Priorat famous for fine wine starts conquering grape beer

The creators of Garnatxa Beer, a unique beer made using of Grenache grapes in the Priorat wine region, are seeking to expand their range of products. They are experimenting with other grape varieties to develop new flavours of beer. The Priorat Beer Company’s aims to link its products with artistic and musical activities and maintain connected with their clients who want an “artisan beer”.

CNA / Marc C. Griso / David Tuxworth

September 4, 2012 11:26 PM

La Vilella Alta (ACN.) – The creators and producers of Garnatxa Beer (‘Garnatxa’ is Catalan for Grenache, the traditional grape variety used in the Priorat wine appellation) are working with new grape varieties and barrels. Their aim is to develop new flavours and textures of beer using the grape juice from this autumn’s harvest. Oenologist Santi Torrella, creator of Garnatxa Beer, and fellow winemaker Toni Sànchez said that their objectives are to expand the current range of beers and to offer a more complete product. Without wanting to enter mass production and to maintain connected with their clients who want an “artisan beer”, Torella said that one of the Priorat Beer Company’s aims is to link its products with artistic and musical activities. 

The winemaker explained that their objective was to find synergies with their product and other sectors, especially those to do with culture, to promote its visibility and the dissemination of the brand. Whether promoting small concerts or theatre performances, according to Torrella, people are getting to know and taste a product which has been “well received” in the beer industry.

“It resembles the beer of the past or those made in other European countries” said Torrella, while showing how they currently sell the first beer of its type to be made in Priorat. One of the distinguishing features of ‘Pèl roja’ (Red hair), the name which the Garnatxa Beer is known as in Falset (the capital of the Priorat County), is its size of 660ml. Currently, a bottle of the beer sells for €8 on the Internet while a pack of six sells for €45.

Beer in a wine glass

Torrella defines the drink as “a refreshing beer, with a balanced taste and smell with a touch of acidity”. According to the winemaker, the ideal way to taste and appreciate the properties of Garnatxa Beer is to use a traditional wine glass.

Garnatxa beer was presented publicly at the Falset Wine Fair last May. The company currently sells about 800 units a month and the product is distributed to different shops in Reus, restaurants in Tarragona and is starting to make headway in restaurants and tasting bars in the city of Barcelona. Under the slogans ‘Cervesa tot l'any’ (Beer for all year round) and ‘Sensualitat de la garnatxa’ (Sensuosity of Grenache) the producers seek to expand their range of quality products from Priorat.