Summer has finally arrived and with it, the vacations, the beach, meetings with friends, etc., and if there is one thing you can’t miss, it’s beer. A small cane, a tube, a pitcher, with lemon, homemade, artisan, imported or even non-alcoholic. Be that as it may, beer is closely linked to summer.
Estepona is known for its beautiful beaches, warm climate and rich gastronomic culture. However, there is another treasure that many overlook: craft beer. There has been a real renaissance of local beer. In this article, we will explore the world of beer and the growing beer scene in Estepona.
History of beer: An ancient beverage with a fascinating legacy.
Beer is a naturally brewed beverage made from sweet or fermented malt flavored with hops. Its main ingredients are barley, hops, yeast and water. The barley, which must be germinated, dried and toasted, the hops, which give it a bitter aroma, and the yeast, which allows its fermentation. With a bitter taste and carbon content, it also has medicinal properties: it is an antioxidant and protects cells from degradation.
Beer is a beverage with a millenary history.
In 4000 B.C. we find the first mention of beer on a Sumerian tablet. It was already being drunk in India and China around 3500 BC.
The Babylonians created the oldest known recipe for beer: barley and wheat beer.
In Egypt it became the drink of the people and up to eight types of beer were brewed. Its fame was such that Egyptian beer was brought to Cadiz in Phoenician ships.
In medieval and modern history, the German tradition appears. As a result of consecutive heavy frosts that affected the vine crops, beer became a popular replacement for wine in Europe. At that time, aromatic herbs and wild plants were used to modify the flavor and aroma. The Germans owned about 500 cloisters in which beer was brewed and marketed.
Today, beer is one of the most famous and widely consumed beverages in the world.
International Beer Day is August 2.
Types of beers:
There are numerous types of beer, the catalog is so wide that we would need several articles to explain each of the varieties of beer. In order not to bore you with so much information, I will tell you that there are two main types of beer that include almost all the beers that exist: Ale beers and Lager beers.
The main difference between these two main categories is the type of fermentation. The lagers are bottom fermented and the ales are top fermented.
– Lager: Brewed with pale malt, low fermentation blond beers, low alcohol content and to be served very fresh. Subtypes: Pilsen, Special Lager and Extra Lager.
– Ale: Rapid fermentation at high temperatures. Fruity flavor, fermented with various yeasts and both color and strength vary according to the type: See Bitter, Brown Ale, Cream Ale, Indian Pale, Mild, Pale-Ale, Scotch Ale…
We also have Stout beers (called black beer in Spain) and spontaneously fermented beers to which no yeast is added, but which ferment with the yeast present in the environment. Gueze, Lambic, Kriek, etc.
Currently, there is a boom in craft beer and a consequent proliferation of companies dedicated to its production, which is prepared with water, malt, hops and barley, but without preservatives that affect its flavor.
Craft beer on the Costa del Sol: a booming industry.
The Costa del Sol has one of the most productive and varied craft beer industries in Andalusia. The number of companies known for their great work has grown like wildfire. For example: La Axarca, 3 Monos, Savis, Rondeña, Puente Nuevo, Trinidad, Attik, La Farola, Bonvivant, Bakers, BenalHop, Gaitanejo, etc.
The beer scene in Estepona:
In recent years, we have witnessed a true craft beer renaissance around the world, and Estepona has been no exception. Local brewers have worked hard to create a variety of unique beers that satisfy the most demanding palates. These passionate brewers have embraced the brewing culture, using high-quality ingredients and innovative techniques to produce beers with distinctive flavors. Cervezas Año Cero and La Catarina are the example:
Cervezas Año Cero: Taste the craft beers from Estepona.
Cervezas Año Cero: entrepreneurs from Estepona launched this project after the pandemic, achieving magnificent beers 100% from Estepona. As they themselves say: “Craft beer to start over”. Its Artisanal Rubia beer is a tasty, light and easy to drink lager, ideal to enjoy with friends. On the other hand, its Bermeja Artesanal beer is a red ale with a more reddish color, toasted flavor, dry finish and less bitterness. Easy and pleasant to drink. It can be found at Carrefour in Estepona, Tiendas el Copo or Puro Majar. And also here.
La Catarina Craft Beer: A reference in craft beer in Andalusia.
La Catarina Craft Beer: located in the Agrojardín in Estepona, was consolidated in 2012 as the first craft beer brewery. La Catarina has become one of the most highly rated craft breweries in Andalusia; winning a gold medal in the most prestigious award in Spain and one of the most prominent in Europe: The Barcelona Beer Challenge. They have eight beers and each one of them pays tribute to Andalusian places, from Tarifa to Sierra Nevada. Catarina Craft Beer is distributed in large food chains in the province. It can be found in Carrefour in Estepona, Alcampo in Marbella (La Cañada) and established in 5 star hotels such as Marbella Club, Vincci, Puente Romano and many others. They also have distributors in Seville and Madrid.
Did you know…
La Catarina created a special beer to recognize the work of all those involved in extinguishing the fire that devastated more than 8,000 hectares of Sierra Bermeja in 2021. Ten percent of the sales of this beer, named La Catarina Aid, was donated to the various recovery plans in the sierra.
tible pairings: Enjoy beer in the gastronomy of Estepona.
A very fresh beer complements the Mediterranean flavors of Estepona, creating a unique gastronomic experience. For example, espeto de sardinas is enhanced with a refreshing lager. The freshness of the beer counterbalances the intensity of the marine flavors, providing a delicious balance.
We hope you enjoy Estepona this summer drinking a cold beer in any of its restaurants, bars or beach bars. But drink in moderation and as Stevie Wonder used to say: if you drink… don’t drive!