Mahou San Miguel - Session IPA
- Alcohol by Volume: 4.5%
- Bottle Size: 330-ml
- Serving Temperature: 42-47° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Flute
Session-style IPAs have grown a ton in popularity over the last few years, emerging as a distinct style within the increasingly wide stylistic family that is India Pale Ale. This version from Mahou in Spain presents a lightly hazy golden hue capped by a head of sprightly foam. On the nose, look for notes of fruity citrus leaning towards grapefruit, mild pine-like herbal character, touches of stone fruit, earthy character, and a soft, underlying hint of melon. Flavorwise, those hops came through for us with a mixture of earthy spice, mild herbal pine, and lemony citric acidity, while bitterness remains on the moderate side, as we expect for a low-ABV session IPA. A lightly toasty and crackery malt core meets effervescent pinpoint carbonation, which adds refreshing brightness and lift. For pairing options, we'd avoid going overly spicy or heavy. Instead, grilled whitefish or shrimp with a lemon and mild serrano marinade sounds like a winner to us. Cheers!
The Mahou brewery was founded in Madrid, Spain in 1890 by Casimiro Mahou and his children, Enrique, Luis, and Carolina. Mahou, a French-born businessman originally from Lorraine, had made a name for himself establishing several businesses between 1850 and 1889, including the Las Maravillas ("the wonders") wallpaper factory which was one of the first businesses to offer affordable wallpaper to the general public, an oil paint factory named El Arco Iris ("the rainbow"), and an ice production facility appropriately named El Polo Norte ("the north pole").
By 1897, Mahou's brewery had won their first gold medal at the brewing convention in Brussels, which was followed by another gold in Paris in 1900. Over the next several decades, the company grew steadily, beginning a close relationship with sports by founding the Mahou Sports Club in 1924, expanding operations into new brewing facilities, and expanding distribution internationally for the first time in 1935, in Morocco.
Meanwhile, the Filipino San Miguel Corp. came to Spain and established a new brewery in Lleida in 1957. Both Mahou and San Miguel España, which operated independently from its Filipino parent, grew successfully over the next few decades, with Mahou accumulating a 30% stake in San Miguel. In 2000, Mahou sealed the deal, taking ownership of the rest of San Miguel and forming a united enterprise under the current Mahou San Miguel name.
Interestingly, Mahou has taken a serious interest in the U.S. craft beer scene. In fact, in 2014 they invested in a 30% share of Michigan's Founders Brewing, one of the U.S.'s most famous craft brewers, and brought Founders beer to Spain, where the craft brewing renaissance is growing. Together, Mahou and Founders invested in a 30% share of Colorado's well-known Avery Brewing Company in 2017. Mahou has continued to invest in these breweries, reaching a 90% share in Founders and a 70% share in Avery in 2019.
Currently, Mahou produces a wide array of traditional ales and lagers including bock, dunkel, amber ale, pilsner, witbier, abbey-style ale, weissbier, a line of barrel-aged lagers, and even this month's featured Session IPA. We're looking forward to seeing what the talented brewers at Mahou do next.
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