I’m back home in suddenly snowy Toronto, counting the days until my next excursion to warmer climes and realizing with a start that I’m behind on several projects. Like the column deadline that passed last week. And other stuff.
Which is by way of explaining that while I’ll be returning to the subject of Brazilian beer shortly, for the moment I’d like to turn my attention to those who brew and serve and sell and consumer Brazilian beer, more specifically the crew who just completed the Curso de Sommelier de Cerveja in São Paulo. No ordinary beer training, the Curso was a two week, nine-hour-a-day intensive instruction in everything from brewing and beer style to beer cocktails and beer and food pairing, and no doubt much more my lack of Portuguese language skills prevented me from understanding.
I had the honour of speaking to this group on my last day in Brazil and I can assure you that even after eight days of marathon sessions, the class remained rapt and enthusiastic. All in the name of certification in a culture that reveres the ice-cold lager and in which craft beer accounts for a mere 0.2% of the market.
Congratulations, graduates, and welcome to the greater world of beer! I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other again sometime soon.