Canary Island Beers

On our recent trip to Lanzarote I thought I’d make the effort to see what local beers I could find and give them a run through.

As we arrived in Playa De Pocillos (Puerto Del Carmen) the first beer on show at our hotel was Cruzcampo: “Cruzcampo is the quintessential Southern European lager; pale golden colour, displaying a refreshing malty nose, soft hop aromas and a delightful and fashionable clean finish.” I’m not a huge fan of lager but in the sun and heat whilst abroad it just has to be done, immediately…

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, it was quite a flavourful lager with a sweet malty edge. As this was an all-inclusive hotel this was a bonus as they normally tend to have the cheapest swill that they can source. Just to clarify though, this beer is not brewed in the Canaries, it comes from Spain and “I believe” is owned by the Heineken group.

Around the resort though things were different, there are of course the obligatory English and Irish bars all mostly selling Carling and John Smiths, plus a place selling pints of Heineken for 2 Euros during the day, generally though the staple tap cerveza was Dorada.

Dorada again is quite tasty, not much in the way of aroma but refreshing with that sweetness that seemed to run through all the local beers out there. On average it was about 3 Euros a pint or 500ml as it no doubt should be on the continent.

In the supermarkets it’s a similar story in terms of both the local and imported beers, nothing excited me really apart from one beery find which will be covered in a later post. From Dorada there were a couple more, a Sin (zero alcohol) version and Especial.

This Especial was the pick of the bunch in my opinion, it tasted much, much stronger than it’s 5.5% abv. It reminded me a little of “some” of the attempts I’ve seen of replicating keg lager in cask form only still carrying the extra carbonation. It has a really full-bodied mouthfeel, loads of sweet malt again with a slightly dry finish.

Last up is Tropical, this one is brewed on Gran Canaria. It’s a 4.7% abv cerveza which has a much fresher feel in terms of name, packaging and taste. Don’t expect a big nose full of tropical fruit aromas, nor in taste, it’s definitely tropical in name only I’m afraid.

That said I think if it was more widely available on draught it would probably have been my session drink of choice. Light and fresh as I said earlier with the sweetness not quite as evident. It has a slightly lime citrus taste which reminded me a little of those Desperado type tequila beers which seem to be all the rage. (Why??)

All the canned beers even most of your standard UK imports were selling for about 69 cents in the Spar stores which are pretty widespread, so quite affordable if you are self catering etc.

If one thing struck me as I was undertaking this research (purely in the interests of the wider public), it was about the limitations of choice. I was reading Pete Browns fine book “A Man Walks Into a Pub” (A Sociable History of Beer) at the time which explains among other things how various events in the worlds history shaped the way beer and wine jostled for position in nations across the world, leaving some cultures rich in wine the others more beer centric.

You often visit places like the Canaries, Spain, Greece etc and think as you sit there supping your ice-cold one in the blazing sun “I’d love to live here”.

I’ve done it many times and often thought I’d even like to move abroad, could I stick it out though without the wide and varied array of choice we are lucky to have within easy reach here in Blighty, I don’t think I could, could you??



14 thoughts on “Canary Island Beers

  1. Hi I would just to say that my husband and I live in Lanzarote and miss our real ales after being in CAMRA for some time, but our bar in Costa Teguise sells BOTTLED Real Ales, the Bar is Señor Senior´s Red Lion, Avenida Islas Canarias, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote

    • Hi Jayne, thanks for the info. We had a great time on Lanzarote but didn’t get to your area. We loved the island though and may come back this year or next, if we do we’ll try to look you up.
      How do you get your bottles across, do they go down well?

  2. I too would love to live in the canaries, but could I cope being away from a tasty pint of real ale? I will definitely head for the Red Lion (shame about the name) in Costa Teguise next time I visit Lanzarote. Found acouple of bars in Tenerife selling Hobgoblin too!

  3. we have been visiting Tenerife for more than 20 years best pint on the rock !! to be found in YELAS BAR los cristianos old speckled hen 2.50 euro .

    • Hi, similarly been using the same bars in Los Cristianos. If you walk up towards Paradise Park, go into Passarella Centre and the rooftop bar has Speckled draught and bottled for 4 Euros pint plus other guest UK Beers and loads of continental choices. Pete M.

  4. is it possible to get this beer elsewhere then gran canaria? i liked this beer and would love to drink it at home to, but the problem is I live in Norway:) any way at all?

  5. Draught Mahou is better than either Dorada or Tropical , not so easy to find but it is out there

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