If you're a fan of soccer (football, futebol - your choice) it's a must that you attend a match when in Brazil. Even if you aren't a fan of soccer seeing the energy of the crowd drumming, dancing and spreading large banners through whole sections of seating can be just as entertaining as the game. The Boyfriend and I unfortunately didn't have the foresight to buy tickets before we arrived in São Paulo but with a few phone calls and a back and forth drive around the city we purchased tickets to the Corinthians versus Palmeiras game in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (Brazil premiere league) from a scalper near the stadium.
Our scalped tickets were for the more expensive seats along the touchline with a perfect view of the game and of the rivalry brewing between the two São Paulo clubs. It was an exciting match; with Corinthians near the relegation zone every goal was celebrated and every Palmeiras attack was greeted with hisses. The first half ended with a nail biting tie and I decided to use the time to explore the best of what Brazilian stadium concessions had to offer. I don't know what I was expecting, maybe a few beers on tap - Skol, Brahma - maybe a luke warm churro but I didn't expect non-alcoholic beer and a plastic wrapped hot dog with a few moist chips tucked underneath.
I wasn't too surprised at the limp chips but the non-alcoholic beer confused me - especially since Brahma is one of the league's biggest sponsors. I later found out that by law alcohol isn't sold in any of Brazil's stadiums due to the large amount of fan violence during and after games. This doesn't stop fans from drinking, they consume 90 minutes worth of beer before the match in neighbouring parking lots and set off loud crackling fire works to the delight of residents. The ban is about to be lifted though, for the first time since 2003 beer will be sold during the FIFA World Cup.
In the end Corinthians won the classic rivalry, besting Palmeiras 2-1. The Boyfriend and I returned to our hotel and went out for dinner where I enjoyed a pilsner the Brazilian way - super cold, poured from a 600ml bottle (a garrafa) into a tiny glass.