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Beleza Pura Cachaça in ‘Taste of Brazil’

From the article “Taste of Brazil: Brazil’s cachaça no longer a poor man’s drink

“The general public has a perception that cachaça is a low-quality beverage that will give you a hangover,” explains New York-based Olie Berlic, who is the unofficial ambassador of the Brazilian spirit and producer of premium brand Beleza Pura, created specifically for the U.S. market. “If you look at what is found in the market, you can say that this is a true assertion.”

“For a great number of cachaça producers, by what I saw and tasted in Brazil, price is more important than quality,” Berlic says. “Due to the volume of production in Brazil [about 396 million gallons per year, according to statistics published by USA Today], there is a very large market, but the percentage of premium product is only about two percent of that. What happens is that most producers end up making something more affordable, and this helps to perpetuate the concept that this is a low-quality spirit.”

Berlic, who traveled to Brazil and tasted more than 800 kinds of cachaça before he was able to find the flavor and quality that he sought, says that he had a clear idea of who was making quality product or who was just mediocre. “Brazil has the capacity of making spirits of great quality—the biggest problem is the demand and the fact that most are in the business to make money—without the demand, many producers believe that there is no advantage in making a premium spirit because it will not translate in sales—at the time I made my research at the end of 2001, I was surprised that no one was making quality un-aged cachaça.”

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