Although known for its port wine, Porto is also home to the nations largest brewery – Super Bock. I only came to realize this fact while leafing through the Porto Card documentation, ironically, while enjoying a cold Super Bock patio side. This discovery led me to an impromptu Super Bock brewery tour review, one that almost didn’t happen.
Read on for my time visiting Casa da Cerveja, the home that Super Bock built.
Getting to Super Bock Casa da Cerveja
In between sipping port on the Presidential Train and eating everything the town has the offer I slide in a visit to the Super Bock brewery. I checked the hours, hopped in an Uber, and off I went. 20 minutes and three very confusing security guards later I was greeted by Alexandra Freitas, head of marketing and relations.
Turns out, visiting Casa da Cerveja is done by reservation only. English tours are only offered at certain times so naturally, showing up at the gate of the massive complex completely caught some off guard, myself included. Thankfully Alexandra came to my rescue and was kind enough to show me around.
In retrospect and for your benefit, Alexandria provided this useful info:
The visit takes about 90m with a maximum capacity of 50 people per visit; it will take place between Wednesday and Sunday at 10:30h and 15:00h, by appointment only through [email protected]
The email should include name, number of companions and their ages as well as the date, time and the desired language. Do not forget to mention if the group includes anyone with reduced mobility and a phone number just in case.
Super Bock Through the Ages
Visiting Casa da Cerveja is similar to other modern brewery tour experiences. Much like the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam or the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, the Super Bock brewery goes through its story of how beer is made, breaking down the four ingredients of water, hops, grain, and yeast. From there a modern and new display takes you through Super Bock’s super interesting history.
Super Bock has seen some things during its 80+ years. Its story begins in 1927 where, despite the effects of the great depression looming, it became a loved brand. It has survived distribution issues during WWII, a dictatorship, a revolution, and mergers. Despite it all, the brewery continues to be a leader in brewing technology and workers rights. Today it is the largest exporter of Portugees beer and is enjoyed around the globe.
Super Bock Brewery Tour
From the historic hall, guests are taken on a short stroll through the production grounds. I had no idea how big Super Bock is until seeing one of the massive bottling lines. With a hefty market share in Portugal, Super Bock pumps out thousands of bottles an hour when in full force. I was visiting on a quiet day so could only imagine the flurry of activity that would bring.
Super Bock, Super Rock
Again, like the Heineken Experience and Guinness Storehouse, Casa da Cerveja takes you through Super Bock’s advertising and entertainment achievements through the years. This is highlighted by Super Bock Super Rock, an annual music festival that has become one of the largest in the country. It has lured big-name performers such as The Red Hot Chilli peppers, The National, and Prince.
A touching highlight was a signed guitar from legendary Portugees rock band Xutos & Pontapés. Band founder and guitarist Zé Pedro had passed away fall 2017, shortly after playing a surprise concert for Super Bock employees.
Craft Brew and Food Pairings
The biggest and best surprise of my Super Bock brewery tour review came at the end. Not only has Super Bock branched off into the craft beer market, something I had already stumbled on at the Mercado Beira-Rio near my 7G Roaster Apartment, but they also serve it at Casa da Cervejaso with awesome food pairings.
I first came across beer and food pairings in Cape Town and am surprised not many other breweries other this. Super Bock is looking to change that. In an effort to sway the wine forward thinking of Portuguese day-to-day, Super Bock took to simple food pairing dishes, breaking the mould of only having wine with dinner. The results are impressive and tasty.
On each visit to Casa da Cerveja, guests can sample the latest beer creations with local cheeses and meats making for a great way to cap off a brewery tour visit.
All in, a day trip visiting Casa da Cervejaso is worth the short Uber ride or bus trip. With a little upfront effort by booking ahead, you will avoid the confusion I stumbled into and enjoy an important piece of Portugal’s history worry free!
Thanks again to you Alexandra for allowing my impromptu visit!
Super Bock Brewery Tour Good to Know
Individual Tourism: 10€
Student/Senior (+ 65 years)*: 6,25€
Children (< 3 years): Free Children (between 3 and 12 years): 3,75€ Family Ticket (2 adt + 1 child – till 18 years): 20€ Family Ticket (2 adt + 2 children– till 18 years): 22€ Group Ticket (> 10 persons): 7€/ person
You should drive to the Monastery of Leça do Balio and park your car. We ensure a transfer to the Super Bock House of Beer:
Transfer from Trindade (train station) – 9h45 / 14h15 (additional cost – 3€ per person)
Transfer from Leça do Balio – 10h15 / 14h45