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Queen Elizabeth I of England

When the “Invincible” (word given by the English Sailors) Spanish Armada of 130 ships set sail from “A Coruña” in the NorthWest 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.
King Felipe II of Spain who reigned over the Kingdom of Spain at the time was secretly in love with Elizabeth I… but she rejected him!
King Felipe II

To celebrate conquering the English (and Elizabeth I too) King Felipe II placed on board his ships over 2,000 barrels of beer (Measured in «Quintales»), 4,000 barrels of wine, but more importantly on his Flagship the “San Martin” and under the safe direct vigilance of the Armada’s Commander The Duke of Medina Sidonia he also placed some 300 Imperial Gallons (1.364 liters) 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.
Cider press
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.
Today the “Craft Apple” Cider SKU has been replicated artisanally using 85% pressed apple juice and 0% added sugar just as it was back in 1588! More Cider! More Juice! More Authenticity!
Unfortunately we all know what happened to the Armada in that mainly due to bad weather the ships were forced to abandon their mission and return home to Spain via the Shetlands and past the west coast of Ireland and south-west coast of England. Many ships were lost under the waves or wrecked along the coast and those that weren’t lost were heavily damaged.
The Invincible Spanish 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, analyzed and consumed by the local people (together with the Armada’s stores of potatoes, yes the potatoes!). Curiously today both these areas of Ireland and England are now big producers of Cider… (and potatoes!)… coincidence?



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