Spain is not always the easiest country to find good beers.
The main commercial Spanish lagers and pilsners (Cruzcampo, Estrella, San Miguel, Alhambra, Mahou, etc.) are not the greatest, but they are OK and can be quite refreshing in the Spanish summer temperatures, especially when served extra cold (which is often the case in Spain). However, that same weather also poses a challenge; the beer often has a stale, cardboard alike taste due to having been exposed to high temperatures during storage or transport.
Most bars (even when called cerveceria) just offer one of the main Spanish commercial beers on tap (barril) and then have 1 to 5 additional bottled beers from these same breweries. Probably out of pure ignorance or to cater for dumb tourists, they sometimes amend the selection of Spanish beers by Heineken or Amstel – *sigh*.
In the larger cities you can find true cervezerias (but you have to look for them). A real cervezeria for me means a bar that offers a large variety of different beers both on tap (barril) as well as bottled. Cervezeria Gorila in Jerez de la Frontera is such a place (Plaza Plateros, 10, Jerez de la Frontera). Nicely located in the city center with a splendid terras on a small square, it is truly a fine place to enjoy a good beer. They even have a youtube channel called the “Perfect Beer TV” – a good way to brush up on your Spanish and learn more about beer.
This year I also discovered some new local beers of higher quality:
- Carma – From the Cervezas Carma micro brewery in Almogia (http://cervezascarma.com). What started in 2011 with some home brewing has now ended up in a true brewery. I tried the Rubia (Blonde Ale), Clásica (English Pale Ale), Green (American Pale Ale), and Roja (American Amber Ale) – all of them quite nice and definitely worth while a try. You can also visit the brewery. Which I will definitely do.
- Destra Perlo – From the Destra Perlo micro brewery in Jerez de la Frontera (http://www.destraperlo.es). They pride themselves on brewing the beer with all local ingredients. I tried the IPA and it was really good.
In the center of Jerez there is also another small brewery called La Jerezana (Calle Gibraleón 3, Jerez De La Frontera). Unfortunately, they were closed for vacation when I was there. Hopefully for a next time because I read some great reviews.