The Elite Eight (plus one): Where to Drink Artisanal Beer in Lisbon

beer-bottlerStill arguing over which is better, Sagres or Super Bock? Why not choose neither.

Portugal’s independent brewers are coming out with some pretty amazing stuff, and some businesses around town have caught on. Atlas was thirsty, so we sought out these majestic brews around town. Here are some of the places you can try one or all of the Portuguese artisanal beers made by our newest local beer-oes. Football club affiliation not required. Drink your irreverent ale responsibly.

Dois Corvos Tap Room

dois-corvos

Rua Capitão Leitão, 94, Beato
914 440 346 website
Sun – Thu, 14h – 17h; Fri – Sat, 14h – 0h

The brewery taking Lisbon by storm has now opened its own tap room. Watch the hops pop and the grains grind behind the bar and taste some of the concoctions yet to be bottled. Atlas recommends the Stardust IPA if it’s still flowing, but our recommendations can’t compare with those by brewmaster Scott who, on most days, stands behind the counter ready to guide you through the classics and what’s hot off the press. Set in a converted warehouse, the pub is industrial with a twist. It’s a must-do in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Beato, and because of its scale, it stays cool in the summer. As a relative new-comer to the Lisbon brew scene, these guys have earned their stripes quickly. Snag a seat in the shabby-chic booths near the door, or head to the back for a seat at the bar.

Duque Brewpub

duquebeer

Calcada do Duque, 49-51, Chiado
213 469 947 website
Sun, 15h – 0h; Mon – Wed, 13h – 0h; Thu, 13h – 1h; Fri – Sat, 13h – 2h

If you’re looking for a brew with a view, this is the place. Whether you descend the cobblestone stairs from Bairro Alto or walk up from behind the Rossio train station, you’ll be primed for a cold drink to wet your whistle. Fear not, thirsty friend, the walk is worth it, as Duque offers around a dozen taps that are changed regularly to spout out varieties of Portuguese craft beer ranging from IPA to stout. The snack menu has both veggie and carnivore options, and for your sweet tooth, there’s a gelado de cerveja (beer ice cream). Ask for recommendations for pairings with your Passarola or show some interest in the process, and the guys behind the counter will walk you through the back or talk you through your flight of their bespoke brews. 

Chimera Brewpub

chimera-brewpubRua Prior do Crato 6, Alcântara
936 266 324 website
Sun, 17h – 0h; Wed – Sat, 17h – 1h

Co-owner Adam and his wife Racquel offer home-brewed beers like their Chocolate Porter, three types of Pale Ale, a Bohemian Pilsner, and an American Stout in bottles, as well as their own Euro Lager, Bitter, and Ale on tap. It can be difficult to appeal to the Portuguese consumer who has been weaned on Sagres, which, while certainly refreshing, don’t pack much of a punch. So, Chimera has chosen to keep its flavors simple. In other words, you won’t find a crazy curry pineapple Hefeweizen. Besides beer, the pub also serves New York deli sandwiches like the classic Reuben or bagel with lox. Wonder where someone would get pastrami and corned beef around Lisbon? Look no further — these guys cure it themselves. Now that’s dedication to a damn good cause. Stop in and see what’s brewing in Alcântara. Not convinced? Read Atlas’ feature story about the brewpub and the folks behind it or pop in and ask to see the basement. The password? Grainfather.

Cerveteca

cervetecaPraca Das Flores, 63, Principe Real
No telephone available website
Sun, 15h30 – 23h; Tue, 18h – 23h; Wed – Thu, 15h30 – 1h; Fri – Sat, 15h30 – 2h

As the first artisanal beer vendor and pub in Lisbon, Cerveteca has gained quite a following. Ale aficionados and IPA punks from far and near flock to this oasis of oats and barley ready to provar one of their 45 selections. This tiny bar offers imported brews from the U.S., Belgium, Holland, Germany, and more, but Atlas recommends you try one of their 12 featured Portuguese beers in the bottle and from the tap. We might still be budding Iberian brewers but we’ve made one hell of a start, and Cerveteca has been a trendsetting example of what happens when you forget that Super Bock and Sagres exist and support a much more exciting malted movement from masterminds like Arrábida and Mean Sardine. Each round is served with a savory snack mix that is surprisingly addictive. Oh, and they have Scrabble.

