On our recent visit to Northern Spain, we found a nascent craft beer scene. While local Rioja, Albarino and Cava wines and are most ubiquitous in San Sebastian, a gastronomic destination (more Michelin rated restaurants per square meter than any other city except Kyoto; more than Paris and New York!), “artisanal” beers are starting to make their presence known.
At Arzak, a 3 star Michelin restaurant, a pintxo (Basque for tapas) starter called “Black Pudding and Beer” is served on top of a crushed Kellerbier can! Ni Neu in San Sebastian proudly displays brews from local Gar & Gar & Basqueland Brewing.
At Nerua in the Guggenheim Bilbao, diners can choose between two Baladin Italian craft brews and Altura de Vuela from Fernandez Pon in Valencia.
One retail shop, which just last week featured a variety of European craft beers, now features one regional product per week with a full craft beer selection available downstairs. This week the feature is Valencia oranges, and Mikkeller Orange Yuzu Glad I Said Porter is included with the display.
We also sampled some Dougall’s craft brews, Raquera & their IPA. The brewery’s tag line is “Piensa Global – Bebe Local” or Think Global – Drink Local. Sound familiar?
Early stages, but it appears that the craft beer scene in one of Europe’s gastronomic centers is on the rise.