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0.0 and Sin Alcohol

TravellingMan22

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese/Frances 2020/Norte 2021
I am a red wine drinker but have been drinking far too much of it for far too long. ‘Too much access to excess’ as the saying goes.

So I am abstaining for a while and been having the odd 0.0 or Sin alcohol. I must admit I never knew you could buy it on ‘draft/tap’, I assumed it was just the 33cl bottles! But I have seen quite a few bars selling it, so you effectively buy a big measure. Is this new or it been available on draft/ tap for a while?
 
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It is a global trend. So far as I can tell. Many beer and spirits makers have responded to the increase in alcohol-free market demand post-COVID, with demand even building up prior, so perhaps that helps explain new and greatly improved offerings (including in social environments like bars).

 
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I guess you mean beer? Yes, it is quite common here in Spain. Most bars will have some kind of 0,0% beer on draft. I don't know since when.
Yes beer!!I know every bar has bottles (think Spain leads the way in Europe) but have only noticed a few (maybe 10%) bars with it on draft. Mainly Cruzcampo and San Miguel out of the taps.
 
It is a global trend. So far as I can tell. Many beer and spirits makers have responded to the increase in alcohol-free market demand post-COVID, with demand even building up prior, so perhaps that helps explain new and greatly improved offerings (including in social environments like bars).

Thank you - yes aware of that. . My question is specifically around the availability of it ‘on draft’ and not just in the usual 33cl bottles!
 
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Side note: it was called "near beer" in the US when I was younger. Maybe still is?
Ah not heard that! It’s massive In Spain as I am
sure many people know! Every bar seems to have a big and varied stock! Not seen anywhere else in Europe in the same leagues. Even the ‘Radler’ beer has a 0.0 version!
 
I cannot answer your question about 0.0% beer on tap but it sounds like Spain has been a pioneer for decades. So maybe it makes sense to see it in draught form there more prevalently. Very interesting.

"Spaniards have been drinking low and zero-alcohol beer since the 1970s."

"Today, Spaniards are the world’s largest consumers of alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer."

 
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We too noticed the big difference between our first and second camino (only 4 yrs in between) in the availability of alcohol free beer on tap in bars. We really appreciated it, soft drink is not our choice, and alcoholic beverages with another 20 km to go is not ideal either. At the end of the day though, we still liked an alcoholic beer. So much more choice in 'zeros' in Spain than in Australia!
 
Ah not heard that! It’s massive In Spain as I am
sure many people know! Every bar seems to have a big and varied stock! Not seen anywhere else in Europe in the same leagues. Even the ‘Radler’ beer has a 0.0 version!
Do you have any idea or theory about why, with Spain being a predominantly wine-drinking country, there is no similar surge in alcohol-free wines? Or is alcohol-free wine just not good to drink?
 
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‘Sin’ on tap is pretty ubiquitous in Spain and to be honest; looks and tastes the same as the full-fat version.

I think it’s a positive development.
Thank you! Yes very positive! I just haven’t been paying attention and didn’t realise it was so available on tap here.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Alcohol free wine is not just grape juice. Alcohol free traditionally alcoholic drinks are fermented but have the alcohol removed subsequently. I have yet to taste an alcohol free wine that is other than foul, but there are plenty of alcohol free/0.5% beers that are eminently drinkable, (almost) as good as the real thing.

My understanding is that there have been new technologies developed in the last decade or so for removing alcohol without destroying the flavour.

In the UK Adnams 0.5% Ghost Ship, Brewdog Nanny State and Big Drop Galactic Milk Stout are my favourites.
 
I was so happy last year when walking the Via de la Plata, and having been teetotal since 2020, to find alcohol free and 0.5% beer available virtually everywhere, and some very good beers too, I loved the tostada ones (dark beer).
 
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In my experience that is an apt description for most of the more popular brands of American “beer” Bud et al.🤣
I must agree with you. Come to remember this from the famous English Monty Python comedy group, said on stage in LA once: "Drinking American beer is like making love in a canoe: F***ing close to water". :)
 
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Do you have any idea or theory about why, with Spain being a predominantly wine-drinking country, there is no similar surge in alcohol-free wines? Or is alcohol-free wine just not good to drink?
Not really no, but I am spending an extended period in Spain and I have remarked to my travelling companion, who agreed and is very observant, that an overwhelming number of Spaniards in bars, drink beer not wine.! This has suprised me as I am know that Spain is a majority wine country!

I have seen it in a number of regions, male and female, young and old alike, normally ‘cana’ as opposed to the big measures. It’s mainly drinkers who are not eating, so I have jumped to the conclusion (without any basis whatsoever) that the huge leaning towards wine is those who are also eating and those having dinner in homes!
 
