Since I started living in Madrid, my family and friends back home often ask me what things I miss most about the US. Aside from amazing burgers and Mom’s macaroni and cheese, I really miss good, interesting beer. I feel a sad longing when I think about all the pale ales and porters back home. Okay, some Spanish beers aren’t that bad, but compared to the variety back home, the beers widely available in Madrid just don’t stand a chance. To combat my nostalgia and stimulate my tastebuds, I’ve scoured the city to find a few places that offer brews that are sure to please even the most discerning palate. The following three spots–two in Malasaña and one in the center–are definitely worth checking out with your favorite beer lover.
1. Casa de la Cerveza (calle Luchana 15, metro: Bilbao)
With a menu boasting hundreds of different beers from all around the world–ever wanted to try a beer from Thailand?–this place is the adventurous beer fan’s paradise. Casa de la Cerveza has the look of a German brauhaus and the feel of a casual sports bar. Come here to get your weird beer fix and try an assortment of bratwursts and other German delicacies while you catch whichever fútbol team is playing that night on the big screen. And for you partygoers, Casa de la Cerveza has a 10 euro open bar deal from 11pm to 1am, though the promotion does not include many of the higher-end beers.
2. Naturbier (Plaza Santa Ana, metro: Sol)
Can you ever go wrong in Santa Ana? Naturbier is another place that brings a bit of Germany straight into the heart of Madrid. This bar gets its name from the beer that they serve on tap: an all-natural, super fresh brew made in-house. When you walk into Naturbier be sure to get a seat where the tables have taps built-in and you can try your hand at pouring your own beer. They have three varieties: rubia (a lighter blonde beer), tostada (a darker, maltier beer), and a non-alcoholic version that are always served cold and fresh, either from the bar or from your own table tap.
3. Cervezorama (calle San Andrés, 29, metro: Bilbao)
Sometimes you’d rather sit at home with your tasty beer, and this is where Cervezorama comes in. This self-proclaimed “Delicatessen Beer Shop” in Malasaña carries beer by the bottle from a few different countries, most notably Germany, Belgium, and the United States. The staff there are extremely knowledgeable and can answer any of your questions, as well as suggest beers for you to try based on your tastes. Cervezorama also carries ingredients and instructional guides needed to brew your own beer at home, and often hold meet-ups with home brewers in the area. In addition to brewer meet-ups, the shop sometimes holds beer tastings, or catas, so for a small price you can sample different brews and get to know some other Madrid beer aficionados. While you’re there, try one of the new beers by Fábrica Maravillas, an up-and-coming Madrid microbrewery with a bright future.
Of course, there are many other places in town where you can find international beers on tap, including the many Irish bars in town. But when you’re feeling in the mood for something other than Mahou, Guinness, or Heineken, stop by one of the above bars and enjoy. If you have a favorite spot to try international beers that isn’t mentioned above, please let us know in the comments. Cheers!