Another part of our (hopefully) year-long video project, A Year of Beer. looking at the idea of beer and seasonality - how different styles of beer are more appropriate to different seasons, weathers, festivals and so on. There will also be a bit of beer and food matching thrown in because, hell, we love to eat as much as we love to drink.
This week: Cerveza Moritz
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Holiday beers are funny things. You spend fifty weeks a year at home, drinking carefully selected beers, and then when you go away, when you need to make every beer count as part of your impression of your time in a foreign city, you plump for something easy and undemanding.
I'm not going to pretend that I didn't drink a fair bit of bland, commercial lager in Barcelona. But that's the point - in the middle of August, with the temperature in the low 30s, a cool lager is thing of beauty. Even the restaurant with the Estrella Damm taps on the tables was great. Actually, the food was unbelievably good, and according to the display screens that showed how much each table had drunk, we left as reigning champions. OK, we only drank 1.3 litres, but the key point is that we retired while we were the champions.
Moritz is a pretty decent beer. In Barcelona, sitting in the sodium-glow of Placa del Sortidor in Poble Sec, eating secreto and salmorejo, its soft citrus bite was just the thing to take the edge off the heat, even at 9pm with the temperature in the high 20s.
Moritz Epidor is a stronger version - indeed, it's actually a pretty decent bock beer, full of toffeeish malt and artfully deployed bittering hops - although there is a pronounced bitterness, it doesn't have the upfront, late-hopped character that ordinary Moritz does.
Poble Sec is a neighbourhood of Barcelona that will be hip in a couple of years. Moritz is a brand that is on the up, and has the potential to be an interesting niche lager. Book a flight, and enjoy both while they are still the preserve of the early adopter.