A beer that wishes to capture the true flavour of the style...


If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the world of beer is awash with such admirers! 

The events that took place in Pilsen in the Czech Republic in 1842, when the lager technique was perfected for the first time (and the town has leant its name to the style ever since) still has far reaching effects, even today. 

Brazil is emerging as one of the newer South American countries to embrace the 'craft brewing'  revolution, with the same desire that swept through North America to bring greater choice and variety to the consumer.

Large scale brewers have, up until now, been the dominant force, with big budgets and resources to power home their message to the masses.

As with many other countries the craft brewers wish to tap in to a different market, consumers who are more discerning and selective in their choice.

Two further factors are coming in to play that may also help the push, Brazil's booming economy (with a new level of consumer confidence and affluence) and playing centre stage to the world in 2016 when hosting the Olympic games. The increase in tourism to the country will be a major boost and opportunity, a fact which is no doubt not lost on the craft brewing fraternity!

This revolution is evident by such new Brazilian micro breweries as Whitaker & Veiga, who pride themselves in following the German Purity Laws of 1516 in using only malting barley, yeast, water and hops - with no additives.

Interestingly, where as in Europe, where many brewers follow the 'Pils' or 'Pilsner' style in the broader sense, their Karavelle brew is more specific, stating 'Pilsen' as part of the brand name. 

This would suggest that this is an all out attempt to replicate faithfully the Czech style, so how does it fair?


The colour is true to style, with a deep golden hue and yellow gleam. The palate is mid weighted, with light caramel malt notes and very clean.


However, to copy the style faithfully (in the Pilsen tradition) it is the hop profile that is the most important part to master.








In the Czech Republic it is the Saaz hop that gives their beers the delicate hop flower aroma. It is an elusive beguilling aroma, floral, and yet with a subtelty of its own, and the hallmark of a true 'Pilsen' beer. 


Here the Karavelle Pilsen does not quite hit the mark, and lacks the defining hop aroma.


The brewery state they import their raw materials from Europe to add authenticity to the beers, so it would be good to see the brewery bolster the hop aromas, bringing it in line with the style.


The packaging however is first rate, with a premium feel in its design and execution.


The road to Pilsen is a more difficult path to follow than many think, but perseverance is the key to the journey - and resolve.


They still have the time to get it right...the journey of discovery knows no limits.






With particular thanks to Fabio Lopes.




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