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Discover Spanish Craft Beer
Friday, August 19, 2022 @ 9:21 PM

In Spain, however much they might like going out for a few beers, they're not known as a beer drinking country. Change is in the air, however, and more and more of Spaniards are scouting out quality and originality in their beer. It's becoming a normal thing to go to a beer tasting and the words associated with beer are beginning to sound less and less foreign. Each province now has a microbrewery or two that make and market their own brews, organise classes and tastings with pairing suggestions, open their brewery doors to the public so they can get a closer look at how it's done, etc. Just as winery's have been doing for years, encouraging tourism similar to wine tourism though it is still in its early stages.

The ingredients are simple: water, barley (which turns into malt after germination and the drying of the barley), hops and yeast. People have been brewing beer for centuries and it has been one of the world's biggest industries throughout history. Here are some of the most popular craft beers in Spain which are well worth tasting...


La Salve, Bilbao: A beer that is coming back strong

This isn't a new beer; the brewery was founded in 1886. After being closed for several decades, La Salve was reborn in 2014 with the aim of becoming the figurehead of Bilbao's beers. With the intention of creating cultural spaces in which to support new artists, its name comes from the site of its first brewery, underneath the La Salve bridge which is now directly connected to the Guggenheim Museum. It was the son of a German brewer who lived in the capital who set the ball in motion. They brew two types of beer: 33 cl and 50 cl golden and Munich ales, the perfect match for meat and cheese thanks to their caramel aroma and the hints of malt and clove.


Cibeles, Madrid.

Can't get any more Madrid than this. Cibeles, with 12 different kinds of beer, has only been on the market for four years and its microbrewery south of the city has become a gathering place for craft beer lovers. Besides brewing and bottling their beers, they also host activities at their facilities, ranging from tastings and classes on brewing to concerts. The space is also available to hire for company events or meetings. Their beers go from the classic pale ale, smooth and refreshing, to a stout with more body that releases aromas and flavours of coffee and chocolate.


Cervecería Casasola, Valladolid. From the heart of the Esgueva Valley

They were pioneers in Castilla y León in microbrewing. The brewery is housed in what was once a monastery's dairy. They've captured the essence of the place in their brand and their logo which features a monk; a reference to the abbots, considered the best brewers of them all. In Casasola they bottle a large variety of beers in 75 cl bottles, giving them the opportunity to ferment for a second time in the bottle, strengthening the flavour. That's how they add hints of pepper, orange and even a final touch of coriander to their wheat beer.


San Amaro, Pontevedra. Familiar with an intense flavour

They have just two varieties, a pale ale and a dark ale. The dark ale is more intense with 8.5 % ABV. On special occasions, like Christmas, they brew seasonal beers and put a spin on the original recipe. San Amaro is a family-owned company with a growth strategy so, even though they continue to make craft brews, they have partnered up with a Belgium microbrewery to cover demand. Every month they go north to brew their original recipe and continue their distribution in Galicia.



Beer Cat, Barcelona. Craft beer born in a country villa
Beer Cat is a special case in several ways. It is Spanish brewing led by three English partners who decided one day to leave their homeland and embark on this project in Barcelona. Inside a typical Catalan masia, or country villa, they brew six types of beer and offer guided tours of the estate. Each one of its beers pairs perfectly with different dishes, like its Pa i Roses, a wheat beer, whose touches of lime and citric aromas perfectly bring out the flavours of fish dishes.




Cervesa Illa, Balearic Islands. The most Mediterranean of them all

They only brew one: a light blonde with a touch of liquorice and vanilla. It was the first craft beer on the Balearic Islands and perfectly mirrors their island character with its refreshing taste. A perfect choice to sip down by the Mediterranean seaside. The simplicity and naturalness of the brew and its ingredients make Illa a great choice for a sobrasada, a Balearic Islands sausage, just the thing for an aperitif.

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