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Author Topic: Off to Spain for one Week --> Salou - Cambrils - Tarragona  (Read 3776 times)
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Trappist
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« on: April 17, 2011, 10:51:36 AM »

Hi
This late afternoon I'm off to Spain for one week of relaxation. Well deserved.
So, next week will be Filip-less over here.
Tarragona is the main place where we will hang out, and also some touristic Salou and Cambrils.
Not that beery places I'm afraid.
Tarragona has one artisanal brewery though. http://www.rosita.cat/ Will try to hunt for their beers.
Belgian beer at Salou Huh? This is what I came up with Googling. http://www.trefpuntsalou.com/
Indeed, VERY disappointing.
Tarragone research gave this address which looks promising: Bierwinkel

http://www.bierwinkel.es/
I'll report back....
And ... this place seems promising too: http://www.qype.es/place/878578-Beer-Factory-Cambrils (120 different beers!!!)
Keep it clean over here  police
Cheers,
Filip

« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 05:25:01 PM by Trappist » Logged

Jay
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2011, 03:31:25 PM »

Hi Filip,

           Have a great time in Spain, I'm sure you'll sniff out some hidden Belgian treasures and take pics for us - we're off to Turkey for our family holiday this year, now that place will be Belgian barren.

                                                            Safe journey mate

                                                                      Jay   thumb up 
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2011, 09:02:47 PM »

And ... this place seems promising too: http://www.qype.es/place/878578-Beer-Factory-Cambrils (120 different beers!!!)
Hi all!
Just back from Spain.
No doubts here: http://www.qype.es/place/878578-Beer-Factory-Cambrils is the best place I found in the region of Cambrils - Salou - Tarragona for beer availability.
About 40 Belgian beers and 80 international beers (incl. many local beers) ! Amazing bar !!!
Amazing too that so less about Beer Factory is published on the internet  Huh?
I took some pictures, and will publish them soon.
A bit tired now, and tomorrow is working day for me till Tuesday morning 8.00.
I will post a report on Tuesday !!
Thanks for keeping the board alive  beersign beersign beersign
 cheers1
Filip

« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 09:04:59 PM by Trappist » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011, 11:42:15 PM »

Great to have you back mate    thumb up
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2011, 11:56:09 AM »

Great to have you back mate    thumb up
Thanks Jay,
Here's an impression of one week beery Spain at region Salou - Cambrils - Tarragona.
Spain is not a specialty beer country. Mainly Pilsener is consumed, and this mainly for thirst-quenching purposes.
So, I really needed to look for the quality beers and the beery spots.
First, some local beers:


Ambar Pale Ale 1900 - 4.8 vol%

A beer we had at Cafe Panoramic in Salou - http://cafepanoramic.blogspot.com/
It's mentioned to be a Pale Ale, and was a blond beer. In Belgium this would've been an amber colored beer.
Tasting gave a satisfying pilsener but not more than that I'm afraid.


Somewhat closer: Ambar Pale Ale 1900

Still, a great looking label.
BTW: Cafe Panoramic has Chimay Blue on offer too !
Anyway, a wonderful relaxing place to hang around with a great view on the see.
 

Voll-Damm Doble Malta - 7.2 vol%, and Saaz Damm - 3.5 vol%

Two beers we tried in Tarragona at tapas bar - restaurant Txantxangorri, Placa de la Font 16, Tarragona.
Not exactly the cheapest place around, but the great location at Placa de la Font made everything just OK.
Commercial description Voll Damm:
Is the Double Malt, an unmistakable beer for its intense flavour and darker colour. Its quality as a Strong Lager has been recognised with a gold medal in the prestigious International Beer Competition. It is Marzënbier style becouse in the beggining was brewed in March with more amount of malt to resist the high temperatures of summer.
Voll Damm is one of my better Spanish beer experiences. A great malty rich beer with a great body and quite strong too with its 7.2 vol%.
I would say, according my tasting notes, a weaker version of Bush Ambrée.
The Saaz Damm was quite watery and low in alcohol, but the rich use of crisp Saaz hops still made it a true hoppy pleasure.


Rosita Original - 5.5 vol% and Ambar Negra - 4.8 vol%

Commecial description Ambar Negra
Ambar Negra is made with a recipe created in 1901 by master brewer Charles Schlaffer. It is has light palate with caramel flavour, and a smooth, firm body. The finish has notes of malt and cane sugar.
A stout with good roasty qualities.

Rosita Original is one of the artisanal beers from Tarragona based brewery http://www.rosita.cat/
Undoubtedly the most artisanal Spanish beer we had during our staying.
Quite difficult to find in Tarragona, but the place where I took this picture gladly had it on offer.
The place in question: Tapas bar Negresco, c/ Fortuny 7, Tarragona
BTW: The tapas were delicious and not at all expensive. I can only recommend this place where mainly local people were noticed. This is the real Spain folks !
The Rosita beers and other local artisanal beers are more found at speciality drink shops rather than at cafes or taverns in Tarragona. I wonder why ?


