Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Spanish Beer

Part of any traveling is to try out some local brews. I was happy to see the large San Miguel plant right outside the Malaga airport when we landed in Spain. It didn't smell like a lot of other breweries I've been to, so I wondered what it would be like. After a visit to a local grocery store, I had some local stuff ready to try.

Cruzcampo, Legado de Yuste, and San Miguel

San Miguel 1516 is a local lager that is pretty typical for a lager. It's light (though not in the low-calorie sense) and a little bit bitter. The flavor is not outstanding, though I usually don't like lagers anyway.

Cruzcampo Gran Reserva is another lager with a bit more flavor but not much more satisfaction. The alcohol content is higher (6.4% compared to San Miguel's 4.2%) which may account for my preferring it over the San Miguel. It's less bitter for sure and the little extra kick is not unpleasant.

Legado de Yuste is a Seville-brewed beer. I enjoyed this beer a lot more than the other two I had tried. It has tanginess and not bitterness. The bottle says, Elaborada segun la tradicion de los Maestros Cerveceros de Fandes durante el retiro de Carlos V en el Monasterio de Yuste (Caceres). According to Google Translate, that comes out as "Brewed in the tradition of the Masters Brewers Fandes during retirement of Charles V at the Monastery of Yuste (Caceres)." Google suggests "Fandes" should be "Flanders" which is probably right, the brewers were from Flanders. So it's another triumph for the Belgian Monastic brewing tradition in my book.

In Granada, as a tribute to its famed Alhambra, I had an Alhambra Especial. I finally found a good lager in Spain! It was quite nice--not too bitter and not too tasteless. Instead, it was crisp and refreshing. I didn't have a lot of success trying to photograph it at the restaurant (Martin's right by our apartment), but I did like the weird effect on the glass I got in this photo.

Alhambra the beer

If you look at the rim the wrong way it seems like it's open toward you. Also, it had some nice reflections. I wonder if because I had this lager in a glass there was some subtle difference that made it better?

I guess in Spain the properly evolved people drink wine, not beer.

If only they let little children in...

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