Malaga has really embraced the craft beer revolution. Of course the Malaguena Victoria and San Miguel, brewed near the airport, still dominate. There is now a few places popping up all over the city putting it at the forefront of the craft beer scene in Spain.
First we had a few days in my flat on the Mijas Costa where I found 2 beers in the local supermarket. One of which I was expecting and one of which I was very surprised to find.
Alhambra’s Reserva 1925 is a pretty standard bottled beer on the Costa Del Sol found in every supermarket I went in and nearly all the bars too. Of course it’s brewed in Granada which is only a couple of hours away as so I’m not sure if it’s widespread across Spain. It’s a nice beer and tastier than most widespread beers in Spain or England for that matter. Surprisingly it was the only Spanish beer I had on my journey.
The second beer I didn’t expect to see. I picked it up from Alcampo in La Canada just outside Marbella.
Innis & Gunn Oak Aged Beer is a Scottish beer that I wasn’t looking for on my journey to Spain. It’s a interesting beer as (you can probably guessed) it is aged in Oak barrels similar to whisky. In fact it came about after the brewers were contacted by a whisky producer who wanted a beer flavoured whisky but this beer came from it (I don’t know if the whisky is in production). Saying that don’t go into this thinking of Ola Dubh, it’s a nice beer and interesting concept but not much flavour is imparted. They do a few different varieties, the one pictured and in my book is the original but I preferred the Toasted Oak IPA I picked up in The Alex.
After a lovely week in Calahonda, we drove up to stay in Malaga for the weekend.
Malaga is an exciting city, it has got some pretty rough looking areas, which is where our first hotel was. It’s bustling and alive though. It seems modern yet steeped in history, and the Calle Larios is superb with the restaurants all having tables on the second floor overlooking the street. It has loads of great street art too. Yeah it’s graffiti but it’s clearly sanctioned and had time spent on it so I’ll use the more pretentious phrase of street art.
Very close to our first hotel is a little bar selling Belgian and a couple of other interesting beers called Het Boste Bierje. It was cool with the menus outside and a friendly bar man.
At this bar I found a beer I needed on draught which is so rare these days I was over the moon. Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier is a German beer from the South of the country. It has a head that disappears very quickly. It’s refreshing and very light for a white beer. It has a fruity orange nose and some bitterness in flavour.
After a stroll into the city, and finding it peculiarly hard to find some Tapas we sat in a café on the square. I wasn’t expecting to find anything on their little menu but Bingo!
I’m never sure if this is the right Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse but after a little research I think is and they have just changed the label slightly, bringing the Hefe bit to the bottom of the bottle. It’s a pretty popular bottle on the Costa, I’m not sure whether that’s because of all the German tourists or whether the Spanish have just developed a taste for this particular white beer. This one has a long lasting froth, especially compared to the last one I tried, though this may sometimes be down to glass management. It had less flavour though and the flavour it did have leaves very quickly. It did taste very clean.
Finally on our little trip we sought out a tiny little bar called La Botica de la Cerveza which basically means the beer store. It had loads of bottles in the fridges and on the walls and a great beer menu which had five beers for me!
It was a great little place with a really friendly barman. I found it all quite inspirational. No draught, peanuts in a little self service dispense machine on the counter for a euro and a very limited tapas menu that he gets out the fridge behind the bar and pings in the microwave. It obviously works as it got busy, and mainly with the locals.
So going through the five beers I had…
Boont Amber Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company. It had a very cool label but an unappealing colour. This Californian beer is pleasant yet quite unassuming and has a nice caramel flavour
Emelisse Imperial Stout was not the easiest drink to get through, a definite sipper. A Dutch beer rocking up at 11% it is thick, sweet with an almost burnt flavour. It’s nearly treacle like and gets sickly sweet the more you drink of it. One for the Pros.
Jever Pilsener is a nice dry bitter Pilsner from Germany. It has a bit of a nutty taste and actually reminded me of Harvest Crunch bars. It is very pleasant but the bitterness does hit you at the back of the throat, maybe surprising some lager drinkers.
And to finish with, 2 beers from the same brewery, Andechs Weissbier Hell and Andechs Doppelbock Dunkel. Andechs Brewery looks like a beautiful Benedictine priory so it’s a little bit of a shame I no longer have to visit there for the purpose of this list. The Weissbier Hell is a centuries old beer dating back from 1764. It is creamy for a white beer with not too much fruit. The Doppelbock Dunkel has a nice toasted smell but I found it a little disappointing. It was pleasant but quick underwhelming for a beer so revered. It had a certain fig taste to it.
So that’s that. Malaga. Very enjoyable but I was disappointed I didn’t manage to tick off a few more Spanish beers I am after. All in all though I would definitely recommend a visit, and if you do go let me know and I’ll come with!!!!!