The Increasing Popularity Estrella de Galicia

Estrella de Galicia is the name of my favorite industrial beer brand. It has been the same since I was only a teenager drinking with my friends in those after-class afternoons in which we headed to the center of Barcelona from one bar to the next. Those were amazing times and if I´m to drink industrial beer I don´t think it twice, I´m going for Estrella every time. Read on and see what the story behind one of Spain´s most popular beer brands is.

José Maria Rivera Corral

More Than A Century Ago

The year was 1906 and José María Rivera Corral was back in Spain after a long trip through Cuba and Mexico. He decided to found his own brewery and Estrella de Galicia was born as a family company.  By year 1910, the company was manufacturing ice and beer in a small factory in Cuatro Caminos, La Coruña. The start was small but at a steady pace and the first ten years of the company went by trying to perfect the recipe.

Second Generation 1920-40

Ramón, José´s son was one of the first brew masters in Spain. He got his degree in 1920 and took over the Estrella de Galicia beer-manufacturing section to give it a bigger impulse and a more intense flavor. He also modernized the factory and broaden the horizons by taking the amount of beers offered to four and the production to 7,000hl/year from a modest 1,751. Technical knowledge, passion and the family spirit made Ramón the perfect person to take the company one step further.

By 1925, Estrella de Galicia had already opened an outside picnic area where now stands the Cervecería Cuatro Caminos and one of the first spots where beer was sold right after being manufactured in the same location.

Third Generation 1940-80

Survival is the key word for this moment. Imagine Spanish Civil War and also World War II happening at the same time. This is one of the anecdotes I love and respect the most: they didn´t fire anyone. They kept the whole personnel in an intermittent manufacturing schedule. Getting the supplies during war times was not an easy task. By 1949, the third generation of the Rivera took over the factory.

By 1962 the entire factory at Cuatro Caminos was reconstructed, remodeled and modernized. Also, by 1969, the construction of a new plant in La Grela was to improve the flavor and extend the brand´s reach widely. The name was changed in 1971 to the one we know today: Estrella-Galicia and added the slogan of it being manufactured by the sons of Rivera.

In 1972, the beer I love the most: the Especial Rivera started being manufactured in La Grela. It was to become the brand´s most iconic product and, if you ask me, it is very well deserved. By 1979, Estrella started coming in cans, making my parent´s life easier for sure.

Fast Forward To Today

Estrella Galicia has gone through some very complicated days and came out fortified. To this year, the company is in its fifth generation of the Rivera family and celebrates 112 years in the business making outstanding beers. They now offer a really wide variety of options including gluten-free beer, the 1906 Black Coupage featuring four hand-selected and toasted malts mixed with two hops that make it really unique, plus non-alcohol beer and many more.

They export beer made in Galicia to the entire world and have presence in more than 30 countries. I tasted it in all my trips just to see if there is a difference and is still an awesome beverage, everywhere. By 2017 the liters of Estrella Galicia being manufactured a year went up to 278 million and there´s no reducing or stopping.

Popularity is a volatile concept that is founded in the interests, concerns and desires of a mass of consumers and not really under any manufacturer´s control. How did Estrella managed to stay on top of the game for more than 100 years? The answer is very simple: passion for a job well-done. Their beer is one of the few examples of industrialized production that maintains quality. I´m very happy it got so popular, because I can find it everywhere.


Why I Choose Craft Beer Over Regular Brand?

Despite the fact that my favorite beer to drink everywhere is a bottled (or canned one) called Estrella Galicia, I´m always looking for new craft beers I haven´t heard of before to try. There are times in which I hit a homerun and discover a lost treasure in the sea and others that I have a bad experience, but that won´t keep me from going for the adventure. Read on to find out why is Craft Beer my favorite pick.

Full Taste

Craft beer to me seems as having a glass of a full-taste beverage. Whereas the industrialized beers have more sense of a watered-down composition, the craft have that full flavor that hits you right on your throat and that I completely love. This becomes very evident when you try out an excellent IPA like the Founder´s Brewery All Day IPA that is light and tasty and compare it to many bottled-up, industrialized IPAs you can get in your nearest supermarket. The difference is so absolute that there is nothing to even talk about.


This is another item not to be overlooked; have you noticed the increasing amount of craft beer variety available in the world today? Well, for me it is like heaven. I love going out and try at least four of five different ones (and ask for an Uber ride home, of course). Also, once you get into bottled, canned and growler beer, you find a huge difference for that Netflix marathon of the weekend. To be able to pop open a great craft beer from the comfort of your couch with some snacks is priceless.


This is one of the highest points of a well-made beer that nobody talks about but it is very important: hangover is reduced when the beer is done with premium ingredients. Has it ever happened to you to wake up and find your head buzzing, your body numb and a headache that can last well after lunch? That is because you had too much to drink and because you mixed up beverages or drank poor-quality beer. I have made the test and after the fifth pint of draft premium craft beer I went to bed to wake up the next day hangover-free. Doing the same thing with industrialized beer made me wake up as if I was in a bull fight but being the bull.


The price of craft beer is the only drawback for me. I can´t afford to drink premium craft beer every single day of my life and so I mix it with my favorite industrial beer, which is Estrella Galicia. If I have the chance, though, I pick craft beer without the shadow of a doubt.


Small Breweries Prove That Size Doesn’t Matter In Production

While some of the biggest brands in the world are struggling to stay on float in a dynamic and rapid-changing market, small companies are making bigger numbers by the day. With just some basic knowledge, YouTube and some very basic ingredients that are now available everywhere, anyone can start doing his or her own beer at home. This makes the number of producers increase by the thousands and the options available too. Read on to understand what do big companies have to lose and what small brands can do better.

