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Spain Beer Guide

Sip some cerveza

Spanish brew: Thoughts of Spain normally conjure sun, wine and beach related imagery, but beer is also a massive tradition there. So much so that Spain occupies the 12th position in world’s per capita consumption of beer chart. Consequently, there are many regional beers, apart from the better known national brands of Cruzcampo (Seville) now owned by Heineken, Damm (Barcelona) and Mahou (Madrid) / San Miguel (Barcelona) – the latter two being 100 percent Spanish owned.

Brews to look out for

The Spanish refer to beer as “cerveza,” and it comes in four main types:

Cerveza Clásica: A very pale, hoppy Pils containing 4.5 percent alcohol.

Cerveza Especial: An export 5.5 percent alcohol Pils.

Cerveza Negra: A dark, lightly hopped lager similar to those from Munich, which contains 5.5 percent alcohol.

Cerveza Extra: Strong, pale lagers containing 6.1-6.4 percent alcohol, similar to Bavarian Oktoberfest and pale Bock beers.

Thirst quencher: If you happen to be in one of the larger regional airports, it’s always worth asking if they sell a regionally produced beer. To practice your Spanish, ask for “caña de cerveza del este region”. Asking for “cerveza de barril” (pronounced “barri’) will get you a draught beer rather than a bottle or a can. Meanwhile, bottles of cold San Miguel, Mahou or Damm Estrella are great and widely available.

Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.