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Beer in Spain

Food & Drink in Spain: Ordering a Beer in Spain


The Spanish drink a lot of beer. Most beer in Spain is between 4% and 5.5%. A few are stronger, but none (that I am aware of) are any weaker.

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Beer in Spain: What to Expect in a Spanish Bar

Most bars in Spain will only have one beer on tap (though some will have a standard lager and a non-alcoholic version, while a few others will have a pale larger and a dark one). Beer on the whole is sold in very small glasses in Spain. But it isn't all bad news - the Spanish like their beer very cold, you might even be served a glass that has been kept in a freezer!

Spanish beer has a bad reputation - a reputation that is only partly justified. Spain has two very bad beers. Unfortunately, about 90% of bars in Spain seem to sell these beers. Read on for information on which beers to go for and which to avoid.

See also:


Top Five Beers in Spain

Read my personal five favorite beers in Spain: Best Beer in Spain.


Dark Beer in Spain

More and more dark beers are popping up in Spain, especially in the north. If you aren't keen on pale lager and prefer darker beer, try Amstel Oro, Mahou Negra, Alhambra Negra, Bock Damm and the aforementioned Voll Damm and San Miguel Nostrum.


Two Beers in Spain to Avoid

These are the culprits behind Spain's terrible beer reputation.

  • Standard San Miguel (not the Nostrum version above) is gassy and unpleasant - it is marketed around the world as a premium 'continental' lager but it is simply Mahou's 'other' brand.


  • Cruzcampo is gassier and more unpleasant than San Miguel.

Bad beer is quite a good sign of a bad restaurant. Read more: How to Spot Good Restaurants in Spain.


Foreign Beer in Spain

The best place to get foreign beer in Spain is in an Irish pub, which will always sell Guinness and will often sell a variety of other beers. Belgian beer is popular in some Irish pubs, as well as in a few international bars. You will find Heineken widely available, while Carlsberg and Kronenberg are quite common in the Basque Country.


Ordering Beer in a Bar in Spain

Beer in Spanish bars isn't sold by quantity but by the type of glass. Read about the most common sizes of beer in Spain: Ordering Beer in Spain.


Microbreweries in Spain

There are a few bars that make their own beer in Spain, though not many. They will say 'fabrica de cerveza' outside (literally 'beer factory').

There are two microbreweries in Madrid - Naturbier in Plaza Santa Ana and Magister just around the corner on Calle Principe. I prefer the latter (not only because you get free tapas!).

For a very funny alternative to this page, check out Spanish-Country-Villa.com

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