Reviews The Brewing Shed

Five of the best Spanish beers (over here)

bottle of pale lager

Like much of the world, Spain is going through a beer revolution with hundreds of new breweries springing up all over the country. Until recently it was hard to find any of these new boozes in the UK, with the choice of Spanish beers being largely restricted to mega-brand lagers Estrella and San Miguel. But, at last, a steady trickle of more interesting brews is finding its way to these shores as we discovered when researching a piece on beers to represent every football world cup nation for the Independent.

In that piece we said ‘si’ to a beer we’d not tried before, Ceriux Rubia, describing it as ‘a fairly simple beer that has been livened up by the introduction of game-changing spices and grape juice.’ This beer is typical of the craft and innovation for which Spanish breweries are gaining a reputation, so if you’re in the mood for a beer to follow a summer siesta here are five more to try…

La Pirata, ViaKrucis, 6%

La Pirata (translation ‘the pirate’) brew a good range of modern beer styles including this full flavoured IPA. There’s plenty of hoppy citrus flavoured hops to enjoy and a decent level of bitterness, but you’ll also find it’s rammed with malty goodness, giving it an added richness and depth.

Mala Gissona / Ilkley, How Do You Like Them Pineapples?, 5%

Nick tasted this fruity treat at this year’s Craft Beer Rising in London and declared it one of his favourites. It’s a collaboration between San Sebastian’s Mala Gissona and Ilkley Brewery from the UK. As you can guess from the name the fruit addition is pineapple, with just enough to cut through the pale malt base and give the beer a bit of a sweet zing and fruity tang.

Palax Lager, 4.9%

This beer from the La Rioja region of Spain is more like the familiar continental lagers but with an extra touch of class. It’s bottle conditioned, has a slightly hazy appearance with a short frothy white head and tastes un poco sweet and un poco dry with some doughy grains, citrussy freshness and a moderate herby and spicy bitter finish.

Beer Cat, Flor d’Ordal, 4.8%

We’ve had quite a few beers from Barcelona’s Beer Cat with this peach infused number being the most memorable. It’s a pale ale brewed with peaches that has been barrel aged, so has a woody matureness and some lovely ripe peach flavours. There’s some hop bitterness and it also has a slight sourness, but despite the rich complexities it’s also a remarkably easy drinking, refreshing ale.

Garage Beer Co, Soup IPA, 6%

Rich guzzled a giant can of this thick New England style brew for another Indy piece, this time on the ‘best new IPAs. The Barcelona brewery has created something of a cult hit with the citra and mosaic hopped beer and Rich was certainly impressed, admiring its “palate-pleasing bursts of mango, peach and zesty orange, underpinned with a subtle malty base.”


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