Drinking Beer in...
Drinking Beer in Portugal
Portugal is not internationally famous for its beer, yet it is very popular all over the country, and beerlovers won't be disappointed (did you know that the annual academic festival in Coimbra has held the world record of beer consumption for several times? Yes, more than in the 'Oktoberfest').
Few kinds of beer are made in Portugal. They're mainly 'lager' or 'brown beer' and more recently some lighter versions of lager like 'Cool, Ice, etc...'. This tip is more intended to provide some vocabulary regarding types of glasses and ways of asking.
First of all, beer is 'Cerveja' (something like 'Serrvayjah'), and is always served chilled.
So, if you want more or less half a pint of draught beer (0.25 l served in a thin glass) ask for: 'Imperial' - in Lisbon and southwards - or 'Fino' - from Coimbra northwards.
If you want more or less a pint of draught beer (0.5 l served in a Mug) ask for a 'Caneca'.
At least in Lisbon there is also a greater glass, the 'Girafa'.
Botlled beer usualty comes in 0.25/0.33 l bottles.
The two main brands are 'Sagres' and 'Super-Bock', both created around the 1930's.
Here's a summary of portuguese brands or foreign brands popular in Portugal (all of them have websites but you'll have to look for them, this is not advertising):
- 'Super Bock' - Lager, 5.8% Alcohol
- 'Sagres' - Lager, 5.1% Alcohol
- 'Sagres Preta' - the most popular Dark/Brown Beer
- 'Cristal' - Lager/Pilsener, 5.2% Alcohol, from the same brewery of 'Super Bock' but made since 1890
- 'Imperial' - Lager/Pilsener, 5.1% Alcohol, from the same brewery of 'Sagres'. Mind that this is the brand, not the draught 'imperial' (half pint) wich can be of any brand;
- 'Tagus' - Lager, a new brand (2002)
- 'Cintra' - Lager, a new brand (2002)
- 'Topazio' - Lager/Pilsener, regional from Coimbra from the same brewery of 'Sagres'
- 'Onix' - Lager/Pilsener, regional from Coimbra from the same brewery of 'Sagres'
- 'Coral' - Lager/Pilsener, regional from Madeira
- 'Carlsberg' - Lager/Pilsener, 5.2% Alcohol, from the same brewery of 'Super Bock' under license of the Danish brand
- 'Tuborg' - Lager/Strong, 7.2% Alcohol (the strongest!), from the same brewery of 'Super Bock' under license of the Danish brand
- 'Jansen' - Alcohol free (max. 0.5%), from the same brewery of 'Sagres'
- 'Cheers' - Alcohol free (max. 0.5%), from the same brewery of 'Super Bock'
You can drink beer in any restaurant but also in most 'cafés'. Most of them are really snack-bars (although they really serve 'expressos' more than anything else).
There is a particular kind of restaurant specially devoted to beer and normally serving beef steaks with tradicional sauces (supposed to be secret) or seafood. They're called 'Cervejarias'. In Lisbon, the most ancient are 'Trindade' and 'Portugália'. Nowadays these restaurants are expanding in chains throughout the city and the whole country. Apart form the two mentioned above there are also 'Republica da Cerveja' and 'Cervejeira Lusitana'. In Silves, Algarve, there's 'Fábrica do Inglês'.
All these 'Cervejarias' have their own breweries producing exclusive brands.
There are also many other 'Cervejarias' scattered all over the country that are really plain seafood restaurants (also known as 'Marisqueiras') where normal brands are served.
Remember, drink but don't get drunk, and never drink-drive!