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BRAZILIAN BEER IS VERY GOOD
There are some facts which explain the good quality of Brazilian beer: natural conditions favor the production of malt and cevada, raw material of Brazilian beer; Brazil is a massive consumer of beer (not much per capita, but the immense population makes the Brazilian market one of the biggest in the world); this brings competition, and competition brings quality.
The biggest Brazilian beer maker is Ambev, which produces the brands Skol, Brahma and Antarctica (the name Skol is of Scandinadivan origin, but Brazilian Skol never used it for marketing).
The other main brands are Kaiser (The Coca-Cola group used to have shares of this company, the only case in the world where Coke is involved with alcoholic drinks; Coca-Cola sold its shares to Canadian Molson in 2002, but the Coke trucks still distribute the beer) and Schincariol.
All these most famous brands are made with a similar process, resulting in the kind of beer called Pilsen; lagers are unheard of in Brazil.
Also, in the supermarkets, several imported beers are available: Heineken, Budweiser and Carlsberg, among others. If you are into stout, there is a Brazilian version of it, called Caracu (popular knowledge has it that raw eggs dissolved in Caracu is a VERY afrodisiac drink).
Beer or chope?
At many places, bars would offer only chope (or chopp) instead of beer.
The main difference between them is that chope is not pasteurized (process which increases the temperature of a product and then causes a very abrupt drop), while beer is. This causes differences in taste and alcoholic grade. Beer usually is a bit more alcoholic.
March 3rd 2004. Brazilian Ambev and Belgian Interbrew to join.
Ambev and Interbrew announced today that the companies will join forces for a world wide alliance. The new company, Interbev, will have operations in 32 countries, with 70,000 employees and US$ 11 billion in revenues. Interbev will surpass Amerian group Anheuser-Busch, to become the #1 beer group in the world, measured by volume of beer produced.
According to Reuters, the Interbrew CEO, John Bock, declared that his company will pay 9.2 billion euros for the share swapping which will allow participation in Ambev. The control of the new company will be split in two equal parts, and the shares will continue to be negotiated independently.
Interbev will have three global brands: Stella Artois, Beck's and Brahma.
July 2004. I found an article about Brazilian beer written by an American tourist who seems to enjoy beer and to know Brazil. Click the link to get a second opinion about
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visitors since April 5th 2005