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I must agree with you. Come to remember this from the famous English Monty Python comedy group, said on stage in LA once: "Drinking American beer is like making love in a canoe: F***ing close to water". :)
In my experience that is an apt description for most of the more popular brands of American “beer” Bud et al.🤣
I suppose you have a point that the most popular beers in the country are not of the best quality, but if you haven't been here in the last 10 or 20 years, you've missed a tidal change in the number of smaller breweries, producing carefully made and high-quality beers.

I understand what you're saying. The first time I traveled northern Europe as an adult, and realized that even the least expensive regular beer in the bar was of a high quality, I was overjoyed.

But It does say something about the both of you, though, that you chose this thread about low-alcohol beer in Spain, to out of the blue, criticize a different and specific country.

That's what we do here, just drink Budweiser or Coke and eat Big Macs all day long. Apparently all US residents, every single one of them, or so, I am occasionally told when I travel.

I love that there's zero alcohol beer available. Much more satisfying than the other choices on a hot day when you don't want any alcohol.
 
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I suppose you have a point that the most popular beers in the country are not of the best quality, but if you haven't been here in the last 10 or 20 years, you've missed a tidal change in the number of smaller breweries, producing carefully made and high-quality beers.

I understand what you're saying. The first time I traveled northern Europe as an adult, and realized that even the least expensive regular beer in the bar was of a high quality, I was overjoyed.

But It does say something about the both of you, though, that you chose this thread about low-alcohol beer in Spain, to out of the blue, criticize a different and specific country.

That's what we do here, just drink Budweiser or Coke and eat Big Macs all day long. Apparently all US residents, every single one of them, or so, I am occasionally told when I travel.

I love that there's zero alcohol beer available. Much more satisfying than the other choices on a hot day when you don't want any alcohol.
As one of the “both of you” I would point out my comment was in reply to an observation, by a compatriot of yours, that low alcohol beer was sometimes called “near beer”. The addition of the laughing emoji obviously did not sufficiently convey the humour that was intended by the remark.
As for your choice of daily beverage and food there’s too much choice for me to hazard a guess but maybe a Moxie and a lobstah roll!
 
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I suppose you have a point that the most popular beers in the country are not of the best quality, but if you haven't been here in the last 10 or 20 years, you've missed a tidal change in the number of smaller breweries, producing carefully made and high-quality beers.

I understand what you're saying. The first time I traveled northern Europe as an adult, and realized that even the least expensive regular beer in the bar was of a high quality, I was overjoyed.

But It does say something about the both of you, though, that you chose this thread about low-alcohol beer in Spain, to out of the blue, criticize a different and specific country.

That's what we do here, just drink Budweiser or Coke and eat Big Macs all day long. Apparently all US residents, every single one of them, or so, I am occasionally told when I travel.

I love that there's zero alcohol beer available. Much more satisfying than the other choices on a hot day when you don't want any alcohol.
I was expecting a post like this, even if I put in a smiley to indicate tongue-in-cheek...

Glad to hear that your beer has improved.
 
I love a cold beer mid or late in the day. But drinking even one knocks me on my butt after walking all day. I have come to love the many different 0.0 beers available in most bar cafes in Spain, in bottles and on tap. I was surprised and disappointed to find none along the Chemin Arles/Via Tolosana in France in October. (Of course, I "manned up" and drank plenty of the real deal anyway.) Of course, with dinner, vino tinto por favor. Buen Camino
 
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I love a cold beer mid or late in the day. But drinking even one knocks me on my butt after walking all day. I have come to love the many different 0.0 beers available in most bar cafes in Spain, in bottles and on tap. I was surprised and disappointed to find none along the Chemin Arles/Via Tolosana in France in October. (Of course, I "manned up" and drank plenty of the real deal anyway.) Of course, with dinner, vino tinto por favor. Buen Camino
Now that brings up an interesting point. I wonder why zero alcohol beers are common in Spain, and not, for instance, in France? Or really, anywhere else I've been?
 
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Glad to hear that your beer has improved
It really only had one way to go.

The world of Beer in many countries has transformed in the past 20 years.

In the UK the ‘Campaign for real ale’ (CAMRA) seriously considered disbanding recently as after decades of truly awful mass-produced beer it was now ‘mission accomplished’. In north-west England you couldn’t throw a stone without hitting a micro-brewery now..
 