LisBeer

lisbeerBeco do Arco Escuro, 1, Sé
218 864 021 website
Sun, 16h – 0h; Tue – Thu, 16h – 1h; Fri – Sat, 16h – 3h

Located at the back of a beco (alley) east of Praça Comércio, this looks like a tiny hole in the wall until you turn the corner of the entrance. This large two-level beer bar offers an impressive menu of imported and local beers at decent prices. With such a huge selection, you shouldn’t be surprised if at times they are out of the Russian Baltika beers, or the Brooklyn Lager, but all of their six taps are always stocked with their daily specials. While the inside is shabby at best, it’s still one of the better places to sit down with a group of friends, a bundle of laughs, and an IPA on tap. They generally carry the full line of Portugal’s biggest small-batch brews, so you can try them all if you don’t mind a zig-zagged walk home. Unlike some other beer pubs, this one generally has ample space for larger groups, as well as quiet corners for more intimate toasting.

O’Gilin’s Irish Pub

ogilins
By Derrick Soares

Rua dos Remolares, 8 – 10, Cais do Sodré
213 421 899 website
Daily, 11h – 2h

Lisbon’s oldest Irish Pub sets the tone for whatever mischief you’re up to, with trivia nights and live music (mostly covers) four nights a week. They serve a nicely poured pint of Guinness and Kilkenny if that’s your thing – and if it’s whiskey you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. Behind the bar, you’ll find bottles of Amphora as well as a plethora of Dois Corvos from just down the 728 line toward Santa Apolónia. The staff is super-friendly, helpful, and always down for a laugh. Wanna make their day? The word on the street is that they all enjoy the odd Jagermeister shot around midnight. Atlas recommends you sit that one out and opt for a local beer instead. You’ll thank us tomorrow. Hungry? Their kitchen offers both bar snacks and full meals, and for you Americans with an affinity for nachos and chicken wings, it’s a must-do if you’ve had your fill of bacalhau (cod fish) and you’re in for something that reminds you of wherever you call home.

The George

the georgeRua do Crucifixo 58, Baixa
213 460 596 website
Daily, 12h – 2h

For an elegant space that respects its patrons’ anonymity, the George is a welcome addition to Rua Crucifixo. It’s fancy without the fuss (there’s a hair-straightener in the lady’s bathroom, FYI). Your tab will be a little on the steep side if you opt for menu items such as the Beef Wellington or the Tartare, but if you’re there to drink, you won’t find yourself in the red. They’ve got almost all the incarnations of our favorite Portuguese IPAs and a generous menu of imports, graciously classified by type and not by brand. Thursday nights there’s a polyglot chanteuse crooning anything from Amalia to Piaf to the Police. Atlas recommends sitting at the bar in possibly the most comfortable barstools this side of Manhattan. If there’s a footie game on, it might be worth getting there a bit early to stake your claim. Better you than them!

Burguers and Beer

burguersandbeerEdificio Monumental, Praça Duque de Saldanha
213 143 396 website
Daily, 12h – 0h30

While their selection of Portuguese beer is shameful (Sagres and Bohemia? Really?), this indoor beer garden on the same floor as Cinema Monumental is a great place to set up your computer, people-watch, kill 15 minutes before your film, or see the game. This “restaurant” offers Atlas’ favorite foreign beer, BrewDog Punk IPAas well as some Kwac Belgian beer in its round-bottomed glass contraption. The good news? There are five pages of beer options from around the globe in half and pint sizes. The bad news? The burgers taste like feet. At best, if you toss the top of the bread and eat it Portuguese style, with a knife and fork, you can pretend it’s something else. You might develop the same nose-pinching technique when you drink Sagres once you’ve tasted the carefully-crafted Portuguese Oitava Colina. Cheers!

Beer Station

the-beer-stationLargo duque de Cadaval 17 Quiosque D, Baixa
969 837 884 website
Daily, 12h – 24h

Sometimes you need a pick me up on your way downtown and this new beer haven has just what you need to scratch your itch and it’s all artisanal and Portuguese. This crafty outcropping in the courtyard below Rossio is pleasant surprise as it carries all the labels we know and love and some smaller ones we are just getting to know. With Dois Corvos Metropolitan on tap and bottles ranging from Letra to Musa, this small space packs one hell of a hoppy punch and is a welcome change from the restaurant chains just next-door. We’re glad these guys pulled into our station and we are all aboard for a tasting tour. Toot toot!