Bitch, Damned, Miser. Calm down, don’t be offended. We’re just naming great Portuguese craft beers
The names sound a bit offensive, we have to admit. Bitch (Vadia), Damned (Maldita) and Miser (Sovina) are somehow chocking out of blue, but in this case we are talking about the latest trend in the beer universe: the microbreweries. Those beers are much softer than their names, we assure you!
The brewing industy is no longer dominated by Portuguese queens Sagres and Super Bock. Although they remain market leaders, the latest trend says to taste the various brands of craft beers, which stand out for their flavour, manufacturing and price. But let’s face it: pay 1€ for a mini and about 4€ for a craft beer makes this trend more affordable either for trendy followers or for true beer lovers.
Find the history behind some of these brands:
Vadia (Bitch) – It was the passion for vagrancy that led three friends (Nicolas, Nuno and Victor) to create a different, craft and more genuine product. Currently you can choose from Black, Red, White and Pils. It was rewarded in 2015 with a gold medal and one silver medal in the competition Concours International de Lyon.
Maldita (Damned) – Born in Aveiro, in 2013, by the hands of Arthur and Gonçalo Faustino, father and son, beer enthusiasts. To his credit they already have important distinctions: 2nd World Best in Silver Award Winner and Best in Europe Europe’s Best Beers 2014. Its name was accidentally given by Gonçalo’s girlfriend due to her jealous of the long hours dedicated by him in the micro-brewery preparing its launch.
Sovina (Miser) – Born in Porto, is presented as the first craft beer produced in Portugal in 2011, following traditional methods. Thre are five types: Amber, Helles, IPA, Stout and Wheat. Occasionally they produce special editions, such as Sovina Amber Vintage, which stages in barrels of Port wine.
Letra (Letter) – A brand from Minho, it was lauched in 2013 by the hand of brewers Francisco Pereira and Philip Apple, who decided to bet in the premium beer market, with high quality and no additives. The result is a more turbid, aromatic and more intense beer. The varieties range from A to D: Weiss A, B Pilsner, C and D Stout Red Ale.
“But how many craft beers are there?”
It is estimated that there are more than 70 craft beer brands in the market and produced from north to south of Portugal. Aroeira, Calmeirona, Dois Corvos, Dúbia, Nau, Oirtava Colina, Passarola Brewing and Sant’Ana LX Brewery are Lisbon’s gem, with breweries installed at various locations in town. Oitava Colina, for example, has its own micro-brewery located within Vila Berta, in Graça neighbourhood, a typical environment that inspires the creation of various types of beer.
“Where can I taste Vadia? Or Maldita? Or any other?”
You can find them in gourmet supermarkets or shopping centres such as El Corte Ingles (like Letra) or searching for bars and restaurants throughout the city. Here are some of them:
Moules & Beer – We already spoken of Moules & Gin kiosk in Martim Moniz square and its irresistible mussel dishes. At their restaurant in Campo de Ourique, in addition to taste the mussels, you can also chose one from several craft beer Portuguese brands.
Where: Rua 4 da Infantaria, Campo de Ourique
Cerveteca Lisboa – Is the paradise for true craft beer lovers. Here you will find Portuguese and international brands bottled or in barrel. You can also pair them with cheeses, traditional Portuguese canned fish or sandwiches.
Where: Praça das Flores, 62
O Purista – It looks like a traditional barber shop, inside is a retro trendy barbershop. While you have your hair cut and beard done to the razor you can also taste an unique beer: Aflligem. Belgium this one. We welcomed it as one of our though! We love the bar/ber shop atmosphere. It’s cool to go even if you don’t want to have your hair our beard cut in any way and just feel like a cold craft beer and hang out!
Where: Rua Nova da Trindade, 16