The craft beers in Lisbon

Before talking about craft beers in Lisbon, a brief presentation of the two capital's queens...

Beer in Portugal, a state affair !

When you arrive in Lisbon, you quickly see a glaring antagonism. The intrinsic rivalry between two brands of beer, Sagres (nicknamed the Lisbon beer because it is brewed nearby) and of course Super Bock (created in Porto). At the height of the competition between these two « capitals », a commercial war is taking place in Lisbon’s bars and tascas, even Heineken is having a hard time (I understand, Portuguese beers have a superior flavour and so that’s why Heineken and Carlsberg bought Sagres and Superbock respectively). If you leave the airport by metro, you can’t miss the huge Sagres advertisement that takes up the entire front of a tunnel : « How do you say i want a beer in portuguese? – Uma Sagres por favor. « The tone is set.

The two main sponsors of the rival clubs Sporting and Benfica are also in competition with each other… But you might think that in terms of flavour, Sagres and Super Bock are in the same fight, it’s still beer on draught.

Craft and non-craft beers in Portugal, an art of living

Microbreweries are revolutionising our perception of beer !

This lager fatigue began to be felt in the consumption patterns of Europe and the United States, whose sector was dominated by large industrial groups. In the 1980s, microbreweries were developing everywhere, particularly in the United Kingdom, where the term originated. Following the Belgian brewing tradition, craft beers were born, with original, daring recipes linked to the land (e.g. Brouwerij’t ij, Curtius, Bières de Ré). Beers with a sense of identity, favouring fermentations that were previously neglected or unknown to the general public (IPA in particular).

If microbreweries appeared very quickly in European capitals such as Amsterdam, Lisbon has only known its « hop » revolution since 2015. This appearance is linked to a favourable context of economic recovery and the tourist boom.

It is a return to the roots, as microbreweries existed in the last century, as shown by the restaurants called cervejarias, which were real breweries in their time before their beers were supplanted by Sagres and Superbock.

Cervejaria Trindade, the oldest brewery in Portugal.
Cervejaria Trindade, the oldest brewery in Portugal.

The emergence of microbreweries in Lisbon

At the end of 2013, the first pioneers in Lisbon were called Dois Corvos, in French « Two Ravens » (a typically Lisbon symbolic name that fits in with the local beer logic). Before being entrepreneurs, the founders Susana Cascais and Scott Stevens are above all passionate about beer. Seasonal beer, triple fermentation, Ale, Stout, experimental beer, Dois Corvos beers are above all original creations. Based in the -long time deprived- district of Marvila, the brewery opens at the end of 2015 the first « tap room » of Portugal proposing a variety of 12 beers on draught (including the famous Finisterra, Into the woods,…).

Address: R. Cap. Leitão 94, 1950 Lisboa.

This new adventure will inspire many budding brewers ! Year after year, they gain in experience and the beers in flavour. Among these microbreweries, we can mention :

Brewery dois corvos, Lisbon's first craft brewery perfect for evenings out with erasmus buddies

LX Beer (2014) : this microbrewery has the ambition to be THE craft beer of Lisbon in the same way that Brouwerij’t IJ could be for Amsterdam. To be tasted in the Arroios district!

Portuguese brewery Lx Beer pioneer of the Portuguese craft beers located near marks of pombal

8a Colina (2015): brewed on the hill of Graça, in the heart of the working class vilas, the brewery features on its bottles stylized by the artist Gonçalo Mar atypical characters (just like their beers!) who made the life of the neighbourhood. There is a second taproom at av. Duque de Loulé, 85 near Marques de Pombal.

Portuguese brewery 8a colina located in Graça in Lisbon with taproom near Marques de Pombal

Cerveja Musa (2016): A neighbour of the « Dois Corvos » brewery, the Musa brewery does not beat about the bush to define its philosophy: revolutionise the world of beer ! With collaborations with other microbreweries like Letra (PT), Musa regularly releases new beers. Their luscious nectars can be tasted almost anywhere in the country and we invite you to taste them in their tap room in Marvila. On weekends there are live concerts and DJ sets. What do the people want? There is a second taproom in Cç. Salvador Correia de Sá, in the Bica neighbourhood (Bairro Alto).

Portuguese brewery Musa located in Marvila in Lisbon

Cerveja Lince (2016): this is the story of two friends/colleagues from Vodafone who are passionate about brewing their own beers in a garage until they start producing professionally, helped by a third friend who suggests they name their beer Lince, which means Lynx. Sensitive to the extinction of the Iberian lynx, the Lince microbrewery, also based in Marvila, is a partner in an LPN conservation programme. So by enjoying a Lince beer, you will be contributing to its protection. No taproom but you can visit them and taste their beers in most of the beer bars in Lisbon.

