Though the Spanish aren't known worldwide as major beer producers, the people of Spain actually drink quite a lot of beer. It's actually one of the largest European beer producing countries, third only to Germany and the U.K. But because big breweries have traditionally dominated the Spanish beer scene, the country hasn't been known for producing quality or noteworthy beer.
The Spanish Craft Beer Scene:
Today, people are trading in their wine glasses for pints from craft breweries. You may not have thought to buy Spanish beer a few years ago, but with craft beer becoming more popular in a lot of places, including Spain, this is an adventure you must see through.
In years past, Spanish beer came from just a few sources. It tasted very similar, and you didn't get a lot of variety. The Spanish beer drinkers were fine with this. Lately, though, Spain has caught on to the craft brewery trend, and now you've got a lot more to choose from when tasting Spanish beers. The craft breweries are becoming especially popular in certain areas, and though not all products are available in the U.S., the ones that you can find are certainly worth a try.
The Catalonia region of Spain has become a craft brewery haven. The Spanish have been using craft breweries as a new way to express creativity. Catalan beers run the gamut from lagers to IPAs to everything in between. These brewers use Catalan traditions to inspire them, reaching back to medieval times for interesting bottle designs and beer names. Your best bet is to identify a kind of beer you know you like, then try a Catalan version of it.
If Catalonia was the first region to start doing craft beer, then Andalusia was probably the last. That being said, Andalusia is making up for lost time, and craft breweries are popping up everywhere. You'll notice a ton of ales, a few pilsners and maybe a lager or two when tasting Andalusian beer.
Okay, cider isn't technically beer, but you'll find a lot of cider brewed in Spain. Cider (Sidra) has a long Spanish tradition, and its northern region is prime cider country. Try ciders made from lots of exciting fruits like blackberries and strawberries. Spanish cider comes in sweet and dry varieties and sometimes comes with more complex flavors like oak. Plus, the right cider is very delicious and one of the most refreshing alcoholic beverages you can drink.
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