In honour of International Beer Day today, we thought it apropos to highlight some of the amazing producers of craft beer here in Portugal, with a focus on Porto producers, of course!
Sadly, COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on producers here, and the hope is that some of our favourite brands will not necessarily go the way of the dodo; however, that future is not yet written. Many of the producers I’ve talked to are extremely nervous (as they should be) about how the state of the Portuguese economy may impact craft beer production in the future.
For now, a number of producers are still going strong, and deserve recognition for their efforts to keep Portuguese craft brewing as a cornerstone of alimentary offerings alive and well in Portugal. Let’s take a look at some exciting microbreweries here in Porto:
Colossus Craft Brewery – Things looked rosy following a smashingly successful reception at 2019’s Porto Beer Fest; however, winter brought a few challenges that didn’t prove kind to the fellows over at Colossus. Just around the time things were finally resolved, COVID-19 lockdowns threw yet another spanner in the works. Master Brewer and Founder João Oliveira pressed onward, and together with the help of his stellar team, was able to produce a sizeable batch of all the Colossus bestsellers. Now, things are back in (almost) full swing, with both clients and visitors to their taproom imbibing generously on their luxurious tipples; namely, Wonderlust, Adamanteia, Vasco and Brava. Here’s wishing them continued success as one of the most popular microbreweries within Portugal!
Lupum – A bit southeast of Porto, in the Avintes parish, municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia, Founder António Lopes of Lupum Farmhouse Brewery & Taproom keeps his nose to the grindstone, sticking to production of his regular offerings, including a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, Triple IPA, and two exquisite Imperial Stouts. A character is his own right, António keeps the main thing the main thing, focusing on wild beers that exhibit rich bodies and flavourful bouquets. It seems his motto is: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. We agree, as it doesn’t seem that any part of the Lupum brand needs ‘fixing’ at present. We wish them well.
Brewhands – Rafael Queiroz continues to reign as the ‘Sour King Supreme’, releasing a steady stream of sour beers for aficionados and amateurs alike. If sour beers are your thing, Rafael and his team have carved out their niche within the Portugal beer community, offering a wide range of saisons and barrel-aged sour beers. Some local favourites include: Vin de Ferme, Hipsteria Colectiva, and the highly regarded Imperial Sour Saison. Keep on keeping on, mates!
Madam Lindinha Lucas – During the lockdown in Portugal, husband and wife team Diogo Trindade & Sofia Pereira Oliveira took the opportunity to contribute to Portugal’s health care providers by participating in the production of alcohol gel, which they donated to the state. It also seems that the lockdown provided inspiration for some serious corporate creativity! Recently, Madam Lindinha Lucas announced a brand revamp with new labelling and canning of their newest offerings: The Exquisite Session IPA and The Margarita Gose Solo. Great news for great people! We hope the revamp brings you tremendous brand recognition!
Valhalla Brews – A partnership between Tomás Chalbert and Pedro Carvalho, Valhalla Brews was just getting on her feet prior to the COVID-19 outbreak in Portugal; however, good news abounds as the boys are in preparation to prepare a new batch of 1000 litres within the coming months. Good luck lads! Looking forward to sharing in your continued success!
Of course we can’t forget one of our favourite breweries outside of Porto. Those fabulous Brazilian brewers over at Mean Sardine, based in Ericeira, continue to pump out incredible flavours, with our personal favourites: Tordesilhas, Voragem, Portucale, and A Walk in Madeira (an incredible passionfruit concoction crafted at the expert hands of house brewer, Daniel Ramiro). Mean Sardine has stood for quality for a while now, and there’s no reason to believe they’re going anywhere. That’s a very, very good thing.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t note that the big boys of Portuguese brewing, Musa, Nortada and Letra, seem to have things in hand, with a strong enough market share that their future is not necessarily in doubt. We know we’ll be drinking their beers for years to come. Salute!
A final word…although the two major Portuguese craft beer festivals, ArtBeerFest Caminha and Porto Beer Fest, were cancelled this year, we want to extend major kudos to Octavio Costa and the team at OG & Associados for their inspired decision to run E-ArtBeerFest instead. It seems the Invictus spirit is alive and well in Northern Portugal’s craft beer industry.
Happy International Beer Day to all!
Colossus Craft Brewery https://www.cervejacolossus.pt/
Madam Lindinha Lucas https://www.facebook.com/MadamLindinhaLucasCraftBeer/
Mean Sardine https://www.meansardine.pt/
ArtBeerFest Caminha https://www.facebook.com/groups/artbeerfestcaminha/
Porto Beer Fest https://www.facebook.com/portobeerfest/