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Spain is one of Europe’s biggest beer producers, so chances are you’ll want to try una cerveza (or two) when visiting the country. But where to start? Many bars will serve you the local beer, so we’ve covered some popular local favourites, but Spain’s craft beer scene is also going from strength to strength. So from well-known classics to a new wave of micro brews, we explore the best cervezas to sample on your next visit to Spain.
The beer you’ll most likely receive if you ask for una cerveza (a beer) or una caña (a little beer) in Madrid, it was first introduced in 1936 and has been consumed in many a tapas bar ever since. The blonde beer has a light taste and is the perfect refreshing tipple on a warm Spanish day. It is the official beer of Real Madrid so prepare to enjoy a few pints of it come match day.
This craft beer, brewed in Las Rozas, just outside Madrid, has a full-bodied fruity taste. You can visit the brewery for tours, tastings and a bite to eat in its laid-back restaurant. Choose from the Madrid Lager, a pale lager, the Jamonera, an Amber Ale, the 360 pale ale or the brand’s own IPA.
This is the favoured beer in Barcelona and the one most likely to be served if you ask for a beer in Spain’s second largest city. The brand was founded in 1876, making it the oldest in Spain. Their beers have a rich, malty taste (the company is one of the last in the world that produces all of its malt barley in its own malthouse).
The only beer in Spain whose label is written entirely in Catalan, Moritz is a Pilsner larger brewed in Barcelona. It has become quite readily available throughout Spain, however, and is a popular tipple throughout the country.
This beer’s medium roasted malt gives it its signature bright amber colour and its soft, balanced taste, making it a refreshing and popular drink. It is brewed in Spain’s oldest brewery, in Zaragoza, which also offers guided tours (advanced booking required). The brew won four medals in the 2016 World Beer Awards.
Spain’s biggest beer brand is currently owned by Dutch brewing behemoth Heineken. It was founded in Seville in 1904 by two brothers from the Osborne sherry family (creator of the iconic Osborne bulls). The brand, which is especially popular in Andalusia, makes several different types of beer but its Pilsner lager is the most popular. It was the first Spanish beer brand to create an alcohol-free beer, in 1976 and is the official sponsor of Spain’s national football team.
The team behind this Barcelona-based craft beer started out brewing in their home, before the IPA really took off. It has a dark amber colour and toasted malty taste, mixed with a fruity finish and bittersweet aftertaste. This brand has become a particular favourite of craft beer connoisseurs and is available in specialist beer shops and bars in Spain and across Europe.
This honey-coloured ale is another popular addition to Spain’s craft beer scene. The taste is fruity (the brand says you should be able to detect banana and red apple, alongside a back note of molasses). The beer is available in three varieties: Rosita Original, a honey-coloured ale; Rosita d’Ivori, a light blonde beer and Rosita Negra, a brown ale.
This artisanal brew company from Madrid makes 12 different ales, from a refreshing pale ale to a rich stout. The brewery offers regular tours, tastings and even beer making classes, opening up the secrets of the world of beer brewing to the general public.
This pale lager is brewed in Granada, southern Spain, and takes its name from its most famous sight, the stunning Moorish fortress that over looks the city. It was founded in 1925 and has been part of Mahou-San Miguel since 2007. The brand produces several different beers, from its Alhambra Traditional, a refreshing premium lager, to the Alhambra Reserva 1925, its most artisanal brew, inspired by the original beers produced at the brewery in 1925.