History of beer in Spain
Beer was consumed in Spain before the romanization, especially among the Celtic people in the Northwest, according to roman writers as Estrabón or Plinio, being the Spanish word for beer cerveza derived through the Latin cerevisia from the Celtic word for cereals coirm. Even the oldest beer found in Europe was recently found in Soria (Spain) dating back to 2.400 BC. But upon the arrival of Romans, wine became the day to day drink, and beer almost dissapeared for centuries. It was not until the 16th century that beer was reintroduced again, via Carolus V, born in Ghent, who introduced Belgian style beers in Madrid. Beer production in the 16th and 17th was marginal in relation with wine, and it was considered a low-quality drink. It was not until the 19th century, with the arrival of industrialization and mass beer production when beer was effectively reintroduced in the Spanish market, and hops started to be grew again in Spain. Craft beer movement didn't start to gain momentum until early 2010s, with brewers like Naparbier, Nómada, Laugar or La Pirata. In the last years, the market share of craft brewing have been constantly increasing, and a great number of new breweries are appearing each year, with names as La Quince, La Calavera, Edge Brewing or Jakobsland.
Brewers from Spain
Laugar was founded in 2010 by Eneko Neira, who quickly gathered the other four members of the team in order to start homebrewing in a small facility in Barakaldo. Although their aim was to brew for family and friends, their beers started having a good feedback and that gave them the push to jump to professionalism. Thus in 2013 they moved to their current brewery in Gordenxola (Bizkaia), and in 2014 they launched their first beer, EPA! Euskal Pale Ale.
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2. La Pirata
La Pirata is a Spanish brewery founded in 2012 in Súria (Barcelona) by Arán y Eric León after years of experience homebrewing—and its name comes from its pirate origin. In 2015 they opened their brewery. Their label design is very colourful and each label is carried out by a different graphic designer.
Go to La Pirata
3. La Calavera Brewing
La Calavera is a brewery from the Ripollés area in the north of Barcelona (Spain), close to the Catalonian Pyrinees. It was founded in 2012 as part of the Riembau cooperative, focused in social cooperation in the Ripollés. The brewery is located within an old Masía, and it also has an onsite restaurant and brewpub called La Barricona.
Go to La Calavera Brewing
4. Brew & Roll
Brew and Roll is a Spanish brewery founded in 2015 in Navarra. Javier Zornoza, the founder, already had experience as a homebrewer, and decide to start with the brewery along with co-founders Carlos López, David Ortiz and Arturo Ciordia. Their name wants to connect with the rock'n roll spirit and the eagerness to break with industrial mainstream beers.
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5. La Quince
La Quince is a gipsy Spanish brewery founded in 2013 by Jacobo Lliso and Juan Lliso. Jacobo had already been first a bottle collector and then a homebrewer. Its name means the fifteen, which was the number of the building where they grew up. His logo represents an owl, and it a tribute to their grandmother. Recently, they opened a brewpub in Madrid, Brew Wild Pizza Bar
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Naparbier is a Spanish brewery founded in 2009 in Navarra, Spain by Juan Rodríguez, Josu Tañine, Txerra Aiastui and José Javier Rodríguez. After being affected by a downsizing plan in their previous company that made them lose their jobs, they founded a cooperative and started brewing. Both Juan and Josu became homebrewers after travelling to Germany to visit a relative and being impressed by the variety of beers. They started brewing, and then contacted with a German homebrewer, Alex Schmid, who help them improve their processes. Its name comes from a mixture of the Basque word for Navarra—Napar—and the german word for beer—bier. They are acknowledged as one of the top Spanish craft brewers, and they have doing collabs with top international brewers as Nøgne Ø, Mikkeller or To Øl. They also have a brewpub in the heart of Barcelona, the NaparBCN
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Jakobsland Brewers is a Spanish brewery founded in 2016 in Santiago de Compostela by Henlo Mathee Swart and Francisco Vaquero. Henlo had previous experience in the craft beer world in USA and in England. After coming to Spain, he met Francisco Vaquero, who brought him into the amateur homebrewing world, and soon after they were joined by Jeremiah Fox. After three years of experimenting, they decided to oficially become a professional gypsy brewery. Jakobsland focus on producing beer with top quality ingredients, aiming to be a reference of the emerging craft beer scene from Galicia and from Spain.
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8. Edge Brewing
Edge Brewing is a Spanish brewery founded in 2013 in Poble Nou (Barcelona) by Alan Sepphard and Scott Vanover. It all started when Scott—who was a tech entrepreneur in Florida—and his wife decided change his life, sell his company and travel around the globe. Then he arrived to Barcelona and got in touch with Alan, and decided to establish there and bring brewing equipent and hops directly from the US. Alan was in the brewery until 2017, when he left being replaced by Sean McLin, that also recently left the company, being replaced by Riley Finningan, formerly at Avery Brewing. Edge is right now one of the top breweries from the Spanish scene, and they are also organizers of the yearly MASH festival in Barcelona.
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BIIR is a Spanish brewery from Barcelona founded in 2012 by Albert Galán, Gunther Bensch and Pere Móra, awarded in 2013 and 2014 As Ratebeer Best brewer in Spain.
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10. Mala Gissona
Mala Gissona is a Spanish brewery founded in Oiartzun in 2015 by Iban Zabala and Manu Murillo. Its name comes from the old icelandic and bask pidgin For ju Mala Gissuna, meaning you're a bad man, used in the 15th century by whale hunters. They have a taproom in San Sebastián, the Mala Gissona Beer House.
Go to Mala Gissona