Madrid

18/04/2015 at 13:39 | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Madrid’s famous bar scene centres around tapas, and no visit to Madrid is complete without spending some time drinking a few cañas and eating some tapas in the late night bars along La Latina’s Calle Cava Baja or in Huertas.

But having done that, is there more interesting beer to be found in the city? Well yes, there is, if you look carefully. In a break from tradition of sticking rigidly to London’s zone 1 (central area), here’s a report on a crawl around some of the best craft beer bars in Madrid, undertaken in April 2015.

Note: if you’re in Madrid this week, 20 to 26 April 2015, don’t miss ArtesanaWeek, a craft beer festival around Lavapiés!

Fábrica Maravillas. We started in Malasaña, a slightly scruffy but definitely fun district just on the northern side of the city centre and close to the Gran Via, where the Fábrica Maravillas brewpub opened its doors late in 2012. This small bar, at 29 Calle Valverde, is quite easy to miss if you’re not careful, but well worth seeking out. They brew a range of beer styles on site; we tried the West Coast IPA and the Red Ale (neither on the website but definitely on draught in the pub) and both were lovely, and available by the pint if desired rather than a more local smaller serving. As with the other bars listed (except Ardosa) drinks are accompanied by small snacks such as olives, nuts or crisps.

Fábrica Maravillas is open Mon – Fri 6pm – Midnight, weekends 1pm to Midnight

ArdosaBogoda de la Ardosa. From here, a very short walk to 13 Calle Colón brings us to the Bogeda de la Ardosa. A local institution since 1892, this cerveceria has a beautiful interior, seemingly only a single small bar. However stand to the right of the bar and you’ll soon realise you’re in the way of people passing under the fixed bar to access the small back room, not to mention the loo and staff scurrying back and forth with drinks and food.

A striking feature on the outside of the bar was advertising for two of Britain’s great craft breweries of today, Kernel (of Bermondsey, London) and Brew Dog (Aberdeenshire, Scotland), and the bar featured the only handpumps we saw in Madrid, four of them no less, although sadly they were not in use. While some interesting bottles, including the aforementioned Kernel, were available, the draught range was slightly disappointing, with Brewdog Punk IPA fortunately on offer but otherwise led by international stalwarts Pilsner Urquell and Guinness. Which is a shame, as this place clearly has huge potential to combine its historic pub setting with the new craft beers becoming available locally. Nevertheless, well worth a stop.

Bogeda de la Ardosa is open 8:30am to 2am every day

Irreale. A few minutes walk now across Malasaña to Irreale, at 20 Calle de Manuela Malasaña. This pub serves an excellent rotating range of local and imported craft beers, changing very regularly; while Pilsner Urquell was on offer here too, here it was the limited edition (outside the Czech Republic) unfiltered cask version, which illustrates their passion for quality beer. We tried another brewed a few streets away by the Fábrica Maravillas, the Malasaña Ale, and Jack’s Abby Leisure Time Lager, all the way from Massachussetts. Both were excellent, but by the time you’re reading this (indeed by the time I’m writing it) they’ll probably have been changed for some other equally excellent beers.

Irreale is open Tues – Fri 12pm to 2am, Sat 6pm to 12am, Mon closed

La TapeLa Tape. Just 100 metres down the road at 88 Calle San Bernardo lies La Tape. This corner bar is a little more upmarket and modern than the preceding venues, and a little more restauranty. Drinkers are clearly welcome, though at the time we visited most people were eating, as did we. But not before getting the beers in; and La Tape’s speciality is locally brewed beers, with a choice of beers from around Spain. We tried the Sevebraue Castua pale ale from Badajoz, and the La Virgen lager from Madrid; both were excellent, and accompanied by delicious tapas, all served by very friendly staff. An excellent find.

La Tape is open every day 9am to 2am.

El PedalEl Pedal. The final stop involved a short hop on Line 1 of the Madrid Metro from Bilbao to Atocha, to reach El Pedal, tucked away close to the Museo Reina Sofia. El Pedal has a very small interior with something of a punky feel, in keeping with the slightly bohemian nature of its Lavapiés neighbourhood, but does most of its business from its outside tables on the wide pavement. While we were there, the crowd constantly shifted as different people came and went. El Pedal has a wide range of beers, and we tried the Jahonera pale ale from Madrid and a Citra/Mosaic IPA from Toledo, which was predictably delicious.

El Pedal is open Tues – Fri 6pm to 2am, Sat 12pm – 2am, Sun 12pm – 1am, Mon closed.

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1 Comment »

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  1. Hi!
    Craftbeer scene in Madrid is rising, and there are a few interesting bars in which you can enjoy great beers. I don’t like very much “La Ardosa”, it is probably the most expensive place in Madrid where having beers. The place is ok, but the price not… 🙂
    If you want to know more “beer places”, I’ve done a “Madrid Craftbeer Map” with Google Maps, if you want to take a look, it is in my blog (https://cervezarudimentaria.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/mapa-cervecero-de-madrid/).

    Cheers!


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