The Brazilian beer Devassa ”“ Portuguese word for ‘libertine girl’
”“ is being launched for the first time outside its hometown of Rio de Janeiro by UK-based Black Collar.
The Devassa brand was created in 2001 by Marcelo do Rio and Cello Macedo for Rio’s Bar Devassa, their first joint venture.
Both were already owners of very successful, stylish bars, restaurants and clubs in Rio including Melt, Caroline Café, Zero-Zero and Zaza Bistrô Tropical, and Devassa was a natural next step.
The Bar Devassa concept is based around the first microbrewery beer in Rio. The beer itself has been unexpectedly successful and a new brewery company, União das Devassas Cervejaria Ltda, was opened by Marcelo and Cello with a third partner, Joca Muller (previously a marketing executive with L’Oréal and Johnson & Johnson), in the historic dockyard area of Rio, in September 2004.
The beer recipes were created specifically for Bar Devassa by a highly respected Master Brewer and use barley and hops imported from Belgium.
Three beers are currently produced, Loira (‘blonde’ in Portuguese), Ruiva (‘redhead’) and a dark beer Negra (‘black’).
Draft beer sold on the premises in Bar Devassa is also sold as ‘Mulata’ ”“ a mix of the three beers. There are no current plans to import the Negra beer to the UK.
The product has been recognised by international advertising agency McCann-Erickson as a future global success story. The agency offered a free campaign in Brazil for Devassa which was launched in May 2004.
The ads were quoted by the Campana Brothers in their interview in the July 2004 UK edition of Wallpaper as their favourite ad campaign. (The ads used in Brazil are too ‘sexy’ for the UK market but can be seen on the Black Collar website at www.blackcollargroup.com/index.php?page=devassa)
Black Collar is targeting top style and destination bars and clubs for Devassa. The bottles have a distinctive, stylish design and the beer is being very well received in tastings.
According to Black Collar CEO Paul Hamilton, “Devassa doesn’t just look good, it genuinely is great beer. For once, the two go hand-in-hand.”
Production of Devassa beer is very limited, making this a genuinely exclusive product. Devassa Beer has not previously been available outside Rio de Janeiro, even elsewhere in Brazil.
Loira: Golden colour, creamy head. Lightly grassy with slightly sweet flowery honey undertones. Mild hopped finish.
Ruiva: Amber coloured, rich head. Soft and rounded with some butterscotch and an aromatic hop finish.
Black Collar is developing a portfolio of premium brands from countries in the developing world for sale and distribution in style-conscious cities including London, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York.
Initial launch plans include premium branded beer from Brazil and designer children’s furniture from Singapore.
Black Collar was founded by Paul Hamilton, Simon Dorris and Nicolai Schleip. The company was established in July 2004 and is based in Soho, London.