When the Invincible Spanish Armada of 130 ships set sail from A Coruña, in the North West of Spain on July 19th 1588, their mission wasn’t just to conquer England with a view to restoring the abolished Catholic faith but to also conquer the heart of The English Queen too, Elizabeth I.
LA SIDRA.- To celebrate conquering the English (and Elizabeth I too, whom he was in love with) King Felipe II placed on board some 300 Imperial Gallons (1.364 litres) of his prized special brew “Naturally Fermented Imperial Cider” – made from a secret recipe now replicated and brewed today in collaboration with Bebidas Armadas S.L.
King Felipe II was so proud of his Imperial Quality Cider that he wouldn’t allow it to be brewed anywhere else outside of mainland Spain within the New World Spanish Empire.
Unfortunately we all know what happened to the Armada:
The “San Martin” Flagship made it home to the port of Santander in a very sorry state but not before shedding most of its cargo including the barrels of cider into the sea.
These barrels according to legend were washed up on the south west shores of Ireland and parts of Cornwall, S.W. England intact where they were rescued and consumed by the local people, together with the Armada’s stores of potatoes.
Curiously today both these areas of Ireland and England are now big producers of cider and potatoes! Coincidence?