Novo Brazil Brewing Company- Chula Vista
And Then There Were Two
For whatever reason, the southern section of San Diego County has only two operating craft breweries at this time. Newcomer to the area, Novo Brazil, opened in April, joining Border X. Although a third brewery is due to open soon, bustling South Bay communities are way short on craft beer breweries.
I’ve been to a lot of San Diego County breweries lately. Novo Brazil is one of the prettiest. Someone told me it should be pretty, since it’s a satellite operation of Brazil’s Wäls Cervejeria, which is owned by AmBev, a subsidiary of InBev.
Nonetheless, walking inside through Novo Brazil’s huge industrial door is like walking into a bright and beautiful cavern. The brewhouse is teeming with stainless tanks rising up from the floor like shiny, metal stalagmites.
A welcoming long row of wood barrels full of sleeping beers leads you toward the tasting room. Set inside colorful steel trusses painted in Toucan colors, the tasting room walls are adorned with bright-colored artwork and company logos.
Well Thought Out
Despite all the stainless storage tanks and fermenters in the brewhouse, there is still a lot of empty floor space. Certainly patterned after Novo Brazil’s sister brewery, Wäls Cervejeria, the empty space will likely be filled with future supplies and equipment, such as bottling or canning machinery, stacks of oak barrels, and cold storage for hops.
A dozen beers of various styles were on the tasting room menu when I visited. From what I have read about the beers, all of them have been brewed with an exotic Brazilian twist by using ingredients indigenous to Brazil. There were Lagers, Pale Ales, even a Tripel and two Quadruples. Some of these beers are being barrel-aged in the barrels out on the brewhouse floor. I’ll try those next time I visit.
Because I’m still enjoying lagers lately (summer is only a week away), especially Pilsners, I ordered Novo Brazil’s Chula Pils (5% ABV/30 IBUs):
Poured in proper glassware, it has bready and Graham cracker-like aromas, but lacks classic floral/spicy notes I was expecting. Color is light gold, clear, and sports a lasting white head. Flavor is cracker and slightly sweet, overridden the whole time by a pleasant, crisp bitterness. Body is light-medium with medium carbonation, with a crisp, bitter aftertaste. Overall, this is a thirst-quenching Pilsner with a nice hop bite. It doesn’t have the taste of typical Pilsners I like to drink, but it’s drinkable.