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Craft Beer in Mallorca

Traveling Connoisseur (Issue 22)

 

The Sullerica brewery, in the small town of Sóller, in the west of the island, makes a very good wheat beer flavored with local lemon peel, and an equally fine amber ale, Original, which includes rosemary, lemon verbena and orange blossoms, or ‘flor de taronger’ in Catalan. Alas, the beer brewed with bitter olives the brewery was making in 2014 seems to have disappeared.


The Sullerica Brewery incorporates tastes of the local terroir in its beers, like rosemary, lemon, and even olive.


Sóller is a lovely old town worth a visit in its own right (take the somewhat rickety train up from Palma), and if you go there, you'll find Sullorica beers on sale in the excellent Café Scholl, a vegetarian restaurant in Carrer de la Victòria. You should also track down "Fet a Sóller" ice cream, which is also made from locally grown ingredients.

Another establishment concentrating on local flavourings is the Cas Cerveser brewery in Galilea, about eight miles to the west of Palma, started by a German-Mallorcan brewer called Sebastián Morey, which makes a first-class sour cherry beer, Cor de Cirera, aged for a year in French oak barrels that had previously contained red wine from the Bodegas Son Puig in nearby Puigpunyent.

Other Mallorcan brews worth finding are Rossa, an English bitter-style bottle-conditioned ale from the Pla brewery, named for Es Pla, the flat plain of central Mallorca in Algaida, about 15 miles east of Palma, and the wheat beer from the Talaiòtika brewery in Porreres, a small town in the middle of Mallorca. Watch out, however, for at least one fake: Moli Balear, or "Balearic mill," a wheat beer that carries a drawing of a typical Mallorcan windmill on the label, is actually brewed in Belgium.



Beer Lovers Brewery is scarcely recognizable from the outside. Formerly a barn, the structure has been in the family for 300 years.


Several Mallorcan breweries have "open days" for visitors with tastings and food-and-beer pairings. One is Cas Cerveser; another is the Beer Lovers brewery in Alcúida, in the north of Majorca, which was founded in 2012 by Miquel Amorós Crawford and his brother Felipe, sons of a Mallorcan father and a mother who is half-Welsh and half-English. The brewery is down a narrow street, in the heart of the attractive centre of old Alcúida, in a former barn built of the local honey-coloured limestone and attached to a house that has been owned by the family for 300 years. It is hard to find even with the help of Google Maps, and it was not until I was ten yards from the front door and smelt the unmistakable aromas of mashing malt that I knew I was close to my target. Originally, the barn, which still has troughs on one wall for animal food, “was where the horse and cart were kept – it was full of stuff, so we emptied it and added a bit – we couldn’t touch much, because all the old buildings are protected,” Miquel says. “We put in a new floor, but the floor had to be like the old house’s floor, the walls have to be built of the same old stone.”

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