Beer Tourism outside Belgium
- Written by: Jason Baxter
- Category: Beer Tourism outside Belgium
- Hits: 55
It's time to tick off our 6th Spanish city break (after Valencia, Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and San Sebastián) and now Seville.
Now this wasn't the beeriest (as far as Spanish trips go) but that did nothing to detract from just how much we loved this Andalusian town.
This felt like we were visiting the true Spain, visiting century old tapas bars that seemed to have changed little (if at all) over the past decades and strolling along ancient cobbled back streets.
At times it felt like we were the only tourists because rarely did we hear another English voice (except back at our hotel) or at tourist hotspots.
Now as I said earlier this was by no way the beeriest of our Spanish trips, it could have been an ocean of Cruz Campo but there were a couple of standout bars - no1 was Cerveza Internacional, an open one room bar that had a very strong Belgian offering with Belgian beers on tap and an extensive bottle list, it's easy to see why it was such a hit with us both.
The room was decorated with multiple beer signs on the walls and glass fronted cabinets filled with Belgian (and others) bottles and the corresponding glass (many dating back to the 90's) it was like being in a Spanish version of 2be.
Now first thing first regarding the beer bars of Seville, opening times can be very sporadic with many bars closed when they should be open, closed altogether or in no way the berry locations as described on Google - one place we visited was described as a brewery when in fact it was nothing more than a roadside kiosk but back to the good ones.
Another bar was Hops & Dreams, a two room bar with 8 taps and a couple of beer fridges all stocked with craft Spanish beers.
Owner with a local lemon liquor
Hi folks...a bit more than beer.
Despite only listing a couple of beery bars there are more in Seville it's just that they may only open Thursday-Sunday 8pm-12am so catching them open can be a bit hit and miss.
We did visit several other bars (the ones listed as "beery") but tbh they weren't anything to write home about - offering several varieties of Cruz Campo BUT that didn't spoil the trip for us, not one iota.
The real fun came in visiting the many tapas bars, eating and drinking with the locals...this very much reminded us of San Sebastián, another location famous for its food, we can honestly say we ate and drank like locals.
Our first encounter came on our first night and after checking into our hotel we decided on a walk (close by, we had no idea of location yet) and as luck would have it just a couple of streets away was a small bar that was packed with locals all eating and drinking...La Taberna La Jara.
Our first visit consisted of just a couple of drinks, we returned however twice more for some amazing tapas, and tapas unlike any we've had before.
The two standout dishes being Albondigas (meatballs) however unlike the usual way of serving them in a rich tomato sauce these were described as Albondigas Con Salsa (again you may think of tomato with the salsa) but what came were wonderful meatballs in the most delicious almond and saffron sauce.
Another dish famous from this region is Pringas, a sandwich served warm with a shredded meat filling, this was a dish that Linda ordered and I had a taste (unknown of its filling) because the Pringa in its title refers to the filling, a filling made with local Morcilla (Spanish blood pudding) something that I'm not keen on eating - this Pringa part also consists of beef, pork, chorizo and spices all cooked for hours then shredded, so long in fact that any blood pudding characteristics would be well cooked out. It was so flavourful that I bought some cooking chorizo and Morcilla to bring home so I could attempt to cook it.
Pringas with a Vermouth (and a side of salted almonds)...wonderful.
Another ancient Tapas bar was Casa Morales, founded in 1850 and still in the same family, it originated as a wine shop and little has changed since. The bar is split into two rooms, the front one being the original wine shop (complete with original till) and the back room the wine storage (complete with ancient wine storage vessels).
As the weather was so beautiful (37 degrees) we sat outside and drank Sherry and Sangria and ate fantastic tapas...Salchichas al Vino Blanco, Tortilla and crispy Ibérico pork, Croquettes...memories like that will stay with us forever.
Fino and Pedro Ximinez Sherry
Now you cannot come to Spain and not try Churros and Linda took us to the best place in Seville - Cafe bar El Comercio, another bar dating back over 100 years (1904) and again a bar that's changed little since.
The Churros are constantly in production, cooked in a large spiral then cut into pieces and served with a rich dark chocolate sauce, utterly delicious.
On another foodie note, another thing that Seville is famous for are Seville oranges and indeed orange trees lined every single street and courtyard.
With oranges being so abundant it's no surprise that the freshly squeezed juice (every time we ordered) was the most flavourful we've had and with the citrus fruit comes marmalade.
Marmalade was something I wanted to pick up but it had to be something special and it doesn't come any more special than the conserve made by the Nuns...and that is something else Seville is famous for - its Churches (and there are loads) and in some of these you can buy products made by the resident Nuns.
We visited two Churches picking up cake from Convento De San Leandro and biscuits, marmalade and chutney from Monasterio Santa Paula (the marmalade made from citrus fruit grown by the Nuns).
We were lucky enough to say hello to the Nuns at Santa Paula but out of respect I didn't take any pictures (just a quick one of the courtyard as the Nuns went inside) it felt like a foodie version of the Trappist breweries.
I really could go one and on...the sights we saw, buying Pata Negra ham, more local bars and cafes but I'll stop there.
Seville may not have delivered on the beer front but it certainly delivered on the food and sights and despite its un-beeryness we still hold it very high...maybe joint 2nd with Barcelona (San Sebastián at the top) so a revisit will definitely be on the cards.
So one last pic, the haul shot.