Craft, natural and zero-kilometre beer
More and more people are betting on a more sustainable food model, in which respect for the environment, product quality and working conditions prevail over economic productivity or immediacy. Fortunately, kilometer zero or slow food are increasingly common terms in our gastronomic offer, and beer is not exempt from this trend.
Our brewpub in Zaragoza is a good example of this philosophy, since it is a restaurant and tap room that brews its own beer, within the same facilities. Those of you who have visited us will surely have noticed the brewhouse that we have in view, together with 4 fermenters with a capacity of 1,000 litres. This is where we make our “Brewpub Series”, which, once they have finished fermenting, are transferred to the maturation tanks that are arranged above the bar and that serve our 24 taps.
All our Brewpub Series are consumed entirely right there, in our place in the center of Zaragoza, without transport, intermediaries, temperature changes, preservatives or artificial processes of any kind. We can classify these beers as zero kilometer products for all of the above, however, there is no doubt that everything can be improved, and with that goal in mind, we have decided to create a recipe with ingredients that travel as little as possible.
In the past, beers were made from ingredients that were available in the vicinity of the breweries themselves, but as means of transportation advanced, certain regions specialized and centralized the trade in these ingredients. In the case of craft breweries, and conditioned by the volumes and qualities that we handle, we frequently use German or English malthouses, and hops grown in the Northwest of the United States.
Going back to those origins, we have created a beer that only contains barley grown in the Zaragoza town of Bardenas, very close to Ejea de los Caballeros and within the Cinco Villas region. The place of origin is not accidental, since our master brewer, Sergio Ruiz, is from there, and it is precisely his father and his brother, both named Antonio, who have supplied us with this excellent organically grown barley.
Once the grain is obtained, it is essential to submit it to the malting process in order to make beer. For this purpose, we turned to our good friends from Lo Vilot, one of the most interesting beer projects that exist at a national level, with the luck of having them relatively close, in the Lleida town of Almacelles. There, in addition to their brewery, they have a farm where they grow their own hops and cereals, as well as facilities where they malt in an artisanal way.
Lastly, we lacked hops and for this we turned to the Navarrese Queen Country Hop Farm, which from Olite supplies us with some of the varieties that we usually use in our recipes, in this case Cascade.
The result of this entire process is a Pale Ale, very smooth, refreshing and with a fairly neutral fermentation, in which we wanted to give all the prominence to the ingredients, as it could not be otherwise. It can be tasted from now on in our brewpub in Zaragoza and while stocks last, although it is more than likely that this was only the first of many more batches of “Kilómetro Cero”.