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You wouldn't suspect this toy store for beer geeks to be in a shopping mall, but it is. On the ground floor of Città America at store 117-E is Beertaste, a toy store for beer geeks. The outside of the store is an eye opener...look at all that Belgian beer on display! I walked through the opened door around 6:30pm....where is everybody? I thought that the store just opened.
The first thing that amazes you is how small the place is, but is filled with all sorts of treats. There's a small second floor with additional collectable beers that I was lead up to by the owner (more on him later). The first floor is filled with pure beerdom. Glassware filled with corks, oddball glassware for sale, Fat Tire and Baden Baden Tripel on display "for show", a Celebration Ale tap handle pulling the Erdinger Weissbier, the gifts sets of Rochefort, Duvel, Westmalle, and lots and lots of beer to choose from for drinking. The only thing missing were other people.
Four beers on tap, plus about 150 in the bottles. Some of the bottles are refrigerated so that you can drink there, some are not. On-tap: Newcastle, Old Speckled Hen, Guinness, Erdinger (with a Celebration Ale tap handle). Most of the bottle selection is Belgian beer, plus the sprinkle of a few German, English, Brazilian, and miscellaneous brands. Among the Belgians are Duvel, Gouden Carolus, DeuS, Leffe, Piraat, Gulden Draak, Orval, Popperings Hommel Bier, Liefmans, Delirium, St. Bernardus, Westmalle, Achel, Tripel Karmeliet, Martin's Pale Ale, Cantillon. Some Germans (Aecht Schlenkerla, Tucher, Paulaner, Erdinger), a few Brazilians (Colorado, Falke, Wäls), and a little English (Fuller's, Meantime). They even have some Unibrioue (though I heard Unibroue is no longer exporting to Brazil). A tremendous selection of "hard to find" beers in Brazil.
I focused on Brazilian beers. I drank a Wäls Pilsen (served in its own glass)....great stuff. Afterwards, it was on to Falke Ouro Preto. Another winner. Nothing wrong with the beers, and with the right glassware.
Let me say a few things about the owner; he loves his beer! Even though he can't speak English, and I don't know a lot of Portuguese, and with no one to translate, we got along really well. I know about Westmalle? Yes I do, I love the tripel. You receive Rodenbach in Brazil? No. He noticed that I was taking notes of the beers I was drinking, so he gave me a slip of paper to write on, complete with the number I score each attribute, and a space to take notes for each aspect of the beer. He showed me his "secret stash" of beers, which includes a case of A Dama do Lago, Westvleteren 8, a case of 2001 and 2002 vintages of Cuvee Van de Keizer....even two half-full bottles of Sam Adams Utopas he let me smell! At the end of it all, he gave me two volumes of Beer Magazine (a Brazilian beer magazine) as my parting gift.
If there's a downside to Beertaste, it's the operating hours. They seem to be based off the hours of Città America. They actually close at 8pm on Saturday, and are closed Sunday, so plan accordingly. A toursit could insist that the beers cost too much, but after being at many bars in São Paulo, Porto Alegre, and other parts of Rio, I'd say their prices are fair for Brazil.
I expected to be very impressed by Beertaste, and that I was. I was very impressed with how I was treated at Beertaste, and very impressed with the beer in inventory. Without a doubt, I'll be coming back here when I return to Rio, even if it is a pain in the ass to get to from "real Rio".
12-29-2009 19:36:35 | More by DoubleJ
Beertaste in Rio De Janeiro - RJ, Brazil
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