People are baffled to find out San Miguel beer isn't actually from Spain
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People are baffled to find out that San Miguel beer isn’t really from Spain, and that its origins actually hail from a country more than 7,000 miles away.
Indeed, the head office for Cervezas San Miguel SLU - which is owned by Mahou San Miguel, one of Spain’s largest brewers - is based in Málaga on the Costa del Sol, according to its website.
But that’s just one part of what is actually a very complex global puzzle.
As with many international brands, the beer is brewed in various places across the world; the stuff you’re usually drinking in the UK is manufactured in Northampton for Carlsberg, which controls the brand over here - which is hardly a taste of the tropics, let’s face it.
Mahou San Miguel says it also has eight ‘beer production facilities’ in Spain and a further two in the USA.
So if the drink has now set roots all over the place, where did it all begin?
On the label, you’ll notice the beer has been going ‘since 1890’ - at which point it definitely wasn’t being made in Northampton.
The first San Miguel Brewery was actually founded as La Fábrica de Cerveza San Miguel in a neighbourhood called San Miguel in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.
A local businessman called Enrique María Barretto de Ycaza y Esteban had applied for a royal grant from Spain in 1889 so that he could set up a brewery in the Philippines, which was a Spanish colony at the time.
This means that, while the beer may have had clear Spanish links, its real home is this archipelagic country in South-East Asia.
It wasn’t until 1914 that San Miguel began to export, and it wasn’t even introduced in Spain until 1946.
The Spanish rights were eventually spun-off by the brewery in 1953 to become an independent business - the one now known as Mahou-San Miguel Group.
Over the past few years, the backstory has proven to a be a bit of a bombshell to beer lovers, with one tweeting: “Just learnt San Miguel is from the Philippines and not Spain. Head's on a wobble now. Reality doesn't make sense anymore.”
Someone else said a couple of years back: “Blows my mind that San Miguel is from the Philippines and not Spain.”
A third also said: “You really have to question your existence when you realise San Miguel is from the Philippines and not Spain.”
A fourth added: “I have found out tonight that San Miguel is not... I repeat not from Spain... who the hell knew it was from the Philippines?”
How’s that for some pub quiz knowledge?