Forget Sangria, Madrid’s Craft Brewery Trail is Reviving the City’s Thirst for Inspiration (Insight)

Madrid Craft Brewery Trail

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!'”

Madrid Craft Brewery Trail

Follow the beer trail:

Fabrica Maravillas– As mentioned before, this play is hip. Try a pint of the Malasaña (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!


Anna FriskAbout 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

  • Glen Tibaldeo

    So love the concept of facing difficulty and crisis by doing what you’ve always wanted. Nothing to lose can be a blessed space. Necessity breeds action. Thanks for the smile.

  • Cat of Sunshine and Siestas

    I’ve been loving the beer revival in Madrid, especially since my homebase of Seville is loyal to its local pint, Cruzcampo. I’m willing to pay 6euros a pint rather than my normal 1,2 just for something different. And the reason surge in entrepreneurs is really demonstrating the tenacity of Spaniards and their willingness to try.

  • Madrid Audio Walks

    Madrid is finally catching up to Cataluña in the craft beer scene, and many of us are thrilled by that. Keep an eye out for Madrid craft beer upstarts Cibeles and La Virgen as well.

  • Shawn

    I’ve visited Fabrica Maravillas several times now, both to sample the great beers and to be transported back to my pseudo-hippy days in Flagstaff, Arizona, when micro-breweries were humming places of pure coolness. I, too, applaud places like this here in Madrid, places that are proactive and making a effort to shake off the pervasive fatalist thinking of the recession. The bar is always full, and they deserve it.