Teresópolis, a mountain city one hour north of Rio has a new attraction: Villa St Gallen, an artisanal brewery and restaurant specializing in German beer and food.
Pretty fantastic for a city like Teresópolis, where nature still call the shots.
Teresopolitanos (people born in Teresópolis) and Cariocas (people born in Rio) are flocking into this place especially on the weekends, when the city is most crowded. I was one of them on a recent visit.
My knowledge of beer was all theory. But I decided that this was the perfect place to learn to drink beer.
First because I was in the company of my family (in particular of my father, a great beer drinker), second because this place breathes and lives for its beer, and third because this place is in Teresópolis, in Rio, in Brasil—and I love to learn things here about my native culture.
As we sat down to eat, I get almost intimidated by the beer menu. A young gentleman, dressed in typical clothes offers to help.
“We serve fresh from the keg!” he says. St Gallen Weiss, Stout Porter, and Red Ale are his treasured beers, all brewed here.
As he offers a taste of three tumblers, I begin to realize the different nuances in each. Nutty brown with a lingering taste, fruity with a crisp tone, and caramel with a hint of chocolate, I got an education in beer brewing, an art in itself, unknown for me up until the St Gallen visit.
From wheat beer to sour ales to malt rich, beer is quite a drink, with beautiful orquestration of sweet and bitter, thick and thin, crisp and foamy.
This fermented drink is created by combining yeast with malted grains, resulting in a sugary liquid, of which the yeast feeds. The bubbles in beer (in Portuguese called colarinho) are the by-product of the yeast’ work. At Villa St Gallen this process happens in tanks and barrels.
For me beer has always been associated with a toast—a reward of a finished project, a sunny place such as Brazil, or just the celebration of life. There is plenty to celebrate with a beer in a glass. This visit might just have sparkled a new drinking hobby.
Rua Augusto do Amaral Peixoto, No 166
Alto Teresópolis, RJ
Tel 21 2642-1575