Damm Lemon - 3.2 vol%

Here a typical Spanish thirst-quencher. In the UK, this would be called a Shandy.
Yes, a mixture of lemonade with pils. A good thirst-quencher, but not more than that.

During our staying I looked around to find some Belgian beer, and yes they are available.
I mainly spotted ABInBev beers like Hoegaarden and Leffe Blond and Dark, but I also spotted Grimbergen and Judas.
Duvel was frequently seen too.
Surprisingly, the ABInBev beers were not that expensive.
Belgian beer bar Trefpunt (http://www.trefpuntsalou.com/) in Salou had Leffe Blond and Leffe Dark at € 2.50, which is cheaper to equal as what we pay here in Belgium.
The Duvel OTOH was at € 4.00. Still, not that bad. They also had Palm, Timmermans Kriek-Peche-Framboise, Stella Artois.
One bar that we couldn't visit was Bierwinkel in Tarragona. Simply because it was closed during our visit. I presume this place opens late in the afternoon around 6pm.
We've seen that alot of Spanish bars and taverns open at 6pm during Easter.

Time for good Belgian beer !!!!


Here's the place that made everything just fine. Beer Factory!
Thanks to this page http://www.qype.es/place/878578-Beer-Factory-Cambrils ! and its comment on the bottom, saying 120 cervezas.
The only page about their beer availability I found with Googling. Still amazed that so little is published on the internet.
Time to do something about that, because this place really deserves the promotion.
Beer Factory is located inbetween Cambrils and Salou along the major street that goes along the beaches - Avenida Diputacio 149, 43850 Cambrils
The pub already looks inviting when observing the front. Everything is made in wood, which gives it a very rustic feeling.
Immediately after entering, we stepped into the cosy world of speciality beers !


For instance this amazing Belgian beer label collection, which was hanging on the walls.

A fascinating collection of old Belgian beer labels, presented into frames.
The whole place is made in rustic wood, which gives the bar that warming feeling. A lot of breweriana were decorating the room.
And, if you look carefully, you will notice that two stainless steel lager vats are placed in the back as decoration.


Beer bottles were exposed on top there.

The beer menu gave a 75 beers! But when I asked the bartender he confirmed me that 120 beers are on offer.
I counted about 40 Belgian beers. This could be higher. The other beers were international.
A lot of German Weissbier too. Even some Cannabis beer. The other non-Belgian beers were mainly pilseners. For instance Mythos from Greece.
So not exactly a Belgian beer bar. But still with a 40 Belgian beers you will not find any better in that region.
Note that all Trappist beers (excl. Westvleteren) were on the menu. Not too expensive priced too. Trappist Westmalle Tripel for instance at € 3.50. Not bad really.
Beer Factory is also an eating place. They are well known for their 12 dishes which each do represent one country.
The Belgian dish was frites with frikandelle sausage.


Time for a beer: I went for the Dutch Trappist La Trappe tripel.


Katrien choose the Voll Damm from draught which is quite hard to find from tap.
From draught it gives a more fresh and creamier beer. A really excellent Spanish beer this is.
Great looking bar there !!!


My second order: A French beer called Belzebuth. A strong beer at 13 vol% brewed at http://www.brasserie-graindorge.net/
Great pouring again from the friendly Spanish bartender.
Note that they also have that other strong beer from Austria called Samichlaus at 14 vol%.
Very surprised about the fruity (peachy) characteristics of Belzebuth. People, this is a top-quality beer !


Belzebuth - 13 vol%
Yes, available in Cambrils.

Well, that's a bit what we experienced about the beery side of the Tarragona region.
There's no question here: One place made the trip well worth for trying some good beers.

Beer Factory !

Has been added to the worldwide Belgian beer pub map  thumb up

Cheers,
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 01:46:24 PM by Trappist » Logged

John B
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2011, 02:30:34 PM »

Thank you for the excellent report Filip!   applauding

Like most of the world, they really do seem to lean towards the lighter beers there. Other than yourself, did you happen to notice anyone in the bars you visited drinking any dark beer? Also, did you have any conversations with bartenders or patrons in regards to Belgian beer? 
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2011, 02:50:21 PM »

