Posts about beer are regularly sought out by readers of this blog about eating, drinking, and staying on Mallorca. One – about the atmospheric beer bar Lorien in Palma – has been viewed quite a few times pretty much every day this summer. It could be something to do with the heat and humidity that seem to be a relentless feature of the summer of 2017; nothing slakes a thirst like a long cold beer…
If you’re craving a craft beer (or two) and are on Mallorca this month, a festival in the small town of Sant Llorenç may be of interest. We went last year and shall certainly return for this year’s on Friday, August 11th from 20:00h. If tasting some of Mallorca’s finest artisan beers tempts you, here’s a modified version of a post I wrote about last year’s festival on my other blog about rural living on the island. The poster for this year’s event suggests that there’ll be more than 20 types of beer on sale. The band Oques Grasses will be on stage – part of a summer of gigs that has seen them performing on the Peninsula, Mallorca, and at Milwaukee Summerfest. Sounds promising…
Sant Llorenç Boscana Craft Beer and Swing Festival
July and August are awash with local fiestas: the streets are decked with fluttery bunting, the ubiquitous white plastic chairs are set out in the streets, and the locals either join in the fun or get out of town (or the village) for the duration.
The main components of these fiestas are usually music (local bands or DJs), food (anything from giant ensaïmadas and enormous paellas, to tapas or street food, served from vintage food trucks), and drink.
The Boscana Craft Beer and Swing Festival takes place in the small town of Sant Llorenç, in the Plaça de l’Ajuntament, the square by the distinctive town hall building. One side of the square was lined with stalls offering around 20 different beers (no, we didn’t try them all).
This was only the second edition of this particular festival. Apparently some lessons were learnt after the 2015 inaugural event. One, was to bring in a refrigerated truck to keep the beer cold. The second was to provide some food to soak up the alcohol. On the opposite side of the square some local eateries and a bakery had set up stalls selling a few snacks, and someone known as Kitchen Guerilla was rustling up some sausages on a BBQ.
Strike up the band
Five swing bands were on the billing and an enormous professional-looking stage was set for the live music. Until the first band – Long Time No Swing – came on stage, we were treated to a performance by a strolling local pipe-and-drum group (xeremiers) and then a local batucada band. The latter is a popular (and incredibly noisy) feature of many local fiestas. The drummers process through the streets followed by crowds of people – a bit like the Piper of Hamelin, but thankfully without the rats. We love batucada!
Working up a thirst for beer
Eventually the stage came alive with the music of the first of five bands scheduled to play. We stayed to see Long Time No Swing and Monkey Doo – both terrific and worth going to see in action if you get the chance. When we left for home (around midnight), there were still three bands due to perform. Nessun dorma in Sant Llorenç that night!
Dozens of couples took to the centre of the square to dance the Lindy Hop, and they seemed to know what they were doing. Unlike most dancing, this one seems to be done in sneakers – so no twisted ankles due to perilous platforms or soaring stilettos. What struck us – apart from the ability of so many locals actually to do the Lindy Hop – was the energy and joyful nature of this dance. We couldn’t stop smiling as we watched.
At some point we spoke to a girl who was taking a break from dancing for a well-earned beer; she told us there was a well-attended Lindy Hop class run in the town in the cooler months. Ah, that would explain it. This time next year, The Boss and I could also be Lindy Hopping. Just need to persuade him. And buy some sneakers. Or, more likely, we’ll watch from the side-lines, craft beer in hand.
©Jan Edwards 2017