Where In The World... Portugal?

Breweries exist on all corners of the globe, and in this issue we explore the beer culture of Portugal.

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Good morning. Per TSA estimates, today is supposed to be the busiest travel day on record. I have to admit, I’m part of the problem - I’m writing you from the airport in Porto, Portugal hopefully boarding my flight on time and without delays back to New York. Fingers crossed 🤞

-Brandon Copeland

Where In The World… Portugal?

Portugal is a country that is famous for their wines - specifically Port wine, which is world famous and has a similar demarcation as Champagne (Port can only be produced in the Douro Valley of Portugal). This culture is incredible and well worth exploring, which we have thoroughly in the last couple weeks (and we have the empty bottles to prove it).

However, I can’t travel and not seek out local breweries - for my wife and I, it’s a part of our love language. In Porto, we tried out beers at 3 local breweries and all of them were excellent. All of them were small breweries, with around 4 fermenters and 3 BBL mash tuns that primarily brewed enough only to support the taproom.

Fermenters at A Fábrica da Picaria

One particular location, A Fábrica da Picaria, was especially cool because they let you walk freely around the brewery, and even had instructional signs allowing visitors to learn about the brewing process. It was a small space but was open air, and seemed like a great place for a brew day.

Brewery at A Fábrica da Picaria

I’m always inspired by small breweries I find on my travels because it shows that even on a small scale, the dream of opening a brewery is possible. You won’t become a millionaire in the process on this scale, but it seems like an incredible retirement plan - brew artisanal beer on a scale only fitting for a taproom, without the headaches of packaging and distribution. The community always seems to gather around these breweries, and rightfully so.

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Beer Trivia Question

🍺 What is the estimated amount of breweries in Portugal?

Read to the end to find out if you're right!

Brewgr Recipe of the Week

It’s only fitting that this issue would include a “Portuguese” beer recipe (only guessing it was created in Portugal since it is a “Cerveja Facil”). This beer is very simple, utilizing Nugget hops and primarily Pilsner malt.

Credit: RoninLargura

The majority of people said yes to this poll - thank you to everyone who wrote in, this is clearly a hotly debated topic. Most who said yes claimed that too many breweries only brew IPA’s and tend to ignore other styles. Also, some agree the proliferation of hazy IPA’s is a little overkill.

Those who said no claimed that most adventurous beers now are just brought under the umbrella of IPA for lack of a better term - they are the most creative and diverse beers out there. I tend to agree but also would love to see more creativity brought to other styles as well.

And the Answer Is...

🍺 Staying on theme with Portugal since I am indeed still here for a few more hours, there are around 100 breweries in the country. This is pretty good for a small country but pales in comparison to the US with close to 10,000 breweries. The major beer brands discussed last week (Super Bock and Sagres) are dominant and control a large majority of the market.

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Happy Brewing!

- Brandon, Brew Great Beer Team

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