While the global mega breweries are trying to swallow each other, everywhere in Europe small breweries keep popping up and in their wake follow new surprising and innovative tasting rooms. When was your last time in Madrid, and did you then see anything surprising other than the typical Spanish bars with the occasional Belgian beer? Well, today Madrid is a beer destination with a vengeance!
Admittedly, quite as widespread as in Barcelona it is not, but it is far from doom and gloom. A recent visit yielded an exquisite and healthy fast food chain with a beer selection many a pub would envy, and a whole range of great tasting rooms. So, for your benefit, here’s my Madrid top three!
First that little fast food chain: it’s called Tierra Burrito and was founded by young American expats who couldn’t do without their favorite Mexican food. As for us Dutch the ChinIndonesian embodies the national cuisine, so does Chipotle chain for many Americans. Tierra Burrito has four locations and is growing fast, with new opening scheduled in or around the city center. On their website you can find all details and do give them a try, because what they offer is simply brilliant. You basically get to construct your meal: you want a burrito, or rather tacos, nachos or you prefer to eat the toppings out of a bowl? You can! You then pick the meat (chicken, pork, beef, vega), beans or rice, various salsas and sauces, lettuce, peppers, onions or anything – it is all of local origin and cooked fresh, like a kind of Mexican Subway. Pricing is more than fair: it would be hard to source all ingredients, and cook it yourself on that budget. Now you can take out or eat in! Do the latter and choose from the coolers that hold more than forty different beers from all across the world. Simply great and open from lunch.
Next to the Tierra Burrito on Guzmán el Bueno, 52 (near Moncloa Metro) you’ll find Cervecera Independiente, known locally as Taproom. Open from eight o’clock in the evening until sometime in the night it has a large terrace, a spacious indoors decorated so totally now, and it has 25 taps serving (inter) national high-class beers. There’s also a fine collection of spirits, but the beer served is of the highest quality: Taproom owns the only refrigerated cellar in Madrid. Bravo!
North of downtown, on Manuela Malasaña 20, is Irreale. This is more a geeky place, with your contemporary and mind-boggling selection of beers which are served with extreme attention – but it’s a bit small and has this typical incrowd atmosphere. It doesn’t even have a website – so cool!
To the south-east of the center you will find El Boliche on Calle de la Concordia, 4. Again a small place, but it has a wonderful atmosphere, boasts great and surprising beers on 11 taps and dozens of bottles. It is the local atmosphere that makes this a bar you shouldn’t miss! In short, now that the temperatures are pleasant: Madrid offers a lot, and with regard to beer nowadays more than enough!