La Botica de la Cerveza: We already knew that it was a special place, but it was truly a pleasure to enjoy a beer tasting with Pepe
I’ll be honest with you. When we decided to move from New York City to Málaga, one of our fears (it was a huge step and there were lots of other more serious worries) was that we had become fans of craft beer in New York and we weren’t sure if the popularity of craft beer had made it to Málaga. Obviously we didn’t expect to find the same variety as in New York, but we did want to be able to try different beers from different parts of the world. We were happy to discover not just one, but various bars in Málaga that specialize in craft beers.
We’ve tried almost all the different craft beer places in Malaga (at least the ones we know about at the moment), and each one has their own special charm. But today we’re going to tell you about our experience doing a special tasting at La Botica de la Cerveza, a place on Calle Victoria that won us over. The bar is dedicated to craft beers, and stands out because they make you feel at home from the first moment, thanks to wonderful staff who clearly love beer as much as their clientele. We spoke to them and they were happy to prepare a special tasting for us. We let the barman decide and Pepe designed a tasting of English beers.
In La Botica de la Cerveza there are more than 300 kinds of beers, so focusing on just a few is a difficult task. However Pepe was able to prepare an expert tasting, as well as capture our interest with the story that connected the beers as our tasting continued. The first beer we tried was Fuller’s London Pride, a smooth ale for drinking during the day. Pepe told us that the English beers are known for their low grade of alcohol compared to others, so you can drink more of them. It was a good choice to whet our palates for the tasting!
When the English arrived in India, one of the things that they couldn’t leave behind was their beloved ale. However, taking their beer on the long trip from England was no easy task because it would become too bitter. To solve this problem there were two options: increase the amount of hops to avoid the bacteria that caused the acidity and up the alcohol content. The result was successful and people still enjoy this beer today. It was time to try Fuller’s IPA, where we could already taste the difference in flavor from the first ale.
It was time to get serious in terms of a beer with more body and flavor. So Pepe brought us Samuel Smith’s Brown Ale where we could begin to notice the touches of caramel or cacao due to the toasted malt. The idea of these beers was to make them more “nutritious,” so the workmen would be both happier and full of energy. We were also pretty happy at this point, but there were two more beers to try!
Before we knew it, Pepe brought us Samuel Smith’s Porter. This beer, which had even more body than the previous one, was made famous by the porters that worked in the markets (hence the name). With a higher grade of alcohol, the flavor is also more intense. We were really enjoying our beer history lesson along with the tasting. We have to say, Pepe is a fantastic teacher!
There was still room for one more, the Stout. This beer was what they made after the Porter, but with more alcohol content. We took the plunge and tried the Imperial Stout. This was the version of the Stout that they exported and was more commercial (which translates to more alcohol: almost 15 degrees in some cases). One version of Stout beer that you may be familiar with is Guinness from Dublin, (they also toast the malted wheat…but we’ll talk more about that when we do an Irish beer tasting).
With that we wound up our English beer tasting, thanks to Pepe and our friend Daniel, who enjoyed the tasting with us. But that’s what Pepe does every day; he gives people an experience that goes beyond just having a beer, and actually transports them to the place that beer was made. And that, friends, is what La Botica de la Cerveza is; a place that is simultaneously familiar and different, but definitely one we like to visit. We ruskommend that you try La Botica de la Cerveza with 5 boquerones. You can literally take a trip around the world as you try different beers (and they also have craft beer from Málaga, in case you’re afraid to fly) 😉