A month to the day after landing in Brazil, I arrived in Curitiba with Marcel from Germany, after our second night bus in two and a half days. The first of these took us from São Paulo to Foz do Iguaçu in a lazy 15 hours, arriving at a respectable 9:30am.
Not wanting to waste the day, we decided to cross the bridge to have lunch in Paraguay (obviously for the cuisine and not just the passport stamp) before taking a couple of moto taxis to the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls.
This order of events was justified the following day when we visited the larger (and more spectacular) Argentinian side of the falls, where we stood just metres above the ‘Devil’s Throat’ and took a boat under a couple of the smaller waterfalls in order to cool off after another sweltering day.
A comedy-like chain of events didn’t quite prevent us from catching the bus to Curitiba that night, although the other passengers were subjected to a couple of half-cut individuals ploughing into their makeshift dinners for the first 20 minutes of the journey.
Any remorse on our part was duly forgotten through not being able to recline our seats due to some larger than average humans sitting behind us and the fact that Marcel’s football (a genuine Paraguayan replica) was half inched during the journey.
Our first stop in Curitiba was the Museu Oscar Niemeyer, dedicated to (and designed by) the famous Brazilian architect, who is 104 years of age. The building itself justifies the $2 AUD entrance fee, let alone the works inside, and we ended up spending a lot longer here than expected. Once we had been hurried along by the security guards eager to go home, we decided to head to Hop‘n Roll, a brewpub that has been open for almost a year.
We started with the Dom Pedro Imperial Pilsner (named after the founder and first ruler of the Empire of Brazil) and the Hop Metal Belgian Saison, before being introduced to Head Brewer, Vinicius, by the owner, Denis.
Vinicius brews a different beer each day, in batches of either 45 or 90 litres and depending on the style, these generally disappear over the bar in 1-2 days (stouts take a little longer).
He poured us a couple of glasses of the Black Power IPA and the APA Cadabra (neither of which were available on tap at the time) and spoke about the ‘beer movement’ in Brazil that has been going on for about 6 years. He also mentioned that many Brazilian microbreweries follow American trends, such as APAs and IPAs.
Next up we sampled the B.B. King Dry Stout and a Belgian IPA from local brewery, Way Beer, which had just been released the day before. Good timing on our part once again.
In addition to the 4 tap beers that we tested out, Hop‘n Roll had 8 others on offer – from local brewers Gauden, Way, Eisenbahn and De Bora and from further afield: Brewdog and Mikkeller. They also offer a B.O.P. (Brew on Premise) service that is popular in Canada, Australia and the USA. Here punters can come in and brew 40L of beer for R$450 (around $210 AUD).
And if being able to drink something other than the gassy, tasteless Brazilian commercial beers wasn’t good enough, the dulcet tones of Bon Scott and Brian Johnson rang out for the entire time we were there…