Museu da Cerveja: Welcome to Lisbon’s beer paradise
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Violet
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Museu da Cerveja: Welcome to Lisbon’s beer paradise
The building that once housed Portugal’s Ministry of Finance is now the Beer Museum – where you can taste some of the finest brews not only from Portugal but also from Portuguese-speaking countries around the world. PDV takes you on a short tippling tour of this pint paradise in central Lisbon.


Quote:In the emblematic square of Praça do Comércio, on the edge of the river Tagus, stands a yellow-coloured building that was once Portugal’s Ministry of Finance. Here, people soak up the atmosphere under white patio umbrellas that spill onto the newly renovated square looking out towards the river, a glass of beer in hand. This is Lisbon’s Museu da Cerveja (Beer Museum) which, as well as offering typical Portuguese food and an array of beers downstairs, gives vistors a chance to learn about the history of the beverage on the first floor.


The Beer Museum takes you back to the 1st century AD - when references to the production of beer in the Roman province of Lusitania were first recorded, and walks you through the history of the nation’s first beer producers. There are commercial postcards from the early days of Portugal’s Sociedade Central de Cervejas, walls displaying adverts for beers such as Portugália and Estrella, and Sagres souvenirs ranging from keyrings and watches to cups and bottles, openers and beer tops.

There are numerous displays of Portuguese beers including Coral from Madeira, Cintra from Santarém and, of course, Sagres – now found in almost every corner of the world.

But Lisbon’s Beer Museum is not just about Portuguese beer, and in fact focuses on beers from the whole Portuguese-speaking community - including Cristal from Brazil, Strela from Cape Verde, Laurentina from Mozambique and, most notably, Cuca from Angola. “People travel hundreds of kilometres to drink Cuca here,” António Duarte, the museum’s restaurant manager, tells PDV. “It’s almost impossible to find in Portugal.”


The museum is full of beer bottles of all shapes and sizes, with audiovisual displays, information about the beverage’s history and amusing objects – like a cushion made of buffalo skin which was used when unloading beer, and vintage posters from the days when it was prescribed by doctors.

However, it is especially surprising to be swept behind a curtain and taken down a dark corridor into a low lit room in which a monastic brewery has been recreated. There, a monk will take you back to the 16th century and pour a sample of beer for you to taste.


A walk through the history of beer in Lusitania

Beer is such a commonplace drink nowadays that it is hard to imagine that in the 1st century AD, when most of present-day Portugal was part of the Roman province of Lusitania, wine was rare and beer was a luxury usually drunk at banquets.

It is also hard to believe that beer was outlawed for the locals in 1689, when it was considered harmful to the national economy, and that the ban lasted the whole of the 18th century. Wine producers even staged protests and referred to beer as “still water“.

Portugal, Germany and beer

The museum also explains the story behind Portugália, associated with the name of a chain of beer-serving restaurants which has existed since 1916. The name comes from when the Germania brewery was renamed Portugália, when Portugal entered the war against Germany and its allies. There is a Germania mug from 1916, which was banned in Portugal during the First World War, on display at the museum.

At the time, Portugália only kept barrels to supply beer, but later went on to serve traditional Portuguese foods. There are now several beer restaurants around the city called Portugália, a famous one situated in the Cais Sodré district.

Beer boom

In the second half of the 19th century new factories sprung up and domestic beer production really took off. Breweries became new bourgeois joints, with Jansen in Lisbon and Leão in Porto being the most prominent.

The restaurant – umbrella-shaded tables and plenty of beer

The restaurant on the ground floor has two 1,000 litre beer drives, offering all types of brews – most of which are displayed in the museum upstairs.

The restaurant also offers traditional Portuguese cuisine, especially meats, seafood and other appetisers. The giant lobsters displayed in the main entrance will catch your eye as soon as you walk in.

There are umbrella-shaded tables outside and the restaurant is located in the vast square of Praça do Comércio, where other trendy restaurants and the Lisbon Story Centre are to be found.

Museu da Cerveja
2013 Jan 04 17:41
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RE: Museu da Cerveja: Welcome to Lisbon’s beer paradise
We need a Beer Musuem indeed, as other beers than these two...

[Image: sagres-super-bock-e1309878849134.jpg?w=650]

...have practically no market at all anymore.

Super Bock used to be the dominant brand here but since beer is linked to football and the club of the masses is Benfica, when Super Bock started sponsoring Porto, this happened:

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LOL

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Jeff Hanneman 1964-2013
João Ribas 1965-2014
Lemmy Kilmister 1945-2015
2013 Jan 04 19:28
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RE: Museu da Cerveja: Welcome to Lisbon’s beer paradise
Now that's a bad business move! Big Grin

DžDž
2013 Jan 04 20:02
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RE: Museu da Cerveja: Welcome to Lisbon’s beer paradise
What happened to Imperial? That was the only brew I remember by name from my visit to Portugal. It was pretty good standard lager.

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Thomas Metzinger
2013 Jan 04 21:06
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RE: Museu da Cerveja: Welcome to Lisbon’s beer paradise
Oh hey! I was just there for dinner a week ago this past Sunday! Big Grin

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We dined al fresco. They had televisions set up so we could watch, what else, a game of footie. I'm not sure who was playing that night (Benfica maybe?) [EDIT: From the pics it looks like the Porto Club. Sorry]. But somebody with a blue scarf seemed to have won the match since on our way back to the hotel via taxi we encountered gleeful mobs of cheering fans sporting these scarves. Some fans literally hanging out the car windows:

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(We aren't accustomed to such displays here in my town. We have to wait another year until the Senators Hockey Club gets its act together I guess. Big Grin)

Anyway...

