A guide to craft beer in Portugal

Portugal has a small, but growing, craft beer scene. Craft beer (cerveja artesanal) is nowhere near as popular here as it is in other countries like Germany, the UK, and the USA. Portuguese bars tend to serve one of two Portuguese beers, Super Bock or Sagres, and if you want craft beer, you’ll really have to look hard to find it.

But, even though the artisan beer scene is small, there is one. There are now a decent handful of Portuguese craft beer producers dotted around the country, and in big cities like Lisbon and Porto you’ll find one or two bars and shops that specialise in craft beer.

Portuguese Craft Beers to Try

Sovina

Produced in Porto, this is Portugal’s first craft beer. Sovina produces 5 regular beers – Amber, Helles, IPA, Stout, and Wheat – as well as a few seasonal specials like their Christmas beer, a Helles Bock (springtime) and a wine barrel-matured Vintage Amber.

Musa

Musa beers are easily recognisable thanks to their funky branding and fun names: Mick Lager (a hoppy lager), Red Zeppelin Ale (red session IPA), Born in the IPA (Indian Pale Ale), and Twist and Stout (Stout).

Their website shows where stocks their beers. I tried them in Fabrica Coffee Roasters, one of hipster Lisbon’s new coffee shops.

Mean Sardine

Probably the brand with the coolest name, Ericeira-based Mean Sardine produces a number of different beers. Their most popular is probably Amura, an American Pale Ale, but it’s also worth trying Voragem (Black IPA), Zagaia (Abbey Dubbel), A Walk in Madeira (IPA), and Salema (Witbier).

Passarola

As with almost all of these Portuguese micro-breweries, Passarola is very new to the scene. They first began fermenting in 2014, and now produce Chindogu (IPA), Marquês de Pale Ale (an American Pale Ale), and Hadron Collision (an American Stout).

Their website has a useful map where you can find the bars, shops, and restaurants that stock their beers.

Others

  • Post Scriptum
  • Letra
  • Dois Corvos
  • Barona
  • Amphora
  • Dux
  • Lusitana
  • Maldita
  • Aroreira
  • Arrábida Beer Company
  • Burguesa
  • Celinda
  • D’Ourique
  • DEUSA
  • Faustino
  • Gíria
  • Toira
  • Vadia
  • Medieavalis
  • Oitava Colina
  • Rolls Beer
  • Sant’Ana LX
  • OPO74
  • Praxis
  • Vitória.

Where to buy/ try craft beer in Portugal

Porto

  • Catraio Beer Shop (shop) – A shop that also has around 10 beers on tap. Great selection of Portuguese and international beers.
  • Porto Craft Beer Tour – A small-group craft beer tour where you visit two of Porto’s craft beer breweries.
  • Armazém da Cerveja (bar and shop) – Offers 5-6 beers on tap, and plenty more in bottle.

Lisbon

  • Duque Brewpub (bar) – Has around 9 different craft beers on tap, many of which are their own, and around 50 different bottled craft beers.
  • Quimera Brew Pub (bar) – Has around 10 different craft beers on tap at any given time.
  • Cerveteca (bar and shop) – Has around 50 different Portuguese and international craft beers. Most are bottled, but a few are on tap.
  • Lisbon Beer Tours (tour) – Offers several tours and workshops, including a workshop where you learn how to make your own craft beer.
  • Zymology (shop) – A craft beer shop owned by Rolim Carmo, who’s also the head brewer at Mean Sardine. The shop is based in Mafra, which is around 45 minutes outside of Lisbon.

Algarve

  • Gourmet made in Portugal (market stall at Loulé market) – Craft beer stall selling Portuguese and international craft beers including beers by Passarola, Dois Corvos, and Oitava Colina.
  • Ground 864 (pub) – Hipster pub in Faro serving all things trendy – doughnuts, hotdogs, burgers, Quesadillas – you name it. Good selection of bottled Portuguese craft beers from the likes of Musa, Passarola, and Barona.

Craft Beer Festivals

  • Porto Beer Fest (usually mid-June) – Celebrates craft beer from Portugal, with a few international craft beers as well. In 2017, there were around 20 craft beers there including Mean Sardine, Sovina, and Letra.
  • ArtBeerFest Caminha (usually early to mid July) – Celebrates the best of Portuguese and Spanish craft beer.

 

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