CERVEZA LA LOCA JUANA
Valladolid, Spain - Founded in 2011
One of the most exciting craft beer projects to come out of Castilla y Leon region of Spain is the "La Loca Juana" Cerveceria that has located in the famous 13th century castle of "Iscar" outside of Valladolid. The Castle of Iscar was first mentioned in 939 AD in Muslim chronicles by the troops of Abd al-Rahman III who were moving south of the River Duero destroying Christian settlements when they came upon the abandoned Castle of Iscar. The castle was taken back by Alfonso VI in 1086 and repopulated with Christian settlements. The castle was reinforced with towers and walls in the 15th century and restoration continued through the 16th century with the addition of the gothic arches and two turrets. With the passing of time, the Counts of Leon lost all rights and priviledges to the Iscar Castle with the property being divided up amongst the citizens of the village of Iscar and a master plan was introduced in 2002 to completely restore the castle. Over 3 million euros were invested in the restoration by the city of Iscar and the project was finished in 2007.
Now, what was the village of Iscar going to do with the castle? This was a huge enterprise and one where simple tours would not suffice to pay the rent, so as luck would have it, four enterprising men from Valladolid were looking for a home for their new craft brewery, and a perfect match it was. The Cerveceria La Loca Juana opened their doors in 2011, having been founded by master brewer Jesús Herrero and his three partners; Antonio Assos, Fernando de la Roza and Juan Mato. The brewery is named after "Juana La Loca", the Spanish Queen who was a daughter of Kings, Emperors and the mother of two who spend 50 years in a Spanish prison in Valladolid because of accusations of madness. The partners have big ambitions for the brewery and began producing a gorgeous European styled blonde lager in 2012. The brewery will produce 55,000 liters of beerin 2013, and Jesus wants to produce 300,000 liters of beer in 2014. Even though they are purchasing a great amount of wheat and barley from local Castilian farmers, the brewery hopes to be 100% farm to bottle with local Castilian hops, barley and wheat by 2015. The partners have put together a unique, state of the art brewery in the castle, with all Italian stainless steel fermenters and German malting equipment. A new processing area has given the brewery room to increase production and export their beers into the new world. The recipe for their splendid Blonde beer was a collaboration between brewmaster Salvador Fortea and La Loca Juana head brewmaster Jesus Herrero who wanted a Belgian-styled blond with a Germanic spicyness - a big beer but focused and pure, without the earthyness associated with Belgian ales. They have succeeded admirably with a remarkably complex, ale-like Blonde Lager (Called the “Crazy Blonde”) with a buttery, creamy mouthfeel and gorgeous texture. No wonder it's become a cult favorite in Madrid and Barcelona.
LOCA RUBIA - Blonde Lager
Cerveza La Loca Juana -Valladolid, Spain
The “Crazy Blonde” is brewed with pale ale malts and two types of hops: Magnum and Saaz. Pale gold in color with a brilliant crystal white head that covers well and defends with persistence over time. It has the delicacy and secondary toasty malt notes of a wellcrafted artisan beer. Aromas of cereal and toast on the nose. The palate shows real body and craftsmanship with surprising ease. It's got great length on the palate with a unique balance between malt and hops highlighting its lightness and freshness.
"First Madrid Craft beer festival, 2011. Cervecería L´Europe. Malt and caramel aromas. Pours hazy golden, with some white head, vanishing, and acarce lacing. Light body and moderate carbonation. Taste is malty and quite sweet, caramel, with some sweet finish."
"Bought at Cerveceria Europa in Madrid. Golden color, nice foam Good balanced hops Medium body & complexit Particular yeast.. Enjoyable."
"Bottle from Venerables. Unclear golden colour, small white head. Nose is malty, bready, bit citric, touch of caramel. Flavour is caramel malts, citric, bit grassy, fairly bitter. Fairly dry and bitter finish."
HERMOSA PELIRROJA - Red Ale
Cerveza La Loca Juana - Valladolid, Spain
The “Beautiful Redhead” is made with two European hops that provide aroma and flavor. Its color is amber with white foam dense and compact. Intense herbal and citrus aromas that are well integrated with the roasty, toasty malts. Great body with quite a bit of natural carbonation, hints of honey and marked with a decisive hoppyness that leaves a fresh hop bitterness on the palate.