SPAIN A recent survey among drinkers and experts revealed a list of Spain's best beers, in their opinion. Their opinion is of course highly subjective, particularly as some of them are not widely available (see a similar survey to the one reported here). However, we are sure you have your own list, Dear Reader, and it would be nice to let other Dear Readers know your ranking of locally available brews ... (The list is below.)>>>
1. DAMM INEDIT. Created for this brewery by top chef Ferrán Adriá and the sommeliers at his now-closed restaurant El Bulli. It is brewed from a mixture of malted barley and wheat, with scents of coriander, orange peel and liquorice. Grade: 4.8º. Price 75cl bottle: €3.90.
2. ALHAMBRA 1925. In its characteristic green glass bottle, it is an 'extra' beer, carrying 6.8º. Distinfuished by its slightly caramelized flavour and a perfectly refreshing final bitterness. Good body and very balanced. Price 33cl. bottle: €1.
3. MAHOU CINCO ESTRELLAS. A real classic among Spanish beers. Very light and agreeable, it is very refreshing. Lightly acid with a flavour oftoasted barley and the roight bitterness at the end. Grade: 5.5º. Price six-pack of 25cl bottles: €2.70.
4. SAN MIGUEL 1516. Among this internationally-reputed brewer's variety of choices, the 1516 is made by traditional methods. Fresh, bitter and a low grade (4.2º) makes it very agreeable at all times. Price 33cl bottle: €0.80.
5. CRUZ CAMPO GRAN RESERVA 1904. One hundred percent malted, this is a high quality beer, intense and balanced with an agreeable bitterness at the end. Its grade of 6.4º makes it good at a meal. Price 33cl bottle: €1.
6. VOLL DAMM. Its double malted method of production gives it a very identifiable taste, an intense body, different from others. Best as a separate drink (i.e. not with a meal). High grade: 7.2º. Price 33cl bottle: €1.10.
7. ÁMBAR ESPECIAL. This Zaragoza brewery has a long history and after over 100 years, offers a wide variety that includes this Especial lager of low fermentation that is a very agreeable drink. Grade: 5.2º
8. MORITZ. Almost hand-made, this beer is an institution in Barcelona since 1856. The water used to brew it comes from the Vichy Catalan spring, and hops instead of extracts give it less bitterness and more aroma. Grade: 5.4º. Price 33cl bottle: €1.20.
9. ESTRELLA GALICIA 1906. A Galician beer named after the brewery's opening year. Very intense, amber coloured and more bitter than is usual, which gives it a very light sweetness. Grade: 6.5º. Price 33cl bottle: €0.80.
10. BRABANTE BLANCA. Made in Belgium by traditional methods, can be considered Spanish because it is brought in in bulk for the national market. Among its varieties, this 'white' one is made from wheat and is light and smooth. Grade: 5º. Price 33cl bottle: €1.50.