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Beer guide to Spain

Sun, sea, wine and sangria? Not just sangria

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 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 per cent Spanish owned.

Brews to look out for

The Spanish refer to beer as Cerveza, and it comes in four main types, which are outlined below.

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

Cerveza Especial: An export 5.5 per cent alcohol Pils.

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

Cerveza Extra: Strong, pale lagers containing 6.1-6.4 per cent 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.

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Cheapflights' beer lover's guide to European Airports | Beer guide to England | Beer guide to Scotland | Beer guide to Ireland | Beer guide to France | Beer guide to Austria | Beer guide to Germany

Updated May 2014

Oonagh Shiel
Content Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!