Nestled in a remote area filled with warehouses in the neighborhood of Hauer, is the heart and soul of Bodebrown Brewery. Personally, me being a native of Curitiba (Paraná), I had always thought of Hauer as just being an area full of car dealerships and body shops. Much to my surprise, it has a whole lot more to offer. One of the reasons why this neighborhood was chosen is because Samuel Cavalcanti, the CEO and Founder of Bodebrown, spent most of his life there. Originally from Pernambuco, a state in the northeast region of Brazil, Samuel and his family moved to Curitiba when he was at a very young age. Apart from being such a familiar area to him, Hauer also has very affordable properties and is located near the major highways, which easily connects the brewery to other cities around the country.
Long before we decided to go to Brazil this year, one thing was for sure, we needed to take a tour of Bodebrown Brewery, and that's exactly what we did. Emails were sent, contacts were made, and we were finally there on June 13th. We arrived around 10:30 in the morning to meet with Rafael Schorr (Director of Marketing), who was waiting for us outside of their main building. What had started as one property, has now spread throughout most of the entire block, with storehouses on both sides of the street. After initial introductions, Rafael took us to an empty warehouse called Nova Fábrica (New Factory). He explained to us that the idea behind the project came to fruition after Samuel visited Stone's brewhouse in Germany. In addition to expanding the production line from about ten thousand gallons to thirty thousand gallons, the new factory will also have an experimental lab with a centrifuge and yeast spreader, ten new tanks, and a quadriblock brass room. In order to make all this happen, Bodebrown has released their own version of the Stone Berlin Groundbreaking Collaborations campaign, where all of the funding is being generated by the purchase of exclusive products from the "Bodebrown Nova Fábrica" campaign. Whoever purchases these items will also have their names stamped on one of the tanks in the new location. The project was slated to be completed two months from the day of our visit, which means they should be pretty much done by the end of August.
Parked in front of the New Factory, a refurbished van caught our attention that they had named KOMBIPA. Equipped with six taps on the driver's side, the Kombi works like a mobile pub, taking Bodebrown's beers pretty much everywhere they go, ranging from private parties to food truck events and other festivals.
While making our way towards Bodebrown's storage facility, we passed by an area that looked a lot like an external tap room, but not quite. Without tables or seats, there was only a wall with several taps protruding from it. Rafael then described to us that their tap room functions as a self-serving station during the weekends. Anyone that owns a pre-paid card can go there and pour themselves any of the beers on draft. This is the same system that Alex wrote about in our latest post. Basically, you can buy a pre-paid card, where you insert as much money as you wish and drink as much beer as you want in any of Bodebrown's facilities that use the system. As we walked inside of their storehouse, we found ourselves surrounded by oak barrels full of some of our favorite beers, and we could not be any happier. The brewery mainly uses wine barrels for aging due to connections made by Samuel's brother in the wine industry. In a separate room maintained at a much cooler temperature, kegs are piled up and prepared for distribution. Back to the main area, Rafael took us to a a room filled with tables, a wall of stickers that displays all of their awards, and a huge bookshelf that shares space with lots of bottles. According to our guide, those vessels represent all of the whales produced by Bodebrown, which includes Wee Heavy, their first creation, and Perigosa, the first Imperial IPA produced in Brazil. Schorr also mentioned that not all of them made it into the public's hands, some of those beers were created for competitions only. In that very same room, Samuel runs a home brew school, teaching first timers and amateurs some of his secrets during a two-day class for the price of R$ 400,00 (something like U$ 128.00). Fun fact, the Obscena Hopin-Up IPA was actually created during one of those classes by a student.
After being mesmerized by all the barrels and pallets full of bottles, we were taken to the brew house, where we saw a growing hop vine in person for the first time. Before heading inside to see where all the magic happens, Rafael gave us hair protectors and an extra one for Alex’s beard, just in case any strays wandered away. The area where they brew and boil is a lot smaller than the one under construction. In addition to housing eight tanks, three for mashing and five for fermentation, the space also contains a bottling machine. It was in that moment that we could understand why they had been expanding so much. The new brew house is going to be about three times bigger, making the brewers lives much easier and less cramped. After that, we took a quick peak into their malt storage room and mill.
Our tour was coming to an end as we walked closer towards the bottle shop. The final stop was at their massive tanks filled with their freshly brewed liquid gold. As we walked around, Rafael explained to us that, just like the tap room, they also do growler fills during the weekend. The only difference from what we’ve seen here is that all the magnums are filled with fresh pours, right out of the tanks. This way their growlers can be kept in storage for a month or so. Too bad we went on a Tuesday, so no growlers for us. But not all was lost, we still had the store to check out.
And shopping we went! I could hear all of the bottles and glassware on the shelves just calling my name and all I could think was, “Please, take my money!" Desires aside, the place reminded us a lot of Craft Beer Cartel in Fort Lauderdale. Since they host the home brew classes, they also sell everything that you need to start producing at home, ranging from equipment to hops and malts. After choosing a couple of beers to take home, we sat down with Rafael to drink and talk more about the business. As a gift for the attention given to us in the days prior, we shared with them Alex’s favorite beer, the juicy Fresh IPA from Civil Society Brewing. Needless to say, our new friend loved it, but not only him. He also invited one of the master brewers over to taste it with us, and boy, we were bombarded with questions about the NE IPA. Apparently, the style is still very new in the country and the breweries aren’t quite getting it right when trying to create their own versions. A lot of corn starch is being added during the process in order to achieve the necessary haziness, which is no bueno.
Even though Bodebrown doesn't have a set date to start distributing their beers to the US yet, we were glad to hear that they will be possibly collaborating with a well-known Colorado brewery in the near future. And this isn't their first rodeo with a foreign brewery. They already have collaborations with Stone Brewing, Brewstel Brew Shop & Hostel, and Adnams Southwold under their belts. Unfortunately, Alex and I didn’t get the chance to meet Samuel since he was on a business trip, but we got a really good idea of how his mind works after the tour and from what we heard from Rafael. As far as we could tell, he’s on the right track. From creating some of the most delicious beers, to some of the best experiences too. Once a month, you can get tickets for an incredible beer degustation train ride that takes you from Curitiba to the old city of Morretes. A couple of years back during Alex’s first visit to my hometown, and his first contact with the brewery's products, we embarked on that very same train, but were there a week earlier than the beer tour. Of course, this year we managed to miss it again. We told ourselves that the next time we visit, we will plan for a ride on the beer train. No doubt about it. All in all, we know that this brewery will be around for ages to come and we look forward to everything that they have to offer, as you should too.
R. Carlos de Laet, 1015 - Curitiba - PR - BR
+55 41 3082-6354