The Alberes population is a native bovine breed of Catalonia with an unclear origin, 'which historically some authors have assumed as being composed of two different colour varieties (black and fawn). Sixteen microsatellite loci were analysed, all of them included in the AIRE2066 European Concerted Action list. Overall expected and observed heterozygosities reached values of 0.649 and 0.662, respectively. Genetic differences among black and fawn varieties were not significant (FST = 0.007), and therefore the population is a single variety with a great colour gradation. On the contrary, we detected significant genetic differences among herds (FST 0.026; p < 0.001), showing a genetic heterogeneity over short geographical distances. The number of migrants per generation among pairs of herds oscillates between 1.46 (Roig and Freixe herds) and 5.62 (Castanyers and Roig herds). Moreover, inbreeding and bottleneck situations can be rejected. The Alberes breed has been grouped within the Cantabrian trunk, closely related to the Asturiana de la Montaña and Alistana breeds, although some other breeds may also have influenced the population along its history.