Cerveja. Cerveza. Bier. Beer.
No matter what the language, there is seemingly always a word for the world’s most popular drink: Beer.
We are living in an era where micro brews are popping up every single day out of someone’s garage, basement, attic or any other room in homes and apartments. Beer is everywhere. During my trip to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup I happened upon the Brazilian cousin to the gastropubs of America and it was delicious. Away from all of the beachfront bars and restaurants that serve Skol, DeVassa, Antarctica and Brahma I stumbled upon a haven for the beer lovers of the world. This place is for those that need something with a bit more flavour and in an environment that is not touristy but still Brazilian.
Estação do Malte is located a few blocks from Ponta Negra beach in Natal, Brazil. It’s just off the beaten path that if you were driving by, if you blink you’ll miss it. So walk. If you’re coming from the beach it’s a nice walk and when you see the large amber-beer-coloured sign with a white subway car in the middle of a red circle above the name, you’ll you’ve arrived.
Located on R. Poeta Jorge Fernandes, 146, Estação do Malte has only been open since March and has already a good following within the community. Once inside I could see why. A very urban, cool, unfinished decor complete with a chalk board listing the ever-changing beer list, any specials, and the WiFi password. It’s a great place to come with friends, hang out on the patio, watch the sun set over the city and just relax. It’s the kind of place that has beer labels from all around the world in a glass case next to the sink. Take a minute to stop and admire just how many different beers are represented behind that glass and you’ll realize that there is a whole world of beer out there just waiting to be explored.
I believe that once the “winter” (I say “winter” because it was June but it was still 27°) ends and the summer season begins they will be seeing a lot more business. Natal is the closest city to Europe in South America making it an ideal travel destination for Europeans on holiday. And if I know anything about Europeans, it’s that they like their beer and if they find Estação do Malte, then they’ll be happy.
The beer menu features beers from Brazil (naturally), USA, Europe and I’m sure others but I didn’t take full inventory. I went ahead and ordered a Brazilian cerveja (Portuguese for beer, duh) and I was very happy that I did.
The Titãs Brown Ale isn’t heavy like an IPA nor is it light – it’s somewhere in between – and it features a great orange, almost chocolatey orange, flavour that is smooth and delicious. It reminded me of those candy chocolate oranges that you slammed on the table to “peel”.
Besides drinking, Estação do Malte also features a great food menu. From the pizza, to the sliced linguiça covered in cheese to the Bruschettas à Gorgonzola (a cheesy bread)… and as I am describing what food we ordered I realize a lot of it has cheese involved so watch out lactose-intolerant people! But it’s all delicious. Trust me.
After being pestered by the restaurant promoters trying to entice me to enter their establishment with their broken English and American-sounding food I was happy to find Estação do Malte. It’s a quiet place. Quietly making great food and serving quality beer.
Visit them at: http://www.estacaodomalte.com/