The beer is served in nifty inverted beer bottle-shaped glasses, each inscribed with some notable quote from some famous person. You can take one home for 12 Euro. Big Grin I was tempted but honestly how does one pack such a thing in an already well stuffed suitcase? The food is to die for!! We had a starter of mussels in beer followed by our main courses which varied from Green Soup with a side order of Octopus Salad, to Steak with Small Frites served with your choice of sauce (I chose the mushroom sauce), to Portuguese-style fried steak. While waiting for our food, we consumed, well, beer and enjoyed the delights of the views of the Tagus River and of a setting sun on the Praça do Comércio:

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More pics and narrative to bore you with in a while; I must now walk my dog. Big Grin

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2013 May 28 20:02
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RE: Museu da Cerveja: Welcome to Lisbon’s beer paradise
Jeebus, the normal price of those 33cl is €0,90 and the 20cl is €0,70. And I'm not talking about supermarket prices (around €0,45) but the normal pub. In night clubs they may charge up to €1,50 for a 33cl. €2,70 is criminal activity! Big Grin

As for your question, well it was the last day of the season. People were watching Benfica (red) for sure, it's a club from Lisbon, just look at the desolate faces. Porto won the league and those were just a few guys trolling around in Lisbon for giggles. Big Grin The picture with the blue outdoors is from the delegation of Porto in Lisbon and you happened to stumble on it, those are people from outside living in the capital and cheering for Porto. If a club from Lisbon had won, you couldn't move as traffic would be jammed til next morning!

The fun factor of this football season is that Benfica was about to win every competition, they were already celebrating and preparing the party but they lost everything in 15 days: europe, national league and cup. And in every one they choked in the final minutes after topping all competitions during the entire season... Facepalm Big Grin

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2013 May 30 01:09
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RE: Museu da Cerveja: Welcome to Lisbon’s beer paradise
14 Euro for 0.75 litres of bad beer? Sounds like Norway!

I wouldn't even pay 14 Euros for it even if it got served with this one:

[Image: 173-1122105506-lap-dance-picture-cartoon...dancer.png]


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2013 May 30 01:31
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RE: Museu da Cerveja: Welcome to Lisbon’s beer paradise
(2013 May 30 01:09)Zephyr Wrote:  Jeebus, the normal price of those 33cl is €0,90 and the 20cl is €0,70. And I'm not talking about supermarket prices (around €0,45) but the normal pub. In night clubs they may charge up to €1,50 for a 33cl. €2,70 is criminal activity! Big Grin

As for your question, well it was the last day of the season. People were watching Benfica (red) for sure, it's a club from Lisbon, just look at the desolate faces. Porto won the league and those were just a few guys trolling around in Lisbon for giggles. Big Grin The picture with the blue outdoors is from the delegation of Porto in Lisbon and you happened to stumble on it, those are people from outside living in the capital and cheering for Porto. If a club from Lisbon had won, you couldn't move as traffic would be jammed til next morning!

The fun factor of this football season is that Benfica was about to win every competition, they were already celebrating and preparing the party but they lost everything in 15 days: europe, national league and cup. And in every one they choked in the final minutes after topping all competitions during the entire season... Facepalm Big Grin

Heh, next time I'm in Lisbon some native ought maybe take me out to one of those cheap pubs. Big Grin

But hey, I loved every bit of my time at the Museu de Cerveja. I got to chat with a nice waiter. When I commented on the beauty of his country, he said: "But I am not Portuguese. I am Angolan." Smile He then went through his family chronology: his parents were Portuguese and moved to Angola where he was born; due to the war, they moved to Brazil where his first brother was born. Later, the family moved to Portugal and settled here where his second brother was born. Fascinating I thought. I wonder how this family identifies nationally and if there are any nationalist feelings among him and his Brazilian brother. A conversation not for a North American woman to have with an Angolan waiter in Lisbon I don't think. Unfortunately. Smile

I do have other pics of inside the resto-museu that I shall post later on.

As for the game between Benfica and Porto, ok thanks for the clarification. I thought it kind of nifty to see this outpouring of glee, to be honest. As I said, it's not something we see much of here.

Sounds like Benfica might have thrown some games on purpose. Who blows things like that to that degree? :/

As for that 14 Euro beer Phleggy, note I did not order that one. Big Grin Beer is good but no beer is *that* good, especially in a tourist trap restaurant. ;) Suffice it to say that I enjoyed a branco of some sort, a Sagres I think. I wasn't paying that much attention since I had other things to really concentrate on at the time, like enjoying the experience of just being in Lisbon for one last time.

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2013 May 30 02:39
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RE: Museu da Cerveja: Welcome to Lisbon’s beer paradise
(2013 May 30 02:39)Aemma Wrote:  Sounds like Benfica might have thrown some games on purpose. Who blows things like that to that degree? :/

They tried to win everything, to grab a Treble. Everyone could see their players were exhausted, about to fail and without options in the bench, everyone except their deluded fans who celebrated in anticipation during weeks. ;)

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Jeff Hanneman 1964-2013
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2013 May 30 04:42
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RE: Museu da Cerveja: Welcome to Lisbon’s beer paradise
Whenever I've asked for a beer in Portugal, it's always had to be Sagres or Super Bock. Not really been able to taste those outras cervejas yet. sad
2013 Jun 03 22:55
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