Mahou: A Spaniard’s Delight

Months after the fact, I’ve still got traces of Spain on my mind.

I’ve shared my thoughts about this inspiring country with quite a few people, and I even wrote a blog post about the ecosystems I got to see while I was there. But, as everybody knows: no visit to another country is complete without a beer review. This is why I’ve decided to review the beer you’ll wind up drinking 95% of the time in Spain.

In most Spanish bars, if you ask for a beer, you will get a Mahou. Mind you—every now and then, they’ll inform you about their options, but for the most part, those are all interchangeable; you might as well not have to make any beer-based decisions. Oh, no, ladies and gents. Save your decision-making processes for what you’ll be eating that night.

The food in Spain, while not being overly special, is hearty, tasty, and readily available. In fact, the culture is shaped in such a way so that the majority of the conversations you overhear (if you happen to be a Spanglophone*) will be about what those people just ate, will eat, or are eating. For those of you more visually inclined, allow me to illustrate my point.

Yes. It was as tasty as it looks. This was eaten while standing, from a barrel that doubled as a table. What’s more, it was enjoyed with Mahou.

Now, Mahou is not a particularly good beer… but it is refreshing! And to me, Mahou will always represent something more than the beer. It represents good food, a relaxed lifestyle, and the fuck-it-all attitude that comes with intercontinental travel.

I would give this beer 3 heads out of 5, and I would suggest pairing it with a healthy-sized serving of Spain, and maybe some canned mussels.

* Yes, Spanglophone is a completely bogus word. Deal with it.

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8 Responses

  1. The “national” beer is not always bad. See also: Quilmes in Argentina. Decent taste but oh, the memories.

    Cool post!

    • Thanks, Merrily

      I’m actually from Argentina myself, so I’m more than familiar with the cheaper-than-water, big, cold-bead-sweating bottles of Quilmes. Hahaha

      I won’t deny it, it’s preeetty good with a plate of asado, or on the beach with some rabas, but it’s really tame as far as beers go. And beers go far.

      But hey, thanks for the comment! I checked out your blog, and it looks pretty awesome! I don’t know much about the California beer scene, but I do intend on going down there one of these years! 😀

  2. Good stuff. I remeber trying it for breakfast paired with mussels in a ‘might have been tomato’ sauce. It was definitely beer. Nothing memorable, but nothing bad either.

    May I make a recommendation? You need to find yourself a Paul Westerberg head to use as icons for your grading system. As a viewer/participater I should easily be able to register your rating without having to scan through text. Jus’ say’n!

  3. That wasn´t tomato sauce, Tom. It was escabeche, very different!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escabeche

    Now to bring in my two cents about these beers: Mahou is definitely less bland than Quilmes, and it goes down pretty easy too. I think the best thing is that the taste doesn´t overpower the food, so it lets you enjoy the flavours of Spanish cuisine. Read: oil.

    A.W.

  4. Beers can become super-human when they are paired with the right food. Honestly, Budweiser is pretty good if you drink it with chili-dogs and nachos with fake cheese.

  5. Beer and mollusks is a winning combination. Even as breakfast before going to work. I still have to try Marston’s Oyster Stout while eating oysters.

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