With breweries like AB InBev controlling nearly 70% of the overall beer market in Brazil, craft brewers have had to get creative with their beer recipes to compete with the same old choices. Experimenting with native ingredients instead of using the more expensive traditional ones has lead to the beginning of a revolution in the Brazilian beer market.
Cervejaria Dado Bier, a brewery from Southern Brazil has begun using erva mate (also known as yerba mate), a traditional tea-like beverage that is consumed primarily in Argentina, Southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, to add bitterness to the final beer. Another creative brewery, Cervejaria Colorado, has been adding manioc, a very popular amazonian root used in culinary creations similar to cassava, to their Cauim lager.
As you can imagine, getting these beers approved for distribution in the US has been a difficult process, especially with the usage of native ingredients. Epic Beer from New Zealand has had the same problem with their collaboration beer, Portamarillo, which is made with tamarillos, a sweet New Zealand tomato. Regulations and testing abound for ingredients not indigenous to the US, but Cervejaria Colorado managed to make it through the process and plans expand to a beer shelf near you.