I really don’t know anything about it, but I think it’s different.
I was just hearing about alcohol-free beer and wine in Spain the other day. I was listening to an old "Español Con Juan" podcast in an effort to maintain/improve my Spanish. In this particular podcast he was talking about Spanish tapas culture and how it differs from how tapas tend to be consumed in other countries: on foot, moving from bar to bar, in groups of three or four, etc. According to him, consuming tapas with anything other than beer or wine is a no-no - no soft drinks or coffee or tea, or even sangria or vino tinto. On the other hand, zero alcohol beer or wine are okay. So apparently they should be available at bars serving tapas. :)
 
Yes quite widespread in Spain now.
My father loved the Estrella Galicia 0-0 both bottled & draft on our last Camino!
 
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I was just hearing about alcohol-free beer and wine in Spain the other day. I was listening to an old "Español Con Juan" podcast in an effort to maintain/improve my Spanish. In this particular podcast he was talking about Spanish tapas culture and how it differs from how tapas tend to be consumed in other countries: on foot, moving from bar to bar, in groups of three or four, etc. According to him, consuming tapas with anything other than beer or wine is a no-no - no soft drinks or coffee or tea, or even sangria or vino tinto. On the other hand, zero alcohol beer or wine are okay. So apparently they should be available at bars serving tapas. :)
Haha, I also listened to this exact same podcast the other day too. I think he also mentioned that it was a bit frowned upon to be rolling drunk.
 
I was just hearing about alcohol-free beer and wine in Spain the other day. I was listening to an old "Español Con Juan" podcast in an effort to maintain/improve my Spanish. In this particular podcast he was talking about Spanish tapas culture and how it differs from how tapas tend to be consumed in other countries: on foot, moving from bar to bar, in groups of three or four, etc. According to him, consuming tapas with anything other than beer or wine is a no-no - no soft drinks or coffee or tea, or even sangria or vino tinto. On the other hand, zero alcohol beer or wine are okay. So apparently they should be available at bars serving tapas. :)
That's really not my experience of tapas from the early 1970s onwards (in both Spain and French Catalonia) -- a proper tapa is really just a simple and small mini side dish next to your drink.

And yes, a small dish of olives or crisps or little sausage things or a croqueta or whatever is a tapa.

Touristy overpriced and oversmall portions of this or that that you are expected to order from a menu are something else ; maybe pinchos, though I tend to just call them "no thanks".

Having said that, on my last very lengthy Camino, I was frequently gratified with a tapa or two.
 
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That's really not my experience of tapas from the early 1970s onwards (in both Spain and French Catalonia) -- a proper tapa is really just a simple and small mini side dish next to your drink.

And yes, a small dish of olives or crisps or little sausage things or a croqueta or whatever is a tapa.

Touristy overpriced and oversmall portions of this or that that you are expected to order from a menu are something else ; maybe pinchos, though I tend to just call them "no thanks".

Having said that, on my last very lengthy Camino, I was frequently gratified with a tapa or two.
I don't think that conflicts with what Juan said. He wasn't taking about what tapas are, or how they are ordered (which is what you seem to be raising) but the culture of going out for tapas: with a few friends before comida or cena, walking from bar to bar, not sitting down to order and eat but standing and having a drink (beer or wine, with or without alcohol) and a tapa before moving on to the next, not so much to get drunk, just a convivial time before dinner whetting your appetite.
 
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Thank you - yes aware of that. . My question is specifically around the availability of it ‘on draft’ and not just in the usual 33cl bottles!
It's been big in Andalucia for many years, where people of all ages drink beer in the searing heat. Tastes so much better from the grifo (tap) than the bottle
 
It's been big in Andalucia for many years, where people of all ages drink beer in the searing heat. Tastes so much better from the grifo (tap) than the bottle
And in the (comparative!) cold weather too. 10c today and still so many sit outside (which has surprised me) with multiple layers, hats and boots on!!
 
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I don't think that conflicts with what Juan said. He wasn't taking about what tapas are, or how they are ordered (which is what you seem to be raising) but the culture of going out for tapas: with a few friends before comida or cena, walking from bar to bar, not sitting down to order and eat but standing and having a drink (beer or wine, with or without alcohol) and a tapa before moving on to the next, not so much to get drunk, just a convivial time before dinner whetting your appetite.
Sure -- just said "not my experience". Which negates nor diminishes the experience(s) of others not in the slightest.
 
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Do you have any idea or theory about why, with Spain being a predominantly wine-drinking country, there is no similar surge in alcohol-free wines? Or is alcohol-free wine just not good to drink?
So far, no one has produced a drinkable NA wine. Apparently it's much more difficult to produce than beer. But then, I remember the first NA beers were not nearly as good as today's. Maybe in a few more years they will have a decent NA wine.
 
