A tributary of Brazil’s great Amazon River, Xingu, rightfully serves as the namesake for this craft beer birthed in the depths of the rainforest using corn and manioc (or cassava). Writings about this legendary black beer date back to 1557, but up until the late 1980s, no modern brewer in Brazil had tackled the challenge of brewing it. For all anyone knew, the beer was a myth – a myth that had intrigued prominent beer historian, Alan Eames.
In 1987, Eames ventured to Brazil to seek the assistance of Cesario Mello Franco who shared a mutual interest in recreating this mythological beer. After calling every Brazilian brewery for months on end, Franco finally set out along Brazil’s infamous Death Highway to meet with the only brewery willing to resurrect the legendary recipe. Tucked away in the hills of the small countryside town of Caçador, the “shabby” little brewery looked frozen in time – with malt still roasted in hand-driven steel drums over a log-burning fire. The owner, Mr. Pressanto, was eager to experiment to try and save his almost bankrupt brewery. He poured over Eames findings, infused European techniques with Brazilian flavors, and soon the modern-day Xingu was born.
Shortly after, Eames presented Xingu Beer at the American Culinary Institute in New York. It received rave reviews, and has been earning accolades for its exotic richness ever since. Not surprisingly, it has become Brazil’s most popular international beer.
This unique premium import from Brazil is a must try for those interested in exotic, unique beers from the past.