Come For The Camino, Stay For The Cervexa

The best walk in Santiago de Compostela has nothing to do with pilgrims, and everything to do with quality craft beer.

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Full Show Script

  • [not lost]

  • EVO: It's our second week in Santiago de Compostela, a medieval city in the northern part of Spain that also serves as the capital of the autonomous region known as Galicia. This a hilly and heavily wooded area of the country, and it’s set up quite nicely for tourism.

  • SHE: If, by tourism, you mean the Camino. Santiago is a cool city with lots of nooks and crannies to explore... but almost every activity here centers around and caters to the Camino. You're either here for that, or you're likely not choosing Santiago as your destination.

  • EVO: But here we are, and taking a religious pilgrimage doesn't sound like a good time. Or practical, since this is the end of The Way. So instead, we indulged in one of our favorite types of tourism -- beer tourism. Yes, it's a thing. No, it's not quite a thing in Galicia just yet. But it will be. There are already some 20 small craft breweries cranking out cervexa artesan, and several bars and bottle shops have popped up that cater to the crowd. It's not a question of if beer tourism shows up here, it's a matter of when.

  • SHE: One thing that could help would be a good walking map of where to find and drink craft beer in Santiago. If we’d had one it might have taken us less time to find the bottle shop we were looking for.

  • [getting to OB]

  • EVO: O Bandullo do Lambón wasn't where we wanted to go, but it's where we needed to go. Moments after walking in from out of the rain, this happened

  • [Noé]

  • EVO: That's Noé Hernández, an L.A. native on his second year as an English teacher in Santiago. His recognition of us probably speaks less to our international fame and more to just how closely connected the nascent craft beer scene really is in Galicia. And places like OB are natural gathering points for craft beer aficionados. So it' really not all that surprising we met him here.

  • SHE: Héctor runs OB. Or just always works the bar, we're not quite sure which is the case. But he's got a great craft beer selection, and like every place we've been, the tapas just keep coming.

  • [héctor pours + tapas]

  • EVO: Olives, chorizo, mariscos... fantastic tapas. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. A few days before, we visited BeerLab on the recommendation from Jesus from Fillos de Malte -- he was on the show last week. BeerLab is where the blog post Noé found came from, and our visit there started off like this:

  • [beerlab]

  • EVO: Manu and Jose couldn't be nicer guys. And they run an amazing craft beer bar. And it's backed up by Santi, the cook, who does things with chorizo, honey, and whiskey that should probably be illegal. If you're hungry for great food and thirsty for great beer, it's worth the trek to BeerLab in the southern part of Santiago. You won't be disappointed.

  • SHE: Our beer tour of Santiago wrapped up -- at least for now -- with a tasting event at La Atlántica, the bottle shop Evo was trying to find when we stumbled into OB. It was a much smaller and more intimate event than we're used to, thanks to the newness of the craft beer culture. It really felt like we were gathered around the table with a few friends who happen to enjoy good beer. We're just happy they let us join in on the fun.

  • [la atlantica]

  • SHE: The Spanish speaker you hear is Carlos. He owns La Atlántica, and he's describing the beers we were trying -- all sours -- at the tasting. If you listen close, you'll also hear an English speaker. that's Noé again, the English teacher from LA, translating for us.

  • EVO: One of the beers we tried was an "experimental" beer of sorts. It's a Gose, a rather salty style of beer. Where the salt came from was a bit of a surprise to us

  • [sea water]

  • SHE: So there you have it, perhaps the first beer tour of Santiago. Well... at least the first one documented in audio form. Now, we really need to get on creating that map.

  • EVO: ¡Adeus from Galicia!

  • SHE: We travel the world as The Opportunistic Travelers largely because of our generous listeners.

  • EVO: People all over the world pledge as little as five bucks a month, and in return, they get a hand-written postcard from us sent from wherever opportunity has taken us, every single month. Sign up today at TheOpportunisticTravelers.com/postcards.

  • SHE: We also stay for free most of our journey. No, we’re not super-stars or anything. We eliminate hotel costs and stay in some great cities by housesitting all over the world. Get our complete list of the actual housesitting sites we use every day at TheOpportunisticTravelers.com/stayforfree, and stop spending money on hotels when you travel, too. Thanks for listening to this episode. I’m Sheila Dee.

  • EVO: And I am Evo Terra. Our theme music is "On the Ground" by Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com. All other sounds, voices, and odd bits you hear were created by us. And this podcast is just the start of the audio, video, images, and written content we’re producing as we travel the world. Got an idea on how we could work together or a place you like for us to visit? Visit TheOpportunisticTravelers.com to get in touch. Now would be good.