Selecciona Edición
Entra en EL PAÍS
Conéctate ¿No estás registrado? Crea tu cuenta Suscríbete
Selecciona Edición
Tamaño letra

Spain’s 10 best beers

As a wider range of beers than ever are available, quality is improving. Here are Spain’s top 10, available in most supermarkets. Salud!

Spain’s 10 best beers

There’s no doubt that beer comes into its own in the summer, but we’re no longer just talking about a light, thirst-quenching drink. With Spain as Europe’s 4th biggest producer after Germany, UK and Poland, there is a sweep of malts and ales demanding to be taken seriously.

Increasingly used to accompany meals due to its versatility and cost, beer has become Spain’s favorite drink. And as it’s popularity rockets with Spaniards quaffing as much as 48 liters per head a year, the four main breweries – Heineken España, Mahou-San Miguel, Damm and Hijos de Rivera – are ensuring there is more choice than ever. Unfortunately, most of us still insist on drinking it ice cold, meaning we miss out on the aroma and potent flavor of the roasted grain.

Here, we present 10 of Spain’s best commercial beers with tips on how you might savor the flavors.

INEDIT

Spain’s 10 best beers
  • Brewery: Damm. Barcelona.
  • Type: original
  • Alcohol by volume: 4.8%
  • Ingredients: barley and wheat, flavored with coriander, orange skin and licorice.
  • Price: €3.95 (75cl)
  • Rating: 8.9/10

This is an original beer, created by Damm, Ferran, Adriá and the connoisseurs of the internationally renowned restaurant, el Bulli. Slightly cloudy, it has a potent flavor with hints of sweet, fruity herbs, and a creamy texture.

ESTRELLA GALICIA 1906

Spain’s 10 best beers
  • Brewery: Hijos de Rivera. A Coruña.
  • Type: Lager Extra
  • Alcohol by volume: 6.5%
  • Ingredients: barley and maize and Perle hops.
  • Price: €0.80 (33cl)
  • Rating: 8.8/10

Commemorating the company’s anniversary, Hijos de Rivera have come up with this malt-flavored beer with a pleasant bitter finish and undertones of toffee, flowers and herbs.

AMBAR EXPORT TRES MALTAS

Spain’s 10 best beers
  • Brewery: Zaragoza Group. Zaragoza.
  • Type: Lager Extra
  • Alcohol by volume: 7%
  • Ingredients: barley and hops.
  • Price: €0.90 (33cl)
  • Rating: 8.7/10

This is almost a craft beer that wins you over with its full-bodied creamy texture, a taste finely balanced between its bitter finish and a delicious sweetness. It also boasts an exquisite aroma with hints of syrupy fruit and dried flowers.

MAHOU MAESTRA

Spain’s 10 best beers
  • Brewery: Mahou-San Miguel. Madrid.
  • Type: Lager Extra
  • Alcohol by volume: 7.5%
  • Ingredients: barley and hops.
  • Price: €2 (33cl)
  • Rating: 8.7/10

Mahou’s latest coup is a beer made from double hops with an imposing body and an intensely malty flavor. It also has caramel undertones and an elegant bitter finish. Its aroma is scented with dried flowers and ripe fruit.

SAN MIGUEL 1516

Spain’s 10 best beers
  • Brewery: Mahou-San Miguel. Madrid.
  • Type: Premium Lager
  • Alcohol by volume: 4.2%
  • Ingredients: barley and a combination of hops.
  • Price: €0.80 (33cl)
  • Rating: 8.7/10

A classic beer, with a biscuity aroma of cereals, fruits and wilting flowers. Its flavor is intense and creamy but also refreshing with a bitter finish.

VOLL-DAMM DOBLE MALTA

Spain’s 10 best beers
  • Brewery: Damm. Barcelona.
  • Type: Lager Extra
  • Alcohol by volume: 7.2%
  • Ingredients: barley and hops.
  • Price: €1.10 (33cl)
  • Rating: 8.7/10

A classic beer similar to the German brew, Märzenbier with an intense and layered citrusy and roasty aroma with hints of fruit and flowers. It has a pungent flavor and a rich, creamy texture with plenty of body and a lingering aftertaste reminiscent of baked bread.

ALHAMBRA 1925

Spain’s 10 best beers
  • Brewery: Mahou-San Miguel. Madrid.
  • Type: Lager Extra
  • Alcohol by volume: 6.4%
  • Ingredients: barley and hops.
  • Price: €1 (33cl)
  • Rating: 8.6/10

This is one of the most individual beers on the market and not just on account of its unmistakable bottle. It has an appealing taste that hovers between sweet and bitter and an aroma of caramelized fruit. And it manages to be full bodied and refreshing at the same time!

CRUZ CAMPO GRAN RESERVA 1904

Spain’s 10 best beers
  • Brewery: Heineken España. Madrid.
  • Type: Roasted Lager
  • Alcohol by volume: 6.4%
  • Ingredients: three different types of malt and Perle hops.
  • Price: €2.50 (33cl)
  • Rating: 8.6/10

This is Cruz Campo’s best beer, brewed with different types of malt and aromatic hops, combining floral undertones with touches of fresh cereals and citrus. It is creamy, full-bodied and pleasant to drink.

MORITZ EPIDOR

Spain’s 10 best beers
  • Brewery: Moritz. Barcelona.
  • Type: Extra Premium Lager
  • Alcohol by volume: 7%
  • Ingredients: barley, Saaz hops and Montseny mineral water.
  • Price: €2.24 (33cl)
  • Rating: 8.6/10

This is a craft-style beer that is made with mineral water and floral hops. In spite of its full body, it is velvety in texture and very aromatic with elegant undertones of malt, cereals and citrus.

LEGADO DE YUSTE

Spain’s 10 best beers
  • Brewery: Heineken España. Madrid.
  • Type: Abadía Lager
  • Alcohol by volume: 6.5%
  • Ingredients: barley and Saaz and Perle hops.
  • Price: €2.24 (33cl)
  • Rating: 8.6/10

This is an old traditional formula revived to produce a flamenco-style beer with an intense flavor, with hints of coffee and honey and a bitter finish. Its layered aroma is evocative of herbs, cereals, fruits and caramel.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

English version by Heather Galloway.

More information