Beer lovers this is for you again! You can read my first article on craft beer bars in Madrid to explore/discover more. The main idea is to go try and find your favourites’.
There truly is a very special place just North of Metro Bilbao that I like to call the triangle of craft beer. It involves 3 craft beer bars that are within throwing distance of each other. It really is the perfect place to have your heart’s desire of good beer satisfied without feeling trapped in the same bar the entire night. The 3 bars are named ANIMAL, Oldenburg and Cervercería L’Europe. What they all have in common is their huge offer of various beers from across the world. This selection of bars promises a night out where you know your next destination and be sure to arrive as well.
ANIMAL I wrote about in my previous article and you can follow the link to take a look. It is a bar that consistently offers excellent beers from all parts. Tivo, the owner, also speaks good English.
1) Oldenburg, in Calle HARTZENBUSCH, 12
Famous for standing in the Guinness book of world records as the establishment that offers the greatest variety of beers per square meter. Opened some 25 years ago, this bar lets you choose among 200 varieties. One of the very first craft beer bars in Madrid, it inspired the opening of Fabricas Maravillas and is loved by the owner of La Buena Cerveza. However beware there are 2 Oldenburgs and this is the younger bar. More of an institution than an ordinary bar, the brilliant thing here is that you can order Alt bier. This beer is brewed according to the German “Reinheitsgebot” (shouting it makes the pronunciation easier) and originates from Düsseldorf. It is a dark beer that is incredibly hard to find unlike the Cologne cousin Kölsch beer. If you are familiar with the LENT beers, Thor is brewed after the same recipe.
Alt bier is the beer of my home city and I will always be biased to this incredible bar for stocking it. The Belgians, apart for being famous for having no one famous (name 10 famous Belgians, footballers excluded) and no government, make incredible beer. Oldenburg offers the most varieties of Belgian beer in Madrid. Every beer brand in Belgium has its own beer glass to drink from. The glass is designed to increase the flavour of the beer.
2) Cervercería L’Europe in Calle Cardenal Cisneros 19
You enter and believe you have been transported to the German Alps to celebrate a round of après ski fun. It looks like a drinking hall with kitsch decorated around the bar so skiers are reminded there is a home away from home. Terrible decoration aside, this place does offer excellent beers on tap and even more in bottles. In fact, it claims to have the largest offer of beers on tap and in bottle, check out the website, with nearly 100. The whole menu is online. The food here is typical German beer food on offer. Lots of sausages, potato dishes and sandwiches to soak up the beer.
Those that like an after work delight will be happy to know that between 18 and 20h all beers on offer are half price.
3) Irreale in Calle Manuela Malasaña 20
The other bar not included in the triangle of greatness. However this bar does feature in the same street as La Tape. You just have to love this city. Irreale only recently changed location to their new home a few months ago. Recently having relocated from Calle de la Ballesta 15, this place is a gem. Having taken over the space from Ave Phoenix, the bar offers 12 different beers on tap. Similar principal to ANIMAL, these beers will also change once the keg is empty, meaning a lot of variety. The only two beers they always serve are La Virgen and Schneider Weisse. The latter being easily one of the best wheat beers in Europe.
The real advantage with Irreale is that it offers you the pub feel whilst also offering food. Most, however, stick with the beer and if you prefer the smell of hops and alcohol to chorizo and tortilla I recommend you take a visit. However let’s think bigger better more exciting! Media pinta beats caña, pinta beats media pinta, but the king will always be the keg. You need a place for a birthday party or a friend’s leaving due, Irreale will let you rent the cellar of the bar for free. All you need are thirsty friends and yourself if you order one keg (20 litres) and the room is yours free of charge. They will also give you a 10% discount on the keg you order. Price will range with beer type so just go in and have a quick chat. English fluency is minimal here.
Metro: San Bernardo / Bilbao
For more articles related to Madrid’s drinking culture, check out:
- A Beer State of Mind in Madrid, on the city’s best craft beer bars
- Martinis, Margaritas & More, on Madrid’s best cocktails
- La Buena Cerveza, an international beer shop offering a huge variety plus tastings and more