
Beer Fish Batter
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
¼ cup warm beer
Combine the eggs, milk, flour and salt. Whisk until smooth. Slowly pour the beer into the mixture, continuing
to whisk. Dip the fish into the batter and deep-fry in very hot oil. Both sides of the fish should be a golden brown, about
2 minutes per side. Serve with Fresh lemon wedges.
From "Star Spangled Recipes," Lake Ozark, Missouri
Beer Batter Onion Rings
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 (12 ounce) can of beer
¼ to ½ teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
3 large onions
Combine the flour, salt, and beer; let stand until light and bubbly. Add the Tabasco sauce and let stand several
hours or overnight. Cut the onions into ½ inch slices; separate them into rings. Dip the onion into flour, into the beer
batter and into the flour again. Heat at least 1 inch of oil in a large pot or deep fryer (375 degrees F). Fry the battered onion,
a few at a time, until golden brown. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
From "Star Spangled Recipes," Lake Ozark, Missouri
Beer Batter for Shrimp
1 can (12 ounces) beer
1 ½ to 2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
red pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients and beat with a wire whisk until frothy. The batter may be used immediately or stored
in a refrigerator for several days. Simply whisk freely to assure smoothness and uniformity.
From "Pirate’s Pantry," Lake Charles, Louisiana
½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup bell pepper, chopped
½ cup margarine, melted
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups boiling water
1 cup raw rice
¾ cup beer
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon each pepper and thyme
Sauté the onion and the pepper in the margarine. Add the bouillon cubes dissolved in water. Stir in everything
else. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the liquid is gone. Serves 5-6. Great served with barbecued chicken.
From "Pirate’s Pantry," Lake Charles, Louisiana
Beer Fritter Batter
This is good not only for vegetables but for seafood and chicken, as well as for fruit fritter, such as banana,
pineapple, and apple.
Makes 1 ½ cups
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted salt
½ cup beer
Combine the flour, egg, butter, salt, and the beer in a blender or food processor, or a bowl. Beat until the batter
is smooth. Let the batter stand, covered, for 4 hours before using. Have the vegetables well drained and patted dry if
they have been washed. Cut into 1 inch pieces or use whole flowerets; leave green beans and mushrooms whole. Dip in
the batter and fry in deep fat, 360 degrees F, until golden. Remove quickly and drain on paper towels.
*Mesopotamia is currently called Iraq. This is possibly one of the reasons Germany was so against the war with
Iraq. They were afraid the price of the
schopp (300 ml of fresh brew) would go up. Now, that’s a fuel we can’t live without!
Monica O’Day Trentini was born in the US but raised in Brazil. She attended American Schools and
eventually went to The University of Virginia, where she graduated with a Master’s in Teaching. She married
a Brazilian and moved to São Paulo. She left teaching to raise her children and started a business making
and selling home-made cookie dough and baked cookies to people. She delivers cookies in São Paulo, but orders
have come from as far as Arizona! She currently has her articles published at
www.gringoes.com and in The Flash, a printed newsletter for The International Newcomers’ Club in São Paulo. Monica’s e-mail
is firstname.lastname@example.org, and she welcomes your responses to her articles, as well as your cookie orders!