Tom talks about San Miguel below - I had the privilige of driving past one of its main Spanish breweries last night (a welcome adjunct to Malaga airport). I must admit however it is not a beer I favour. There is a very metallic tang to its taste, which may suggest potency but to me suggests – well metal. San Miguel may be the patron saint of Spanish beers, but I tend to prefer some of the lesser known Spanish beers such as Cruzcampo and Mahon.
There is obviously a different aim in brewing a beer to be drink in the sun. One expects this to be to point of many Spanish lagers, easy drinking, rehydrating stock. In reality they all have rather strong tastes: I expected to be able to compare them with Mexican beer but unfortunately Mexico wins hands down with bothe range and breadth. All Spanish beers seem to be punishingly strong for sun quaffing, all the beers above seem to tip 5.2% and seem to be brewed primarily for their golden colour. In my brief beer hunt (by no means exhaustive and please e-mail us to prove me wrong) there was nothing to match the dark wonder of Negro Modelo or event the easy drinking Corona. This is probably just ridicuolous language and climate typing, the Mexican beer industry has a large German heritage after all.
The one thing the Spanish do well is serving the draught stuff very cold. This casues common condensation drippage. in common with much of Europe a beer comes in a small glass as well – which is probably all for the best in the heat. But I cannot say I would naturally grant San Miguel its premium status, its more bog standard than that. But then San Miguel = St Michael = own brand Marks’n'Sparks beer. What do we expect?
(Update: the question of San Miguel’s country of origin bought into contest.)