While big brand beers are often the only thing available in many Spanish bars, craft beer is really beginning to come into its own in Madrid. We take a look at the best places to sample some artisanal brews on your next trip to the Spanish capital.
Whoever dreamed up the combination of craft beer and cheese is a genius, and we take our hats off to Fogg Bar, which does both with aplomb. A range of both local and international beers on tap come with a free tapa (tortilla on crusty bread with brava sauce is one example). To accompany your beer, you can order one of Fogg’s creatively constructed cheese boards.
This brewery, just outside Madrid, makes a great day trip from the capital. La Virgen is one of the most popular local craft beer brands and at their main brewery, visitors can take a tour, learn more about the beer brewing process, then enjoy tasting some in the tap room alongside American-style classics like hot dogs and burgers.
With its cool vibes and hipster credentials, it’s no coincidence Malasaña is becoming the heart of Madrid’s craft beer scene. Irreale is one of the best, with 12 brews on tap and a wide range of international and Spanish bottled beers. Knowledgeable and friendly staff will help guide newbies towards which beers they might like, while more seasoned craft beer aficionados will be well-served by the huge range of different flavours and styles on offer.
Lavapiés, one of the most multicultural neighbourhoods in the city, is also an up-and-coming area for craft beer bars. El Pedal is a small, buzzing bar with a good range of international and local beers, as well as tapas including tostas – toasted bread topped with a variety of local ingredients. There’s a small terrace out the front that is popular in warm weather.
This stylish Malasaña bar is another great place to explore Madrid’s growing craft beer scene. Its interiors are cool, with exposed brick walls and a mixture of high and low wooden tables. Also a restaurant, you can choose to enjoy a beer on its own or pair it with international dishes like wings, gyozas and baos. A flight with four different beers – €9 (USD$10.50) – is a good option if you want to taste a range of what’s on offer.
With 18 beers on tap, Chinaski is a great spot on a beer crawl around Madrid. Set in the multicultural barrio of Lavapiés, the bar has beers from Spain and around the world, as well as gluten-free options. There’s a good menu to accompany the beers, including cheese, Danish smorrebröd and German sausages. The multicoloured swirls on the wall that give the bar a cool – if surreal – atmosphere that might just be moving after a few beers.