in ,

Aguaviva, beers ‘Made in la Línea’

Soraya Fernández

Sergio Pradoand David Onetto have turned their passion for beer into a vocation. These two Linenses, a graphic designer and a physical education teacher respectively, decided to take their love of beer one step beyond by brewing their own craft beers. Thus was born last summer ‘Aguaviva’ an alternative for lovers of this beverage and currently produce three different brands. They have launched ‘Rolipó’, ‘Liquirbá’ and ‘Focona’. This month Ciro has joined, a winter beer.

David Onetto and Sergio Prado
David Onetto and Sergio Prado

Only linenses and Gibraltarians will readily recognise these names; they were by no means chosen at random. “Our intention has been no less than to promote that part of our vocabulary of La Línea that we believe is being lost,” they pointed out.

Information from the internet, books and a kit for brewing artisan beer were the tools for beginning this adventure following years of trying out and enjoying all kinds of beers. “We made the beer at home and it worked, it was very good”, they said.

After this unexpected success, Sergio and David continued experimenting with other recipes of their own. “The owner of the bar Barbas, in La Línea, said that if we made and marketed it, he would sell it because it was so good. “He was the first to trust us and believe in our project,” explained Sergio.

Aguaviva beer
Aguaviva beer

So they threw  themselves into the project. ‘Aguaviva’ (which is the name that Linenses and Gibraltarians  call jellyfish) was the name chosen for their brand and that is what they called their first homemade beer.

In July 2017,they released ‘Rolipó’, a term with an English root which is what the Linenses called lollipops not so long ago. “It´s a very soft lager, with a fruity taste and sweet touch”, hence the name. It was their first lager. “We wanted to brew a beer to reach as many people as possible”, they said. After achieving this success, they went on to produce the second one: ‘Focona’ (the Linenses version of Four Corners, which was what they used to call the border with Gibraltar).“With Focona we have gone for a different style. It´s an English-style beer whose recipe we adapted by putting four types of malt and four varieties of hops in, hence the name. “It has more aroma and body than Rolipó”, they explained.

Aguaviva Beer with Gibraltar in the Background

Then Liquirbá came along (the word which Linenses and Gibraltarians once used for the English word  liquorice; in fact an adaptation of the English ‘liquorice bar’). This black beer is softer than other similar one son account of the liquorice and delivers a combination of bitter sweet flavours.

Sergio and David are already working on their fourth creation, which is ready for released later this month.

This month they have presented their fourth recipe, Ciro, with 7.4º of alcohol, with spices and syrup, which is why their man. “Syrup-ciru.siro-Ciro, as they say in La Línea and that we have all bought in Gibraltar sometime to make desserts and sweets,” said their creators.

Nomadic Brewers

Sergio Prado and David Onetto define themselves as nomadic brewers,because they started by brewing the beers at home and took it in turns to brew it in each other’s houses. They now produce their beer in a brewery in Puerto de Santa María ,(Cadiz). They travel to the facility and craft the beer themselves, while supervising the process at all its stages.

Designation of origin

Although numerous people told them that this could close doors for them they wanted their trade mark to be ‘Cerveza Artesanal Linense’, They do not want to forget their roots and are proud to be the first artisan brewers of La Línea.

Batches of 500 litres

Each batch they make contains 500 litres. This summer they have started selling their beers by the barrel.  Their beers are available for purchase through a chain of supermarkets in La Línea and several bars and shops in the region.

The challenge now is to take them to Gibraltar “because we know that many Gibraltarians have tried and enjoyed them”.

What do you think?