Saturday, September 23, 2017

oktobeer!

So Madrid is now more Munich than Munich in terms of beer festivals, with two in the city sponsored by big beer.  I think there are even more little Oktoberfests around that individual restaurants and bars put on.  But, there's another fest, a craft fest in a nearby town, with local, national, and even some international beers.  It's not exactly Oktoberfest, since there are many styles of beer, 16 I'm told, not only the traditional Bavarian ones.  And those among 96 different beers.
We drove up, hoping the clouds wouldn't turn out to be rain clouds just today, and got a little turned around downtown.  Put right be a local, we managed to get to the fair in less than an hour in a nice, touristic walk, with a stop at the 18th century church.  We made it to the fair, although constant checking of phone maps slowed us down a little.

Like other fairs, we got our official glasses before going off for the tasting, and met a friend of a friend who is part of the organization.  He recommended we start right at the beginning, with Enigma.  I had the red ale, Enigma Complutum, which makes reference to the past of its home.  It's a mildly sweet, fruity beer, taste and texture expected in a red ale.  There's also the beery bitter hiding in the taste, but the smooth sweetness is what's most noticeable.  Our friend got the more German-y wheat beer Cervantes 400, a bit tart, typically sweet aftertaste for wheat beers, but smoother than many I've had.

There's also food, German food.  Sausages!  White and red sausages were available, but I felt like the red ones looked better in the bun.  Tasty!
Next, a brown ale from Tyris of Valencia.  Paquita Brown is smooth and sweet, with a touch of honey, not as dark as many browns.  I enjoyed it, but wished I had more food to go with it.  It's a beer I would prefer to have in company, either food or friends.
I was recommended Octavo Arte's MaƱanas de Domingo, an IPA.  I felt like something a little stronger at this time.  It's a nice golden color, fizzy head, and tropical fruit scent.  It was served very cold, but the taste was clearly evident, laden with berry and mango.  It's a very refreshing beer, with the smallest bit of IPA citrus and a lot of other fruitiness hanging on.  Despite that, it's a very clean flavor, and smooth drinking.  It's one of those dangerous ones, too easy to let go down while the 7.5% alcohol might sneak up on you.  Really recommendable for summer drinking.
It's yellower in real life...
Finally, I had to find myself a stout.  El Cantero of Murcia was there with one waiting.  They've been in this fair before, and I suppose will be again.  That stout was damn fine, with a chocolate-y scent but a surprisingly bitter taste.  There's also some tartness, making it a little porter-y.  It's not actually a terribly heavy stout, going down easily and smoothly.  My friend wondered if it was like Guinness before we tried it, and was convinced after a couple of swallows that it was better than Guinness.  Success for the beer snob!
When we were leaving, we noticed a doll laid out weirdly on one of those sidewalk protection posts.  Creepy?

Who knows where else beer fairs might pop up?  Better keep an eye out!