I’ve made many trips to Spain over the years and one thing has remained constant- the beer. Spain has been a producer of refreshing lagers for a long time- I’m quite partial to a Mahou Classica on a typically hot Costa del Sol day. It’s very pleasant in those conditions and the same can be said for similar beers like San Miguel, Estrella Galicia (never understood why Galicia is prevalent in Spain and yet it’s Damm that’s exported) or Cruz Campo.
What surprised me on my last visit was when I was in an Italian restaurant in Benalmadena and was presented with a beer menu. I was further confused when I thought it was a beer menu from a Portuguese lager brewery. I quickly realised that I had mistaken La Sagra for Sagres.
I opted for a La Sagra and was treated to an American style IPA that was very good, it was chilled and light enough to be refreshing in the hot climate but still with enough bite to it. It gives me yet more hope that real beer is spreading if even a lager dominated Spain is starting to produce some really good beer. It’s anecdotal evidence so far but it does show that it’s possible and that there are green shoots there to be nurtured.
So is the picture below a thing of the past? Probably not but it could be something that starts to be slowly replaced by something with a bit more flavour to it.