Post about Spanish Beer

I have some British, American and Australian readers of my blog. I am hoping that I will also get some interest from Spanish readers. With this in mind, I thought that I would write a post in Spanish for them.

*This is the English translation of the Spanish post, posted on the same day*

Really, this challenge started in Spain at the beginning of the year. My first beer of the year was in a small village outside of Jaen, El Carpio. On our way back from Jerez with Conchi’s family, we stopped for New Year’s Day lunch where I had a typical Spanish beer, Amstel! Later on in the day we met up with Conchis friends at Panaciete for beers and tapas. Here I had my second beer, Cruzcampo. Cruzcampo is an andalucian beer that was made for the first time in Seville in 1904 but now it is also made in Jaen and other cities. I do like Cruzcampo and I think it is one of my favourite Spanish lagers. At Christmas in Jaen, I had Cruzcampo de navidad. This one was even nicer, being stronger and slightly darker.

CruzcampoMahou-ClasicaThe next day (2nd January), we had to travel back to the UK via Madrid. We had lunch in Madrid, close to the Atocha train station, at a place called El Brillante, a place that is famous for their bocadillos de calamares (deep fried squid ring baguettes that are a Madrid specialty). Lunch was accompanied by a glass of the local beer, Mahou Clasica, or as I like to pronounce it Ma-who! I quite like Mahou too. But I suppose that you can’t go too wrong with a nice cold glass of lager.

The next three beers that I drank back in the UK were also Spanish beers, San Miguel, San Miguel 1516 and Ambar Tres Maltas.  So the first six beers of the challenge were all Spanish. It was a very Spanish start to the 365 beer challenge!

Alhambra AlcazarI will get an opportunity to sample more Spanish beers soon. Our next trip to Spain is in March for 9 days. Unfortunately, I know that my beer choices will be limited in Jaen. That’s not to say that I don’t like Spanish beer, as you can see from above, I do. But the choices of beer in the bars are nowhere near as extensive as your English establishment. The bars in and around Jaen are normally Cruzcampo only places. When I will be drinking at Conchi’s parent’s house, I know that I will be able to try Alcazar and Alhambra. Alcazar is a beer that is made in Jaen but was bought by Cruzcampo sometime ago. The distinctive green cans have a picture of Jaen castle. Alhambra is the local beer from Granada.

So I have a challenge to put to the Spanish people that I know, friends and family of me and Conchi. Can you find some good, new beers for me to try? It can be any kind of beer, as long as I have not tried it before. Bonus points available if you find a Spanish ale. Good luck.

Post sobre la cerveza española

Yo tengo lectores ingleses, estadounidenses y australianos. También espero que lectores españoles lean mi blog. Con esto en mente, pensé en escribir un post en español para ellos.

Realmente este desafío sobre la cerveza empezó en España al comienzo del año. Mi primera cerveza del año fue en un pequeño pueblo cerca de Córdoba, El Carpio. A la vuelta de Jerez con la familia de Conchi, paramos para almorzar el día de Año Nuevo, donde me tome una cerveza típica española, Amstel!!! Jejeje. Más tarde quedamos con los amigos de Conchi en Panaceíta para tomar cervezas y tapas. Aquí me tome mi segunda cerveza, Cruzcampo. Cruzcampo es una cerveza típica andaluza, fue elaborada por primera vez en Sevilla, en 1904 pero ahora también se elabora en Jaén, entre otros sitios. Me gusta Cruzcampo. Yo pienso que es una de mis cervezas españolas favoritas. En Navidad en Jaén, tome Cruzcampo de navidad. Estaba más buena, más fuerte y un poco más oscura.

Cruzcampo Mahou-ClasicaAl día siguiente (2 de Enero), teníamos que volver al Reino Unido desde Madrid. Comimos en Madrid, muy cerca de la estación de Atocha, en un lugar llamado El Brillante, un lugar que es famos0 por la especialidad de Madrid, bocadillos de calamares. Estaban muy ricos. Con la comida, me tome una caña de la cerveza local, Mahou Clásica. Una cerveza que me gusta pronunciar, Ma-who!

Las próximas tres cervezas que bebí  a la vuelta al Reino Unido también fueron cervezas españolas, San Miguel, San Miguel 1516 y Ambar Export Tres Maltas.  Entonces, las primeras seis cervezas del desafío fueron todas españolas. ¡Un comienzo muy español del desafío de las 365 cervezas!

Alhambra AlcazarTendré oportunidad de probar más cervezas españolas pronto. Nuestro próximo viaje a España es en Marzo nueve días. Desgraciadamente, yo sé que mi selección de cervezas en Jaén será limitada. No es decir que no me guste la cerveza española, puedes ver que me gusta. Pero, la selección de cerveza en los bares no es tan extensa como en un pub inglés. Los bares en y alrededor de Jaén normalmente son lugares con solo Cruzcampo. Cuando yo beba en la casa de los padres de Conchi, yo sé que podre intentar las cervezas Alcázar y Alhambra. Alcázar es una cerveza que se hace en Jaén, pero fue comprada por Cruzcampo hace tiempo. El distintivo de las latas tiene una foto del Castillo de Santa Catalina. Alhambra es la cerveza local de Granada.

Entonces, yo tengo un desafío sobre la cerveza para la gente española que conozco, los amigos y la familia de Conchi y yo. ¿Podéis encontrar unas cervezas buenas y nuevas para que yo las pruebe? Puede ser cualquier tipo de cerveza, con tal de que no la haya probado antes. Puntos extra si encontráis una ale española. Buena suerte.

Seven beer weekender

I may not have known whether I had a new beer on Sunday (Abingdon Bridge or Cumbrian XB? probably Bridge but I don’t want to admit it, I am in denial), but the weekend was not a total whiteout. Get it, all that snow! I managed to try seven new beers and lagers. Woohoo! Friday night saw a Northern beer from Tadcaster, Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale, and a Greek beer called Thursday’s Red Ale. Thursday was the better one. Nut Brown ale was, well, too nutty! Made to taste of beech nuts, almonds and walnuts, according to the tasting notes, with a rich nutty colour. Thursday was a bit like a red lager and was more refreshing than the Nutty Ale. Saturday night saw a trip to Oxford in the Snow starting with a visit to The Bear. I do like this place but it is always busy. And why is it that the tallest people always stand in the lowest ceiling part of the bar? So funny watching them with bent necks trying not to bang their heads. Being a Fuller’s pub, it was either a Fuller’s beer or Shotover’s Prospect or Scholar (these are the guest beers they usually have on). Fuller’s Jack Frost sounded good, so I opted for that (see the 1st cool photo?!). It was a good beer that had a toffee, tea and fruity berry taste that didn’t dominate the overall hoppy and bitterness flavour of the beer. Well, that’s what the tasting notes say. I say it was a good drinkable beer. Maybe I need to learn how to taste beer properly, use all the fancy tasting words that you see on the tasting notes. They must do courses for beer tasting, like wine tasting courses for wine (note to self: look for a beer tasting course).

Jack Frost      Mahou

After this, the night continued and finished with a streak of Lagers, Spanish lagers, at Kazbar on the Cowley Road. Three different beers were drunk including Alhambra Negra, a rather good, dark beer, that is slightly malty, quite fresh and medium bodied, and Mahou (see 2nd cool photo?!) and Estrella, middle of the road Spanish lagers that don’t hold a candle to San Miguel 1516. I do like that lager beer. Have I said before how smooth it is? So, Sunday accepted, it was good beer weekend that increased the total beer count to 28, as you can see from the good photos (2nd note to self: take better photos of the hand pumps and the beers).