Monja Old Paul Limited Edition produced in Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
A craft beer made with the crystal clear waters from Serra da Mantiqueira.
Craft beers are nothing new. Man has been making them since the year dot.
We discovered some unique ones last week when I explored beers in New Zealand.
Let’s have a quick look at some from Brazil. Brazil has a great advantage over the rest of the world because it boasts some of the more unique flora of the planet.
Forest Bacuri Cerveja
The Bacuri fruit comes from a tree (Platonia insignis) that is native to Amazônia and grows up to 35 metres (about 100ft), it has a hard shell and inside three segments of an aromatic white pulp.
The uses of bacuri are varied, it is made into sodas, juices, icecreams, liqueur, jams and candies. Of course, also beer.
The beer is described as ‘super refreshing’ and has an alcoholic content of 3.8%
The beer is produced in Belém, Pará in the north of Brazil and so far has been distributed as far as São Paulo, it doesn’t appear to have reached Rio de Janeiro yet, so America beer lovers will have to wait until I have had a sip… or two.
My native New Zealand has always been known as a beer drinking stronghold. although from the 1980s I saw wine begin to make inroads. Rugby, Racing & Beer was like a catch phrase for NZ.
The principal beers were DB (Dominion Breweries), and Lion, although there were others like Leopard and Steinlager which were mainly exported. A self respecting Kiwi wouldn’t be caught drinking such poncy stuff. Then of course you had the Scots contingent down in Dunedin that had their own Speights and the Waikato had something strange too.
Shock, horror; I have just been browsing NZ beer and what I remember has all but gone.
Twenty years and it’s gone.
One more nail in the coffin, proof that I am well on the downside of the proverbial hill and gathering spead. This DB label adorned many a bottle that passed through my appreciative hands, I found on an auction site; it was auctioned off in August this year.
Now they have stuff like Moa… never heard of it. The last I knew was that it was a big extinct chicken.
Moa Blanc (fancy wheat beer), Moa Pale Ale as well as Original. Mind you I can see the marketing ploy there; after a few drinks you shout, “More!” and the way we Kiwis have butchered our mother tongue, it would sound like, “Moa!” so that’s what you’d get. Crafty bastards.
Now they have so many different beers, there’s this stuff called ‘craft beer’, which comes from craft breweries, not overly sure what that is, but I’ll find out on Wikipedia, apparently craft beer is the product from a micro brewery.
So the Kiwi world has been taken over by ‘craft beers’ which I read as ‘higher priced’.
I just read that New Zealand now has about 50 breweries, so there’s a lot of ‘craft beer’ out there. And the ‘craft beers’ are referred to as ‘Premium’; did I not say higher priced?
I just had another shock. Last year traditional ‘uncrafted’ beer was $12 a bottle (750ml), at least in May 2010. No wonder I became an ex-pat, I’m grizzling because my beer, Brahma (Brazilian beer), recently went from R$3 to R$3.50 (US$1.75) a bottle (600ml – pint+/-); I will grizzle no more.
There’s a good concise history of the first New Zealand beer here. Worth a click.
So it appears that New Zealand beers have come of age. I am astounded. I knew that the NZ govt had (mistakenly) closed Wigram air force base, but had no idea that the name lived on in my drink of choice.
So there you have it, some memoirs of a beer drinking Kiwi who has been away from home for twenty years.