Grupo Cervezas Alhambra - Alhambra Reserva 1925
Suggested Glassware:Pilsner Glass, Flute, or Stange
The first thing that catches one’s eye with this beer is the unusual embossed bottle devoid of a typical artistic label, which is an homage to the original beer bottles Alhambra sold starting back in 1925. Weighing in at 6.4% ABV, this European-style strong lager presents quite nicely in the glass, with a golden hue adorned by a very sizeable head of persistent foam that laces the glass well. Quite aromatic on the nose, Reserva 1925 offers up plenty of lightly sweet pale malts with a hint of caramel, overlaid with grassy, mildly spicy hops which also lend a touch of citrus zest. Strong pale lagers such as this generally deliver a fairly robust body, and Reserva 1925 is no exception. Expect prominent pale malts on the palate, with some crackery/biscuity notes joined by touches of mild caramel and hints of toast. Hops contribute a mild balancing bitterness along with a bit of a citrus note. We really enjoyed how very smooth, creamy, and well-balanced this brew was, and feel it’s a nice example of a style often overlooked. Reserva 1925 will hold up to strong, well-aged and blue cheeses, as well as all sorts of grilled meats. Cheers!
Situated on a hill overlooking Granada, Spain, is the Alhambra, a sprawling citadel-palace composed of court buildings, royal residence halls, official chambers, gorgeous fountains, baths, and a mosque. So stunning is its splendor and beauty that the whole city has been declared a Spanish national monument. Built by the Moors, the Alhambra’s construction started in the 1200s under Ibn al-Ahmar, who founded the Nasrid dynasty that reigned over the region at that time. With its unique style and character, the Alhambra palace is considered an architectural wonder to this day.
Naming a brewery after this famous and majestic palace of kings leads us to suspect the founders of Cervezas Alhambra must have had a tremendous passion for their beers, and possibly a little ambition, too. The brewery was founded in 1925 by two accomplished brewers: Carlos Bouvard, owner of La Moravia brewery, and Antonio Knörr, who descended from a long line of family brewers. The duo traveled to Granada with the goal of establishing a new brewery with a bit of local Granadan flavor, and the groundwork that their collaboration laid was instrumental in the brewery’s continued success through the succeeding decades.
During its 90 year history, ownership has changed, brewing equipment modernized, and capacity increased. Known these days as Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, the brewery is owned and controlled by the first independent brewery group in Andalucía, who have pursued the goal of developing a unique brand identity for the Alhambra line of beers, which is currently made up of six beers, including this month’s feature, Reserva 1925. Their philosophy is centered on the idea that there are certain moments or occasions in life that warrant the pairing of exceptional beers to suit those exceptional times. You’ve got the exceptional beer – special times anyone?
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