Monday, November 2, 2009

Spanish concentrate

I can't say I've had much luck with Spanish beer. My recent trip to Barcelona introduced me to some interesting craft beer, but on the whole things aren't that inspiring when it comes to Iberian offerings. While snooping around the Playa del Ingles I stumbled upon the fancy part of their supermarket, a small section full of very expensive chocolate, pasta sauce, cold cuts and various other treats. In amongst all this was a very small beer selection, mainly consisting of strong lagers that no one in their right mind would drink while enduring Barcelona in August. I grabbed a few bottles and stashed them for consumption in a more suitable climate. Dublin in November fits the bill.

The heavy alcoholic nature of these beers suits a colder climate but alcohol is about all you get from them. Both taste damn near identical, with perhaps more sweetness from Legado de Yuste - likely stemming from the corn mentioned in the ingredients, and a slight cardboard note from Cerveza Especial, but there is little else going on. If I wanted to be cruel I'd say that these beers could be arrived at by taking a measure of the standard Spanish lager, be it Estrella or San Miguel and concentrating the solution through thermal means to produce a lager of just under double the average strength. As a result the beer would be more alcoholic, sweeter and fuller bodied, but that's about it.


Ed said...

Standard Spanish lagers are almost certainly made by high gravity brewing, and watered down to sales strength post fermentation, so it would be very easy for a strong Spanish lager as you described to be made by simply missing out the dilution.

Thom said...

I'm familiar with high gravity brewing but never thought of it while writing the post. I was being flippant about the concentration idea, but I think you might be spot on.

Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

You want a strong lager, just take a can of Carling and add a couple shots of vodka to it. That's what Tennants and Special Special Brew taste like.