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The Curmudgeon

The curmudgeon is a miserable sod. He likes to have a moan. He tackles subjects which many foreigners living in Spain agree with but are too polite to say anything.

Spanish Beer report
Thursday, February 16, 2023 @ 6:36 AM

Spanish lagers have never had a good reputation, especially amongst real ale drinkers like The Curmudgeon. However, the rich offering of craft beers in the UK isn't sufficient for him to want to live in the land of his birth.


I no longer wish to live in the UK, which has been ruined by that country’s exit from the European Union and the incompetent handling of the process by Boris Johnson, Michael Gove et al. And BoJo’s two successors as prime minister have not improved matters one jot.

Not even the superior range of beers on offer in the UK is enough to lure me back.


Spanish beer

One of the few things I truly missed when I emigrated to Spain back in 2008 was decent beer. As a former CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) member, I was a fan of cask ales.

However, I have to admit that in the last few years here in Spain some better tasting beers  than Cruzcampo and Heineken (same company, by the way) which dominate in Andalucía, have come onto the market, and new craft beers are emerging all the time in places like Madrid, Toledo and even little old Ronda.

The adjacent photo I took recently in a bar in Sevilla, but there are other places around Ronda that offer a fabulous selection of tercios and botellinesBar Alegre in Ronda, Bar Ankanita in Estación de Benaoján, and Venta El Puente in La Indiana spring to mind.

El Águila (Madrid), El Alcázar (Jaén) and Turia (Valencia) are widely available in the Serranía de Ronda, and beyond, both in supermarkets and in bars.

The major brands available on draft that are quaffable include: Alhambra, Amstel, Estrella Galicia, Mahou, San Miguel and Victoria Malaga.

Small wonder that San Miguel, which originated in The Philippines when those islands were still Spanish (Spain lost The Philippines, together with Cuba and Puerto Rico in 1898), is now on sale from London to Lima, from Cardiff to Caracas and from Edinburgh to Erfurt.


Marcas Blancas

When it comes to buying beer in the supermarkets, your best bet is to go for a marca blanca, an own brand label beer. Amazingly most are made at the same brewery, Font Salem SL in Valencia. Others are brewed in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Why pay 55 - 60c for a branded beer when you can get an equally good, I would say better, alternative, for 25 – 30c?

I particularly recommend Steinburg from Mercadona, Argus from LIDL, Karlsquell from Aldi, as well as own brands from Al Campo, Carrefour, El Corte Inglés, Covirán and Día, and, no doubt, other chains where I do not shop.






Foreign beers

A wide range of foreign beers are on sale in Spain nowadays.

Most supermarkets and some bars offer German Weissbier, such as Paulaner, Franziskaner and Oettinger. LIDL has its own marca blanca,

Occasionally the German discounters Aldi and LIDL have special offers of packs of English cask ales.

They all sell that famous black stout from Ireland, Guinness. You sometimes see Murphy’s also.

The Czech beer Budvar and the Mexican Sol are increasingly on sale, as well as Indian, Italian and Japanese lagers.






So, lots to be positive about with the current beer scene in Spain.

As for the UK, I can enjoy a decent pint or two of cask bitter when I visit family there, but that’s as far as it goes.

I’m staying here – Andalucía is for me!

Salud, Prost, Cheers, Skol!


© The Curmudgeon


Tags: 1898, Al Campo, Aldi, Alhambra, Amstel, Bar Alegre, Bar Ankanita, beer, bitter, Budvar, CAMRA, Carrefour, Cheers, Coviran, Cruzcampo, Cuba, Curmudgeon, Dia, El Aguila, El Alcazar, El Corte Ingles, Estrella Galicia, Font Salem, Franziskaner, Guinness, Heineken, Jaen, Karlsquell, lager, LIDL, Madrid, Mahou, Mercadona, Murphy’s, Oettinger, Paulaner, Philippines, Prost, Puerto Rico, Ronda, Salud, San Miguel, Skol, Sol, Steinburg, stout, Toledo, Turia, Valencia, Venta El Puente, Victoria Malaga

Like 2


lenox said:
Thursday, February 16, 2023 @ 9:23 PM

Tragically, here in Almería, both the local Lidl and the Mercadona have dropped Guinness (mind you, you never know what kind of odd stuff Lidl puts on its shelves from one day to the next).
There's a fancy bar downtown on the Paseo which has the draft version, so all is not lost.
And, of course, we have the best tapas!

Peter said:
Saturday, February 18, 2023 @ 9:54 AM

Just come across Alhambra Reserva 1925, as good a lager as any.

Charlietwice said:
Saturday, February 18, 2023 @ 10:20 AM

I’m always on the lookout for a good, cheaper beer. Ive taken note of your recommendations, thanks. I did though had to read twice when you suggested that steinburg was a good option. Each to their own 👍

PablodeRonda said:
Wednesday, August 16, 2023 @ 2:48 PM

Hi, Charlietwice. Glad to know that you are not, like so many, hooked into conspicuous consumption, ie branded beers! I'm sorry, the marcas blancas from, especially, Font Salem brewery in Valencia, are great tasting and good value (ie half-price).

PablodeRonda said:
Wednesday, August 16, 2023 @ 2:51 PM

We were out to dinner last night and I was offered a 330cl can of a beer from East Germany. My host can't remember where he got it, but it was here in the Ronda area. Probably a special offer in LIDL at some point. It was delicious!
I'm off to Dresden, Germany, for my next holidays!

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