Wednesday, February 24, 2010


While in Barcelona last week I did what I always do on work-related road trips, which is seek out the local ales for consideration (and comfort). Time was when I’d poke around obscure record shops, or maybe go to a museum or something, but now it’s pubs and beer bars like LA CERVETECA and CERVECERIA EL FLABIOL, the two best places I discovered in Barcelona for deep contemplation of Spanish (and Belgian) craft beer. At the former, I discovered a brewer from Girona, Spain called BIRRART MOS’KA. This guy (Josep Borrell) is on a one-man crusade to bring exceptional artisanal craft beer to Spain, and currently bottles four beers, all with a similar 12-ounce bottle design. I “considered” two of them, and brought another one home in my suitcase. Let’s discover together what I thought of them.

The first was MOS’KA TORRADA, and it’s a real humdinger. TORRADA is an artisanal amber beer that’s smooth and creamy and pours a nice red-tinged brown. Really, really flavorful – with strong malts, honey, and some hops that linger. TORRADA includes loads of sediment for you sediment fans out there. Picture a less-yeasty, more creamy version of a Belgian amber and you’re in the ballpark. I loved it, and after this and the RUNA ALE we talked about two days ago, it’s when I knew I’d stepped on beer paydirt in Barcelona. 8.5/10.

The other MOS’KA product I poured down my throat is called MOS’KA POMA. Spanish speakers in the audience may recognize that word translating as “apple”. And you’d be exactly right! Think of this one as a bitter apple wheat beer. It’s got that certain special I-don’t-know-what that I discovered in all the local brews; maybe it’s the water, but the local beers here just taste different than the imports and our own US micros. Fruity and citrus-packed, with a little bit of lemon and a TON of carbonation. A strange sort of pale ale that was not a thirst-quencher per se, but really one to work on slowly. And yeah, it was really good as well, just a notch down from the TORRADA at 7/10. I brought a MOS'KA NEGRA home in my bag, so we’ll talk about that one another time, OK?

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