So, your wanderlust is taking you to Spain this summer. Good for you. Spain has a fair share of tourist hotspots and beer styles, a palatable cocktail for any beer-geek vacationer. From Rubia, a local name for a light-styled lager, to some globally acknowledged craft recipes, you name it.
Already piqued your interest? Let’s detail your 10 best beer options when vacationing in the land of rabbits, or as ancient Greeks used to call it, the land of the setting sun. But before, let’s give you a few Spanish beer facts that every beer enthusiast heading to Spain should know.
Spanish beer facts:
Since 2017, the Spanish beer industry has hit some awesome notes, experiencing a steady rise in production, consumption, sales and exports. Attribute it collectively to the country’s economic revival, rising tourism numbers, and phenomenal growth in the hospitality sector.
Per CERVECEROS DE ESPAÑA, Spaniards consumed 40 million hectolitres of beer in 2017, a 3.7% upturn from 2016. The consumption increased by 12% among women folks. Beer is the best selling cold drink, accounting for 40% of the total cold drink sales. About 63% of beer consumption happens in on-trade locations. At 25%, beer has a profound share in bar turnover.
One of the most interesting beer facts in Spain is that Spaniards are more restrictive than other European nationals when it comes to beer consumption. That’s evidenced by the comparatively low alcohol abuse levels in Spain than elsewhere in Europe. While the intake rate is 8.6 litres per capita in Spain, the same in France and Germany is 11.8 and 10.9 respectively.
Spain is the fourth-largest beer producer in Europe, rolling out 37.6 million hectolitres yearly. The production is up by 3.2% annually, thanks to the rise in demand. Lately, Spain has emerged as the new epicentre in the craft beer revolution. With a 36% increase, the craft beer production stood at 170,000 hectolitres in 2017, and the number has been progressive ever since.
The number of craft breweries in Spain went up to 511 in 2018, up from 480 in 2017. The craft breweries together raked in €47 million in revenue in 2017. With craft beer gaining traction, the big breweries are inventing and importing new craft brews to stay competitive. That’s so much for a craft brew enthusiast in you to paint the town red on your forthcoming vacation in Spain.
- Beer sizes:
When in Spain, order a beer like a Spaniard. CAÑA is the lowest sized beer glass, measuring about half a pint and costing upwards of 1€, subject to the beer quality and the bar. When you order a DOBLE, expect a beer glass double the size of CAÑA. When in the mood for more, order a BOTELLA DE CERVEZA, the standard bottle size beer typically weighing 12 oz.
Out for a party with friends? Going for a JARRA makes sense. As one of the Spanish beer facts, JARRA is perhaps the biggest size that most bars would sell. It’s the most economical as well, especially if you are repeating the order. If you prefer a craft beer in a British-style glass, order a PINTA. As you might have guessed it, PINTA is a Spanish word standing for a pint.
The 10 best beers:
With beer facts in Spain out of the way, it’s time to be in the know of your best beer options.
- MAHOU CLÁSICA: Soft, light and golden coloured beer offering a classic taste
- ALHAMBRA TRADITIONAL: Hailing from Granada, it’s a delectable premium lager
- ROSITA ORIGINAL: A honey-hued craft beer with a refreshing flavour and aroma
- LA PIRATA TREMENDA: A dark amber with toasty flavour and bittersweet aftertaste
- Cruz Campo Pilsner: A classic Pilsner lager from the leading Spanish beer brand
- AMBAR: It’s bright amber coloured smooth tasting tipple from Spain’s oldest brewery
- MORITZ: A Pilsner lager with a palatable taste readily available country-wide
- ESTRELLA DAMM: Brewed in Barcelona, it’s a brew with a rich, malty flavour
- LA VIRGIN: Brewed in a namesake town, it delights with an overwhelmingly fruity flavour
ESTRELLA GALICIA: An anniversary edition beer with a bitter finish and herb undertones