By Anna Frisk
Walk into La Fabrica Maravillas and you may think you’re in Brooklyn. Exposed brick walls (painted white) provide the bar’s simple esthetic. It’s hip, it’s simple and as the menu reads, it’s all about beer.
In concept, the idea is new to Madrid. In the midst of a persisting economic crisis, hoppy beer has emerged. Locally made, artisanal beer is creating a niche that never existed before.
“It’s about quality over quantity. If you have little money to spend [during the crisis], you want to make it count.” says Ana, co-owner of La Buena Pinta, a beer-centric shop recently opened in the San Fernando market in Madrid’s Lavapies neighborhood. “It doesn’t take long to persuade, people have always been interested in good beer.”
Why now? It’s arrival is part of the greater story here; many Spaniards have lost their jobs in their chosen career path due to the crisis. Rather than wait, they’re discovering now is the time to pursue their idealized dream. For some, it’s reinventing beer.
For Ana, it was exactly that. “When I lost my job, my friends nudged me and said, ‘Now’s the time!'”
Follow the beer trail:
Fabrica Maravillas– As mentioned before, this play is hip. Try a pint of the MalasaÃ±a (named after the eccentric neighborhood). It’s hoppy, fruity and just a bit bitter.
La Buena Pinta– Housed inside the San Fernando market, this speciality beer store also serves cold Iberian favorites, among an admirable international collection.
El Pedal– This bar, which features over 100 beers, also doubles as a cyclist’s tribute. After making your selection, take it outside and enjoy the terrace.
Cervezas Lest– Head North of Madrid, into the mountains, and you’ll find one of Madrid’s best secrets. It’s a brewery that invokes the names of Nordic gods for its enviable beer. In turn, it’s known for inciting words of great revere. !Salud!
About the Writer
In title, Anna’s a blogger, English teacher and an outdoor enthusiast. Born in the mighty Midwest of America, she calls Madrid home, for now. You can find her at Cut the Kitsch, where she writes about offbeat travel experiences, foodie discoveries and the rapture of nature.
Photos by Anna Frisk