I am a huge beer lover. Beer is by far my preferred drink – and wasn’t it because of the alcohol I would drink Pilsners all day long. It’s the perfect summer beer – in general more hoppy than a lager, and lighter than a pale ale. After the Pilsner my preferred beers are Stouts & Porters.
This is the reason why I’m not a big fan of Craft Beers. The majority of the craft beers are IPAs – not because this kind of beer is popular or better than the Pilsner but because it’s supposed to be the most difficult beer to brew compared to IPA’s: Pilsners don’t lie. Because the beer’s so simple, any faults or mistakes show up. If you have a little fault in an IPA, you add some more hops, ‘hop it out,’ as it’s called, and you bury it… (Douglas Miller, Spectacular Failures).
I don’t know if Douglas Miller is right or not – but it explains why I on most occasions leave a brew pub disappointed. When I find an IPA I like almost all of them are completely different next time I order it again… in other words – the quality is inconsistent and often bad (and undrinkable).
With the porters and Stouts things are different. Here it’s easier to find something I like. BUT they are most often too strong to drink if you have to work or are going out for dinner afterwards.
I don’t think Bárbara Simões is right in blaming Salazar’s exclusion of foreign beer business for the absence of other beers than Sagres & Super Bock Pilsners. It is after all, almost 50 years ago the dictatorship ended.
We didn’t have a dictator – still Carlsberg and Tuborg had the same monopoly until the craft beer wave started in the 90s.
The reason why the Crafts Beer wave hit Portugal 20 years after most other countries is because of the country’s wine tradition… I was so privileged to follow the start of 8a Colina and saw how much the guys struggled to start up their factory and Tab Room here in Graca…
The credit should go to guys like them and all the other crazy dedicated front runners who – despite the lack of beer tradition, lousy finances and conservative consumers risk their time and savings to follow their beer dream…
Last Time I researched the market I counted more than 50 Craft Brewers and/or Craft Bars… I have only visited very few of them. So it’s a thrill to find 4 of them on Lonely Planet’s guide to Lisbon’s Craft Beers.