Ordering a Beer in Spain

Spain is a beer loving country but ordering a beer in Spain is not as simple as just saying "una cerveza, por favor". 

Find out below how to act like a local.

As well as ordering the kind of glass or bottle of beer you should ask for your preferred brand, but remember that in some regions and less touristic towns they tend to stick to their locally-brewed beers.

The beer measures below are not really standard, you never quite know exactly what size you will get without looking around the bar to see what other customers have been served, or just ordering one. 

Ordering bottles of beer.

Una botella de cerveza or Un tercio - A bottle of beer.

This will be a standard glass bottle of beer, sizes may vary depending upon the brand but generally it will be a 33cl bottle, another popular way to order a bottle of beer is to ask for un tercio, (which actually means a third).

Un quinto

These are the cute little bottles, (25cl) also referred to as a botellín, they hold a fifth of a litre, and are the type commonly found in the bucket deals (cubos) offered by many bars.

What are your favourite bottled beer brands?  Let us know in the comments section below.

Ordering a glass of Beer.

Una caña

One of the most common sizes ordered by locals in Spain. A caña is a small glass of beer (between 200-300ml ), wine glass are quite often used, usually slightly smaller than a British half pint and traditionally served with quite a large head.

Ordering a beer in Spain

A caña is normally what will be served with a menu del dia, also when ordering you may be given a complementary tapas dish, even if its only a small plate of crisps.

The main reason for its popularity with the Spanish, is that the smaller size means the beer stays cool, even in the hottest summer months. 

Un doble

This should in theory be double the size of caña, but this isn’t always the case,  the actual size of a ‘double’ can differ depending on the type of glasses a bar uses.  Often a doble will come in the same glass as a copa.

Una copa

A glass or “cup” of draft beer, bigger than a caña but could be  slightly smaller than a tubo or the same size as a jarra. This is one of the more ambiguous sizes you can order as you never really know what you will get.

Un tubo

This would be a tall, thin glass, which looks like a tube, not all bars serve this glass so the measures will vary but are normally between  30 cl – 50 cl

Una Jarra, (pronounced hah-ra) 

Usually a mug or “jar” of draft beer, but this can refer to both a tankard-sized glass of beer (50cl) or a jug of beer brought with separate glasses to share with a group.   

Ordering a beer in Spain

Una pinta

This should be a standard pint of draft beer and is probably the best thing to order if you really want to be sure what you are going to get, although this can not be guaranteed and you may be given just a large Beer.

One of the strange things here in Spain is that the pint unlike in other countries does not seem to be seen as a particular measure, with signs often being seen for small or large pints....... Strange but true.

Try something different

Una Clara

This is a refreshing summer drink and is a beer shandy made up of half beer and half Fanta lemon (con limón) or lemonade (con gaseosa), state which you would prefer when ordering.  

Alcohol and Gluten Free Beers

Una cerveza sin

 "Sin" means without’. Many of the big brands, make their own alcohol and gluten free versions and they are readily available in most bars.


A little or a lot of foam/head…it’s up to you.

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If you have any questions, comment below.

  • I am not a big beer drinker, but do love a Clara (made with Fanta lemon) in the summer.
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