Drinkable but not comparable. I tried several different ones and told my wine seller they all tasted “thin.” He agreed and said it was the sugar in alcohol that gives wine “body “ or something like that. Cerveza sin, si. Vino sin, no. Buen Camino
 
So, I got curious about alcohol-free wine, how it was made and its problems.

 
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Drinkable
I beg to differ.

I very much appreciate the very low alcohol % traditional English bitters and milds, as well as the low alcohol % traditional German, Swiss, and etc wines, but really -- Don't want to drink alcohol ? Then don't drink beers, wines, or spirits. It's not rocket science.

And I *really* miss the real ginger ale of decades ago, about 1% to 1.5% proof ... was *fantastic* chilled on a hot day !!

I also miss the Sarsaparilla ...
 
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I am not a fan of the low-alcohol or zero-alcohol beers on sale in Spain or here in the UK either. The only one I've found here at home which is fairly palatable is the Adnams Ghost Ship 0.5% version. Fortunately often available in Wetherspoons. :) The alcohol-free "wines" I have tried have been uniformly appalling. I can vividly remember having the back of my throat seared some years ago at a church resources exhibition when I was asked to taste a little of a non-alcoholic communion wine which was stuffed full of preservatives. So much so that the bottle had a warning label saying "Not to be taken as a beverage"! If I am steering clear of alcohol for some reason then I would rather have something else entirely.
 
I love to sit down for a break with a cold beer or two on hot days of walking. Next time, I will definitely try a 0.0 beer, if it's on tap.

0.0 red wine? Gracias, no gracias.
 
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FWIW that kind of stuff is actually forbidden by Canon Law.
The exhibition I attended was for churches of all denominations and I think the main market for that particular company's products was amongst those Protestant groups which actively discourage any consumption of alcohol - even for liturgical use. Practice on the matter amongst Protestant churches varies very widely. My wife was raised in a small evangelical Protestant church which strongly opposed the social consumption of alcohol. But one of the senior elders of the congregation would visit a local off-licence several times a year to buy port which was used exclusively for their communion services.
 
The exhibition I attended was for churches of all denominations and I think the main market for that particular company's products was amongst those Protestant groups which actively discourage any consumption of alcohol - even for liturgical use. Practice on the matter amongst Protestant churches varies very widely. My wife was raised in a small evangelical Protestant church which strongly opposed the social consumption of alcohol. But one of the senior elders of the congregation would visit a local off-licence several times a year to buy port which was used exclusively for their communion services.
Agree. Many Christian churches in the US use grape juice for communion.
 
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to buy port which was used exclusively for their communion services.
Neither Port nor Madeira nor Sherry are forbidden by Canon Law, though the use of Sherry is discouraged as it is a mixed beverage, except that it is still a "wine" made from grapes.
Many Christian churches in the US use grape juice for communion.
eh, so I won't violate the forum rules about not discussing religion as such...
 
Agree. Many Christian churches in the US use grape juice for communion.

Passing through London on my way home from one of my Caminos I met a young American woman at a bus stop. While waiting for our buses we had a chance to chat. She was from one of the southern states with a number of "dry" counties. Her home church and private Christian college were totally opposed to alcohol. So much so that she made it a personal point of principle never to eat anywhere alcohol was served. Easy enough in her home area in the US where alcohol was effectively banned. More difficult when visiting London on a study trip to find alcohol-free restaurants other than the big fast food chains though I did suggest she try halal restaurants which are not too hard to locate. When she expressed some interest in walking the Caminos I tried to explain that finding cafes or restaurants in Spain which did not sell alcohol would be extremely difficult if not impossible. I'm not sure that even after my comments she fully understood quite how ubiquitous alcohol is in Spain!
 
Yes, my maternal grandparents from Missouri would not patronize any establishment that had a "beer" sign showing in the window or any place that served alcohol. Lots of places don't serve alcohol in the US (for a variety of reasons) so I'm sure it was a shock to that young woman.
 
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There is a vast warren of convoluted rabbit holes on the interpretation of "oinos" in Protestant biblical criticism but I fear the moderators will quite rightly slap our wrists if we head in that direction! :cool:
A Norw. pastor was asked about it, and he replied:
"Yes we have read it, but we don't like it!".
 
