El auge de la cerveza artesanal: ¿moda o estilo de vida?

La cerveza es una de las bebidas favoritas de los españoles, pero no tenemos tradición cultural cervecera, ni en cuanto a la elaboración se refiere ni al nivel de exigencia de lo que nos sirven. Hasta hace bien poco nos contentábamos con cualquier caña que nos pusieran en el bar de turno, con que estuviese fría nos bastaba.

En Estados Unidos, Canadá, Bégica o Alemania llevan un par de décadas experimentando con la elaboración de cerveza artesanal, sin embargo aquí sólo desde hace poco podemos encontrar una alternativa fuera de las dos o tres cervezas Pilsen de las grandes marcas industriales que copan el mercado. Pero esto ha cambiado, el negocio de las microcerveceras está en auge, los cerveceros artesanales han salido de los garajes y experimentos caseros y poco a poco, van ganándoles terreno, causando una auténtica revolución en el sector. Además las cartas de cervezas, variedad de barriles o maridajes empiezan a ser habituales en el sector de la gastronomía, ya que los hosteleros se han dado cuenta de que este creciente sector es una gran oportunidad de ofrecer un valor añadido a sus clientes, cada vez más exigentes.

1. Colores de la cerveza
cerveceríajagger.com

Sin ir más lejos la semana pasada se inauguró una nueva cervecería artesanal en Valencia, pero, como todas las revoluciones también tienen detractores, esa misma semana Jordi Luque publicó en el Comidista un artículo “Contra los talibanes de la cerveza artesana” que causó un gran revuelo en las redes sociales, indignando e hiriendo sensibilidades de los profesionales del sector, porque si algo les caracteriza es la pasión por lo que hacen.

2. Aromas de la cerveza
Aromas de la cerveza – cervecearte.com

Los cerveceros están empezando a romper el tópico de que la cerveza es sólo una bebida refrescante para quitarte la sed, y demostrando que se trata de un elixir del que disfrutar. Hay gente que se indigna porque la pretendan poner al nivel del vino pero, ¿dónde está el problema? Yo no entiendo absolutamente nada de vinos, pero no me atrevería a comparar un vino de tetrabick con uno criado en una bodega, la diferencia es notable hasta para los paladares más inexpertos, ¿no? Pues esto viene a ser un poco lo mismo y, decir que la cerveza es sólo cerveza, relegándola a ser una bebida de segunda y afirmando que no hay diferencia entre unas y otras, sería por un lado falso y por otro totalmente injusto, denostando el trabajo de mucha gente entregada a lo que hace con pasión y devoción.

Si un enólogo a la hora de catar un vino nos puede hablar por ejemplo del tipo de uva, la denominación de origen, el color, el buqué o los diferentes matices con la cerveza, el maestro cervecero lo hará del estilo, la tonalidad, el tipo de lúpulo elegido, la temperatura de fermentación, la espuma, el amargor… porque es un producto mucho más delicado y variado de lo que piensa la mayoría. Lager, Pale Ale, Porter… los estilos de cerveza son casi tan infinitos como los lugares de los que proceden y sus matices tan variados como la imaginación y el ingenio de los brewers.

3. Granos y maltas
Granos y maltas – taringa.net

Aunque cada vez podemos encontrar cervezas artesanales en más lugares, para mucha gente siguen siendo grandes desconocidas, por ello es de agradecer que marcas como Zeta y especialmente Tyris (pioneros en la culturización y difusión de la cerveza artesanal en Valencia) se prodiguen cada vez más por tantos eventos de la ciudad como les es posible, rompiendo la hegemonía que parecían tener Heineken y Turia, alternándose en el patrocinio de la mayoría de actos sociales que se hacían en Valencia. Porque oye, yo prefiero dejar de lado eso del “piensa en verde” y disfrutar de toda la gama de colores Pantone, que al igual que ocurre con las cervezas artesanales, disponen de una variedad tan amplia que no te la acabas y, si voy de afterwork (o lo que toda la vida ha sido tomarse algo después del trabajo) pues paso de que me inviten a la segunda, prefiero pagar por lo que bebo e irme a tomar una cerveza artesanal…que está más rica y la disfruto más.

El secreto de la cerveza artesanal

Los ingredientes básicos comunes tanto en la cerveza industrial como en la artesanal son agua, malta, lúpulo y levaduras, pero en el caso esta última sus ingredientes de primera calidad y 100% naturales, no está filtrada ni pasteurizada, es un producto vivo que está en constante fermentación hasta que se consume. Decididamente marcan la diferencia el máximo cuidado (me atrevería decir incluso cariño) que se pone en su elaboración, donde prima la calidad por encima de la cantidad, el precio u otros factores. Estos nuevos cerveceros se han decantado por crear un producto mucho más exclusivo para disfrutarlo con calma y saboreando sus matices sin prisas.

Llevamos varios años inmersos en un cambio en lo que a nuestros hábitos gastronómicos se refiere: nos preocupamos por lo que comemos, ensalzamos la comida biológica, el movimiento slow food, apoyamos los mercados y productores locales, las compras en el pequeño comercio… pues tiene sentido que también seamos exigentes con nuestra cerveza, ¿verdad?

Mapa de estilos de cerveza – elrincondelcervecero.com

El consumo y la cultura de la cerveza artesanal están fermentando a un ritmo muy rápido en nuestro país y, pese a que por su repentino boom lo pueda parecer, para mí resulta evidente que no se trata de una moda o algo pasajero, son las bases de una cultura que hasta ahora en España no existía. Antes éramos ya grandes consumidores de cerveza, pero es ahora cuando estamos descubriendo todos los matices y sensaciones que nos puede aportar.

Por último déjame acabar diciéndote que si no has probado una cerveza artesanal, no has probado La Cerveza. Te aconsejo que te acerques a una tienda o cervecería especializada, te dejes aconsejar, la pruebes y luego ya me cuentas. ¡Salud!

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