I had the first of my brews for Flagship February a wee bit prematurely, on Burns Night (January 25), a Scotland-appropriate Punk IPA brewed somewhere in Aberdeen. As an early introduction to the craft beers of the UK, it was fine a few years ago—and it remains a favorite.
That’s why we celebrate the month with our hashtags and familiar bottles. It’s a chance to return to those beers we cherish, to remember why we like them in the first place, how we came to know a now-popular brewery when it was just coming onto the national scene.
I could only find a handful of those international beers here in Portugal…obviously those which helped launch the first cerveja artesanal to take hold in Lisbon and Porto—yes, those I could find. And I enjoyed them; they are now faithful friends I return to over and over: Musa’s Mick Lager (so righteously named) and Born in the IPA; Dois Corvos’ Avenida and Saison, and Oitava Colina’s Joe da Silva and Urraca Vendaval. Not to mention others from Maldita, Mean Sardine, Vadia, +351, and Gallas that I’ve more recently come to know.
These beers are the successes to celebrate, and they should not be left behind in a relentless pursuit of the new. Cheers, to our amigas cervejas “flagship,” that we’ll always love.