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If you can't beat them...

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Europa Press published yesterday the piece of news that had been rumoured for the last weeks among people in the scene: Heineken acquires 51% of Madrid-based La Cibeles brewery. Founded by David Castro in 2010, the year in which the microbrewing scene in Madrid was almost identical to that of the late 90s in Barcelona, with little more than imported beer as an alternative to the major national brands, La Cibeles soon achieved notoriety and was a source of excitement for the few beer enthusiasts with concerns beyond the eternal cañita de Mahou.


"The ownership and independence of a company are secondary to a fundamental value such as consistency"

Little more than noise

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Five months ago, a piece of news caused a stir: Damm launches an IPA. A similar move, albeit much more daring, than the one by San Miguel with their Manila in December 2017, or Moritz's move when launching Red IPA at the beginning of 2016. In the same line, after a period during which they have been launching several limited edition beers under the series 'Ambiciosas', Ámbar hopped on the bandwagon with their IPA, announcing it just two days later than Damm. April was certainly full of excitement.


"And now what? Let's keep on working, innovating and growing"


Retrospection and new experiences

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One of the nice things about getting involved with the beer industry over the last ten years is being able to observe the past with the perspective of time.
I still can remember the mystery surrounding the brewing process and the sensory profile of certain beers, the creators of which I know personally today. I can even say that some of them are my friends. I also recall the admiration I felt for certain authors, whose publications gave me knowledge and inspired me to write. During these years, I have had beers with several of them, getting to collaborate with them in various matters, in some cases. Festivals? From the initial uncertainty of getting there by yourself the first time, without knowing exactly what to expect, to feel more than comfortable attending them. And, finally, to have gotten involved in the organisation of some.

"After this new experience, I will have a more solid opinion on the basis of the scepticism that surrounds major beer contests"

Ripening in the sun

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Nine days ago the thirteenth edition of the Mostra de Mediona* was held: if we think about it twice, we will realise that thirteen years is tremendous. I could write the chronicle of the fair**, but I have long suspected that, judiciously, nobody cares too much about what I drink, and with whom I speak in my spare time.

For the umpteenth time, I could also copy those same praises that have been written again and again in a wide diversity of media. But I doubt that this is necessary beyond, of course, congratulating the big family of Ales Agullons for another year, including within it the entire team of people who work with determination to make the Mostra an indisputable success year after year.

'Under the hot sun of Mediona, we have witnessed how the brewing scene has been maturing'


As seen from the outside

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In a joint effort between the Catalan Tourism Board and Beer Events -the company behind the Barcelona Beer Festival- the Craft Beer & Gastronomy route was designed for the attendance of key people in the dissemination of beer culture. The main idea was to let leading writers and bloggers know more about the richness and gastronomic tradition from which we part as a country, with a special emphasis on the incipient microbrewing industry, which in recent years has begun to reap the fruits of its labours, shining both within and beyond our borders.


'I am proud to see how leading authors position themselves enthusiastically before what's been slowly brewing since the early 90's, with the contribution of many people'

Beyond mouthfeel

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Much has been talked and written about the smell, taste and appearance of beer. Even commercial advertisements appeal to the sense of hearing, with alleged sounds of beer being served to make people thirsty and eager to down one after another. Conversely, except when describing the mouthfeel, beer is rarely talked about from the point of view of touch. So here's some personal, slightly-random reflections.


"The touch of the drinkware or the packaging influence our perception of a same liquid"

A differential factor...

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The other day I received a remarkably big shipment, corresponding to my reward for contributing to the crowdfunding project organised by Cervesa Montseny. Coinciding with its tenth anniversary, they wanted to take another step forward by presenting some of their beers canned, and to finance the whole thing they resorted to their followers. I was enjoying one Lupulus can -by the way, big change eh?- when I began pondering about everything that has happened during all this time, so that I could be at home drinking that specific variety of beer so utterly fresh; in that format that a few years before was associated with cheap, poorly tasting beer; and in a glass with a relevant symbolic charge. I took a picture, and then I started writing.


“Specialised bars make a huge mistake: moving away from local beer”