Thank you for the excellent report Filip!   applauding

Like most of the world, they really do seem to lean towards the lighter beers there. Other than yourself, did you happen to notice anyone in the bars you visited drinking any dark beer? Also, did you have any conversations with bartenders or patrons in regards to Belgian beer? 
Hi John,
Dark and strong beers are seldom seen in Spain, although that amber colored Voll Damm was seen alot. I have the feeling that Spanish people are learning to try a stronger and maltier beer lately.
Can't seem to remember this, and I visited Spain already for many times.
The quality beer scene in Spain is gradually improving with already some excellent beer bars. The Drunk Monk in Mataró for instance has reached 15th best bar of the world at Ratebeer. http://www.ratebeer.com/places/top-rated/
See also http://belgianbeerboard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=512&Itemid=88888994
I didn't have conversations with bartenders though. Let's call it spyish behaviour  Cool and after all, my Spanish language knowledge is zero to nothing.
I didn't spot any dark beer being tasted by locals. As said, the amber Voll Damm was a true exception.
Looking for Cerveza Negra in Spain is a tough job believe me  Shocked Shocked
Also, when looking for artisanal beers in Spain, one has to go to speciality drink shops.
In Tarragona we passed a couple of drink shops where some artisanal beers (along with massive choice of wines) were exposed in a small corner behind the windows.
Mainly Rosita range, and a couple of 75cl corked bottles at around 5.00 Euro/bottle. I couldn't buy one because we were flying Ryanair and only had hand luggage which made it impossible to bring back beer.
Anyway, when looking hard, quality beer is available, and that's a good thing.
Let's hope that local Spanish artisanal quality beers, and Belgian beer will become more and more successful in Spain.  fingers-crossed
Cheers,
Filip

« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 03:09:25 PM by Trappist » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2011, 03:21:48 PM »

Let's hope that local Spanish artisanal quality beers, and Belgian beer will become more and more successful in Spain

Exactly. It will be a slow process, but from your reports it sounds as if things are headed in the right direction.   thumb up

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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2011, 03:42:22 PM »

Let's hope that local Spanish artisanal quality beers, and Belgian beer will become more and more successful in Spain

Exactly. It will be a slow process, but from your reports it sounds as if things are headed in the right direction.   thumb up



yes,
But still, there's a lot of work to do.
I did not mention this, but the majority of beer that's consumed is plain lager. Mahou, Estrella Damm, Ambar, Heineken, etc...
You also see those competition between bars offering the cheapest lager, exposed on chalkboards in front of the bar. A good thing if you want to quench your thirst  Undecided out of frozen glasses at low cost.
1.50 Euro for one pint (half litre) for instance. Similar to the cheapest 5.00 Euro for one litre of Sangria.
And I even didn't mention the vast availability of American Budweiser and German Duff beer. Drunk straight out of from the bottle.
Also seen alot of British bars offering Tetley's, Guinness, etc.... and a cidre called Magners

Seemed quite popular over there.
I think this covers things quite well now.
Cheers,
Filip


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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2011, 03:52:20 PM »

Hi,
By coïncidence - thanks to the internet - I got in contact with one of the managers of Beer Factory: Frank van der Poel.
He's Belgian and comes from Knokke-Heist, and now lives in Salou, co-operating the management of Beer Factory.
Via Facebook I got a mail from him to say that everyone who participates the Belgian Beer Board is welcome to Beer factory.
The Beer Factory will invite you to a fresh beer "On Behalf of the Belgian Beer Board Team".
Wow, what a great gesture from Frank  Belgiumflag
Cheers to that  cheers2
Filip
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 03:54:22 PM by Trappist » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2011, 03:59:29 PM »

Hi,
By coïncidence - thanks to the internet - I got in contact with one of the managers of Beer Factory: Frank van der Poel.
He's Belgian and comes from Knokke-Heist, and now lives in Salou, co-operating the management of Beer Factory.
Via Facebook I got a mail from him to say that everyone who participates the Belgian Beer Board is welcome.
The Beer Factory will invite you to a fresh beer "On Behalf of the Belgian Beer Board Team".
Wow, what a great gesture from Frank  Belgiumflag
Cheers to that  cheers2
Filip



Wow, thank you Frank! I'll be headed over to Germany for a couple of weeks later this year, and my friend who lives there and I have been discussing places we might visit during that time. Spain was one of the destinations mentioned, so if our travels take us anywhere near The Beer Factory we will certainly be paying a visit.   thumb up
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2011, 08:20:26 PM »

Magners is an Irish cider and it is terrible. Its called Bulmers in Ireland though
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Jay
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2011, 10:31:44 PM »

The Voll-Damm was one of the better beers we saw during our last family holiday to Portugal, they served it in our hotel so it was one I drank at night - during the day it was so hot we drank either Sagres or Tagus.
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2011, 11:30:27 PM »

I'll be off on a family holiday soon with my parents to Moraira. From some early googling I have found somewhere called the Brussels Bar so that could be interesting. If anyone has had any experience of that area, please let me know. I don't know Spain at all.
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2011, 03:09:21 PM »

Great report on Spain, Filip, with excellent pictures (as always). Really like the look of the Beer Factory. I've got to get one of those lovely La Trappe glasses. Belzebuth is good stuff. It was a standout among the first proper beers I had back in Pennsylvania. I've got the glass, but it's a silly little weissbeer-style thing. I think Belzebuth would be better suited to a small snifter (like the ones Cantillon has). On the Grain d'Orge website they show it in a 50cl can as well as the little bottles I've seen in America. This post is reminding me that I want to talk about cans and glassware with you guys... chin
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