Attention To Detail

Just like there are some small brewers doing crazy stuff like ancient Peruvian beer from the Wari Empire, others are focusing on perfecting traditional recipes to come up with even better IPAs, stouts, etcetera. For big brewers that have standardized processes, human resources end up being the definitive factor. For small breweries, that have limited personnel, it is very likely that two or three people can take care of the entire process themselves. Is it better or worse for the creation of the beer that the same person follows the scheme? In my experience, it is far better. Smaller breweries can give more attention to the detail and have better outcomes.



While the bigger brewers have the big bucks to afford a better R&D team, the smaller breweries can do a smaller number of units of a new recipe and put it out quicker. Bureaucracy in terms of internal affairs in this branch as in all others, is a big slow-down for the machinery. Once the idea is created, it has to go through many hands and brains until the beer is brewed and even more before it is sold. Sometimes, for big brewers, putting out a new beer can be a two-to-five year process. While that happens for big brands, the small ones can just approve the prototypes and sell them within less than a year.


This is a definitive factor most of the times because the quality of the ingredients being used for the brewing of the beer makes a lot of difference. When you buy for your entire production from only one supplier who takes it from one field, the chances of obtaining a more consistent product are increased. Also, when there are so few steps from the idea to the final crafting, the investment can be used and bought again in little time avoiding the bags of seeds to be in storage for long periods of time, degrading.


While it is true that bigger brewers have more money to invest in technology, quality assurance and state-of-the-art facilities, the handmade work of the small breweries combined with the expertise of the brew masters is still not beaten. Maybe it is me, but human quality is still number one in the complicated process of beer-brewing.


Beer Recipes Lost In Time – My Discovery

For us, Western civilizations, the world started as close as two thousand years ago, but there are other civilizations on Earth that go way further. While some of the top breweries in the world are very worried trying to deliver the best new recipe with a new combination of ingredients, in the best cities to drink beer in the world people teamed up with historians, archeologists and museums to recreate old beer from ancient civilizations in Peru and China.

Peruvians And Chinese

This was my discovery while being in Chicago, a year ago. The name of the brand is Off Color Brewing and they came up with an awesome recipe after teaming up with Dr. Ryan Williams from the Field Museum. Williams and his team had just discovered an ancient brewery that used to belong to the Wari Empire in Cerro Baúl in Peru. The brewery consisted of fermenting and boiling vats along with a mill. Also, they found molle berries all over the place. After carefully studying the recipients, they came up with the conclusion that it was the drink that the Wari Empire people drank back then. Fast forward to the present, they teamed up with this awesome brewery in Chicago and the result is a beer like no other I have ever tasted in my entire life. The recipe includes some purple Peruvian corn, molle berries and the closest thing to a ceramic vat that these people could find.

The color of the beer is something like purple-ish and while it is spicy, it is not too strong. It has some funky grainy feeling that´s light and very dry. I bought it in a six pack of clear bottles and once I poured it into my glass, some pink foam formed on top. Even drinking it was quite an experience!


7 Cities For Your Craft Beer Road Trip

I´ve been around the world tasting beer, not because that´s what I´m paid to do, but because that is what I love doing. Every time I get the chance, I get my backpack ready and set off for a new adventure. My girlfriend is (luckily) just like me, so I get to taste the best craft beers of every country we visit with my favorite person in the world. Am I a lucky guy?  Well, of course I am! Read on and find out which are my favorite seven cities to drink beer in the world (so far).


1 - Barcelona, Spain

My home town is the place I know best and hence, my favorite spot in the world to go out for pints. You get variety, premium class, friendly people and, most of all, the most wonderful tapas you will ever experience. Barcelona is my home by choice and number one on the list.


2 - San Francisco, CA

I love the vibe in Frisco, it is a one-of-a-kind place on Earth with people matching it. The classic Californian breeze just moves your hair and gives you the goose bumps but not much more and having a beer at Laughing Monk while watching the sunset is one of the things you must do while alive. Oh, and they have killer IPAs too.


3 - Dublin

Well, if we are talking beer, there is no way the home of the Guinness, created exactly there by a guy named Arthur Guinness in 1759 was not on the list. If you enjoy thick, black and creamy Guinness, then you will want to go there during Autumn and get into a bar to drink one creamy stout after the next and smile like an Irish. The food is really good too… I don´t quite remember that much!


4 - Munich

Did I mention Ireland couldn´t be missing from this list? Well, neither can Germany. This city hosts 6 million people during Oktoberfest and it is the home of the beer gardens, which are completely awesome. I went during Oktoberfest and it was a little too much (during that week, 7 million liters of beer are sold), but if you skip that time, you´re in for a real treat.


5 - Seoul

Yes, this controversial city is one of the most populated in the world and hosts some of the biggest, most beautiful buildings you can see around. There are a lot of parking lots turned into the perfect place for a beer on the go and also some dedicated bars that are awesome. There is a huge variety to choose from everywhere in the globe and Korean beer is very tasty too.


6 - Montreal

Well, it is well-known that all Europeans hate French people, especially the ones from Paris. I am no exception to that rule, in fact, I adhere to it. So, which is the best place for French customs without having to deal with them? Montreal, Canada! The beer scene in the northern country is awesome and despite the harsh weather, if you go in the summer you can taste some of the best craft beer ever and have some French food to go with it.


7 - Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the world´s capital for meat and tango, but has recently had a boom in terms of beer breweries and culture. The night life in this city is almost endless, there are a million options and those Argentinians won´t go to sleep even if the daylight invites them to. If you want to have a blast and try some of their own creations with local ingredients, go there in spring. You can have some amazing steak and dance some tango too.