Beer and pub column

TO most British drinkers, the words 'Spanish beer' will suggest ice-cold lagers; holiday refreshment on a sun-kissed resort.

It's unlikely many of us would immediately imagine a cask ale brewed in the midst of torrential rain, but that's what we can look forward to now.

When York drinkers order a Rubia in a few weeks time, the latter is what they shall receive - an American-style pale ale, brewed by Spanish brewers, at York Brewery on a dour February day.

Arantxa Nuin and Raúl Martín, from the Cerveza Bizarra microbrewery in Salamanca, came to York on holiday three years ago and, as many tourists to, they took a tour of York Brewery.

So smitten were they that they vowed to return and, having kept in touch with the team at Toft Green, they have now done so, teaming up on York Brewery's first international collaboration.

Rubia, which will have an ABV of 5.8 per cent, is brewed to Arantxa and Raúl's recipe but using the local equipment and water. A case shall be sent over to Salamanca in due course, but the vast majority will be on sale in York, in cask and bottle.

"The people here were very good to us when we came on holiday," says Arantxa. "We liked their beers very much and when we arrived back in Spain we sent them some beers and we kept in touch and decided to brew together.

"We have had a very good day and we think it will be a very good beer. York is a beautiful city and we love the Minster and the Walls."

York Press:

Nick Webster, head brewer at York, said they had hit it off after the initial tour three years ago, discussing beer for ages afterwards.

"Like us, Arantxa and Raúl produce artisan ales using traditional methods. They’re as mad about craft ales as we are and so we invited them over so we could work together on a beer. We’re using one of their recipes as a base then adding our Yorkshire twist."

Jonathan Barker, York Brewery's MD, adds: "Brexit shall not impede beer relations for us! And as such, I am taking a personal interest in this ‘Bizarra’ new brew.”

Will this be the start of further international collaborations? Nick hasn't ruled it out - and he says he's open to the idea of a return visit to Salamanca in due course.