You might imagine that three Americans would have an incredibly tough time setting up a brewery in a region known for its intense cultural pride and sense of self. But Kevin Patricio, Ben Matz and Benjamin Rozzi rapidly won people over with a range of flavoursome beers inspired by their surroundings, but with a definite Californian accent.
Based in stunning San Sebastián, on the northern Spanish coast near the border with France, Basqueland draw heavily on the culinary tradition of the region, creating beers that are designed to be enjoyed with food and that can hold their own against the sublime techniques and flavours found in the Basque country. It's unsurprising that their approach is food-focused, given San Sebastián has more Michelin stars per capita than any other city in the world and considering Kevin himself is a chef who runs highly-regarded restaurant La Madame. Head Brewer Ben adds impressive brewing experience to the mix, having worked for Californian stalwarts Stone and Port Brewing, as well as Mexico's Wendlandt.
Understandably then, their beer follows in the West Coast tradition, featuring punchy flavours and classic styles that gained popularity in the Californian boom of the 1990s and early 2000s.
FESTIVAL BEER LIST
Arraun Amber Ale, 5% Hoppy Amber Ale (vg)
What the %$#@ is DDH Pale Ale?, 5.5% DDH Pale (vg)
Imparable IPA, 6.8% West Coast IPA (vg)
Hop Space New Zealand IPA, 7.6% IPA (vg)
Churros con Chocolate, 10% Pastry Stout with churros, chocolate and cinnamon
Coco Chango Rye Imperial Porter with coconut, 10.5% Rye Chocolate Imperial Porter
* (vg) = vegan