Lince beers are brewed in the Marvila district of Lisbon and support the Iberian lynx protection programme

Quimera Brewpub (2016) : Adam the American founded this atypical brewery located in an old tunnel leading to the Palacio das Necessidades, which was used as a passage for horses in the 18th century. Today you can taste beers brewed on the spot but not only.

American brewery Quimera Brewpub located in Santos in Lisbon in a tunnel leading to Tapada das Necessidades

Cerveja Duque (2016): Located in the famous « Duque » stairs, Cerveja Duque was the first taproom opened in Lisbon. They produce their own beers (capacity 3x 250L per month) and offer other craft beers. Of course it’s possible to have petiscos on the spot! If you are in the Bairro-Alto or Chiado, this is the place to be.

Interior of the Cerveja do Duque brewery, located in Calçada do Duque in the Chiado district of Lisbon

A.M.O (2017): this microbrewery is a community-based brewery and its development is based on the sharing of ideas, stories and skills in order to produce an exceptional beer in its image. Every Friday evening, beer lovers meet in the brewery, which is transformed into a social club. The opportunity to taste traditional beers, delicious tapas and above all to have a great time. Address: Rua Bernardim Ribeiro 53, Lisboa

AMO, shared craft beers brewed with love in Lisbon
Margaret Orlowski is the alchemist behind AMO Craft Beers

OPO 74 (2016): This beer leverages over 20 years of expertise to create high-quality alternative beers, using only premium natural ingredients, adhering to brewing traditions while incorporating cutting-edge technologies for quality brews.

Gallas Beer (2018) : Brazilian brewmaster Gustavo Gallas dreamed of opening his own bar and offering his creations. He was able to make his project a reality after meeting Vinicius Praça, a big fan of craft beers. Located not far from the taproom of 8a Colina, 21 Brewpub Gallas offers 12 choices of draught beers, brewed mainly in the basement. You can also try Brazilian cuisine, another of Gustavo’s talents.

Gallas Brazilian brewery located in the Graça district of Lisbon

Cerveja Canil (2019): the concept is similar to Gallas Beer in many ways. The beers are brewed by Brazilians, the pub food is semi-gastro. The only (major) difference is the size. Cerveja Canil offers an incredible number of craft draught beers, in addition to those brewed locally. Clearly, you won’t be able to taste them all 🙂 in one go. Another highlight is that it is the only craft brewery located in the heart of Lisbon, in the Baixa district.

Brazilian brewery Canil located in the Baixa district near Praça da Figueira

Lisbon does not have a monopoly on microbreweries, so you can discover and taste them throughout the country :

In the Lisbon area : Pato Brewing in Cascais, URBE in Seixal, Mean Sardine in Ericeira,Quinta das Tílias in Azambuja, Pitbull in Amadora, Cerveja Oeste in Sobral de Monte Agraço. Elsewhere : Cerveja Barona in the Serra de Sao Mamede natural park, Letra in the Minho region.

Have you discovered a craft beer brewed in Portugal and it’s not on this list ? Let us know 🙂

Cerveja Oeste, an amazing beer brewed by Pedro Poejo in northern Lisbon
Cerveja Oeste, an amazing beer brewed by Pedro Poejo

Where can you drink a Lisbon craft beer in the city centre ?

Most of Lisbon’s famous cafés currently have a selection of some of Lisbon’s craft beers. However, some establishments have specialised in promoting export beers. Among them we find :

  1. Trobadores, Rua de São Julião, nº27
  2. Cerveteca, Praça das Flores 62
  3. Outro Lado, Beco do Arco Escuro 1
  4. Sputnik, Rua Andrade 41A
  5. Crafty Corner, Tv. Corpo Santo 15
Crafty Corner an excellent craft beer bar in Lisbon on Cais do Sodre.
Crafty Corner, the latest craft beer bar in Lisbon on Cais do Sodre. It broadcasts rugby and football matches of course!

The different types of Portuguese beers :

Mini : small 20cl bottle produced by Sagres and Super Bock. Shouldn’t cost you more than €1 normally. The mini is very popular with Portuguese workers when they are looking to quench their thirst on the job.

Imperial : 20cl-30cl draught beer of any brand. In the north, the term fino is used. For a bottled beer, ask for a garrafa. An imperial should not cost you more than €1.50 in the classic bars and up to 50 cents in the tascas.

Caneca : 40cl/50cl draught beer, or a pint. During the warmer months, unless you’re a big drinker, we don’t recommend pint beer as it will heat up very quickly. A caneca should not cost you more than €3 in a regular bar.

After a long day of sightseeing in Lisbon, a nice cold draught is deserved
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