Martyn Cornell's picture

Craft Beer in Mallorca

Traveling Connoisseur (Issue 22)

 

The brewery name is in part a pun on their surname – “amorós” literally means “loving” in Catalan – and was chosen because it would be easy to understand and pronounce, by Mallorcans and tourists alike. They could have chosen a locally based geographical name, Miquel says, but they didn’t want one of those: “We wanted to escape from all those products that are being sold because they’re Mallorcan rather than because they’re good.” The name “doesn’t sound so strange to us,” he says, though he admits that “there are people who like it a lot and people who don’t like it, who say, ‘why an English name when you’re based in Mallorca?'"


The water used at Beer Lovers comes from seven miles away, as it is more suitable for brewing.


Miquel is a semi-reluctant professional brewer: “I tell everybody, 'I prefer drinking beer to brewing it,'” he says. “We were homebrewers, but I was working in construction, and that was badly hit by the recession, while my brother was a translator, and Google Translate means that’s not a good job to have nowadays. So we called some numbers, we visited a few breweries and we decided to get into the brewing business. Come back to me in two years and I’ll tell you if we were right or wrong!”

The brewing equipment – combined mash tun and kettle alongside a combined lauter tun-whirlpool, plus, in the front room of the barn, three small conical fermentation vessels – comes from a firm in Catalonia that previously made kits for wineries. The boom in small breweries in Spain has been a blessing to them, after the country's wine bodegas stopped expanding in the recession. Brewing capacity is 750 litres at a time, with brewing currently taking place once a week during the summer months, less during the island’s quiet season. There is actually a well inside the barn itself, but it smells musty, and Miquel says Mallorcan well water is not normally suitable for brewing. Beer Lovers actually tanks 3,000 litres at a time from a well in a place called Can Sales, around seven miles to the west, at the end of the Sierra Tramontana, which runs up the island. Here the water has apparently spent less time travelling through Mallorca’s limestone rocks, and needs no treatment to make darker beers with, and only a little tweaking for pale ones.

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