This study by German historian Edgar Köb is about beer and other beverages in Greater Rio de Janeiro between 1888 and 1930. Köb’s general description of the consumption market for beer and other beverages in Rio and his specific analysis of the Brahma brewery’s marketing strategies are solidly grounded in archival material and other primary documents. He considers beer production, marketing, and consumption an important component of Rio’s modernizing process. This process started, according to Köb, with the end of slavery and the monarchy in 1888 – 89. He suggests that 1930 — when the nationalist military broke down the “Old Republic” and the world depression stagnated Brazilian economic development — marked another transition.

Köb sheds light on the urban-development process and its parallels with changes in beverage consumption patterns. Cariocas consumed alcoholic drinks like wine, aguardente, cachaça, and beer. Whereas...

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