Beery Christmas Day 13: La Virgen & Laugar Oso Honey Pale Ale
La Virgen & Laugar Oso Honey Pale Ale
Founded by three Spanish Craft Beer fanatics, Ana, César and Jaime, Madrid's award-winning La Virgen is one of the fastest growing names in European Craft Brewing. The trio first met at an advertising agency in San Francisco and, discovering a shared love of craft beer, they set about planning their new business venture.
Upon their return to Madrid, in 2011 they launched what would become the city's first, and most successful brewpub. Since then, the La Virgen success-story has snowballed into a brewery employing a team of 50 people all with a shared goal: producing superb Craft Beer.
And to help with their brew, La Virgen called on fellow countrymen Laugar. Based at the other end of the Pyrenees in Bilbao, Laugar are all about Rebel Beers. Starting life as a hobby, Laugar are another artisanal brewery that was just too good to save for the weekends, and since 2011 these guys have been setting the world of Spanish Craft Beer alight too!
Honey, I’m home!
I’m literally buzzing about today’s beer – OSO a honey-infused Pale Ale from La Virgen and Laugar! These busy little bees brewed their Beery Christmas beer with fragrant Pyrenean honey for a sweet, floral bouquet that conjures up fruity white peach and orange blossom, to make it a serious honey-trap!
The subtle fruitiness is echoed on the palate with sweet toasty malts that mingle with the honey to give you a mouthful of sweet buttered toast and honey. I did mention the honey, right?
On the tongue, there's even more fragrant honey flavours that are lifted by a light, sparkling body and a gentle herbal hops bitterness that reins in the sweet tones and make this mellifluous Pale Ale a harmonious whole.
The Golden Age of Golden Ale
Golden Ale is a relatively modern invention, tracing its history back to the 1980s. According to the UK's Campaign for Real Ale, the style was a highly successful attempt by independent brewers to turn younger drinkers onto Craft Beer and away from heavily-promoted industrial lagers which were popular at the time.
The style is characterised by a crisp, biscuity, fruity Pale Malt backbone paired with mouth-wateringly juicy floral and fruity hops and it's a perfect way for beerophobes to start exploring the delights of Craft Beer.