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Passing through London on my way home from one of my Caminos I met a young American woman at a bus stop. While waiting for our buses we had a chance to chat. She was from one of the southern states with a number of "dry" counties. Her home church and private Christian college were totally opposed to alcohol. So much so that she made it a personal point of principle never to eat anywhere alcohol was served. Easy enough in her home area in the US where alcohol was effectively banned. More difficult when visiting London on a study trip to find alcohol-free restaurants other than the big fast food chains though I did suggest she try halal restaurants which are not too hard to locate. When she expressed some interest in walking the Caminos I tried to explain that finding cafes or restaurants in Spain which did not sell alcohol would be extremely difficult if not impossible. I'm not sure that even after my comments she fully understood quite how ubiquitous alcohol is in Spain!
Indeed. I don’t think many Europeans realise that parts of the USA have a certain view of alcohol. I read that some areas take a negative view of sexual relationships between folks that aren’t married though I have no idea if true and struggle to believe it.

Folks in UK tend to visit NYC, Las Vegas and Florida as their ‘intro’ to USA where pretty much anything goes!!

Glad to hear Wetherspoons have ‘zero alcohol’ options!
 
Indeed. I don’t think many Europeans realise that parts of the USA have a certain view of alcohol. I read that some areas take a negative view of sexual relationships between folks that aren’t married though I have no idea if true and struggle to believe it.
I don't think the forum will benefit from further discussion of historical and current attitudes to these matters, in different countries and cultures.

Let's stick with non-alcoholic beverages, particularly in Spain.
 
Let's stick with non-alcoholic beverages, particularly in Spain.
I didn't know one could get 0.0 beer from tap in Spain. I will most certainly try on my next walk. So far on my Caminos I have stopped for a cold refreshing beer midway or so, non- 0.0, because I didn't know.

For me, it's not about alcohol, but the cold refreshing feeling of a tap beer.
 
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I didn't know one could get 0.0 beer from tap in Spain. I will most certainly try on my next walk. So far on my Caminos I have stopped for a cold refreshing beer midway or so, non- 0.0, because I didn't know.

For me, it's not about alcohol, but the cold refreshing feeling of a tap beer.
Yes agreed. And it was news to me too and a refreshing development. Its doesn’t seem to be in the majority of bars (though they all have ‘zero’ or ‘sin’ bottled) but definately on the increase!
 
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As a routine consumer of alcohol-free beer and occasional consumer of de-alcoholized white wine, I attest that producers have made huge improvements in the quality/drinkability of these products in recent years. I didn’t find 0% beers everywhere on the Portuguese central earlier this year, but I didn’t always look for it (I also drink regular beer and wine but alcohol messes with my sleep and energy, so I don’t drink much alcohol on Camino). I tried the Estrella Galicia alcohol-free and liked it. For me, a cold brew without alcohol is very refreshing at the end of the day.
[scroll past if you are in a fightin’ mood, please: when someone chooses an alcohol-free drink it does not constitute a judgement on folks who choose a drink with alcohol. I sense a smidge of defensiveness in some posts here and I don’t think anyone should feel defensive about what they consume. If I choose to not consume pineapple, you shouldn’t feel defensive about your consumption of pineapple. Also, I’ve considered that some pilgrims who don’t consume alcohol might find communal meals challenging… we could all be more sensitive to this and not push wine on others, as I’ve witnessed/experienced on both my caminos.]
 
As a routine consumer of alcohol-free beer and occasional consumer of de-alcoholized white wine, I attest that producers have made huge improvements in the quality/drinkability of these products in recent years. I didn’t find 0% beers everywhere on the Portuguese central earlier this year, but I didn’t always look for it (I also drink regular beer and wine but alcohol messes with my sleep and energy, so I don’t drink much alcohol on Camino). I tried the Estrella Galicia alcohol-free and liked it. For me, a cold brew without alcohol is very refreshing at the end of the day.
[scroll past if you are in a fightin’ mood, please: when someone chooses an alcohol-free drink it does not constitute a judgement on folks who choose a drink with alcohol. I sense a smidge of defensiveness in some posts here and I don’t think anyone should feel defensive about what they consume. If I choose to not consume pineapple, you shouldn’t feel defensive about your consumption of pineapple. Also, I’ve considered that some pilgrims who don’t consume alcohol might find communal meals challenging… we could all be more sensitive to this and not push wine on others, as I’ve witnessed/experienced on both my caminos.]
At communal meals we intentionally put out twice as much water as wine and don't usually refill the wine. As hospitaleros we find when people drink too much, that's when things sometimes begin to go downhill. Sorry if your experience has been different.
 
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At communal meals we intentionally put out twice as much water as wine and don't usually refill the wine. As hospitaleros we find when people drink too much, that's when things sometimes begin to go downhill. Sorry if your experience has been different.
Oh, to be clear, it’s not the hospitaleros pushing the wine. It's pilgrims, usually mature males, in the small sample from my caminos. Btw, Thank you for your generous service and volunteerism, @J Willhaus
 

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