You may have realized by now, I love wine, especially Spanish wine. However, there’s another competing force here. Beer. Or rather, good, special, artisanal beer.
In the past 20 years, craft breweries in the U.S. have flourished like Japan during the springtime. But unlike springtime, it shows no signs of abating, luckily. Madrid, on the other hand, is just beginning that flirtation with sweet stouts and eager devotees, and I want to document each experimental IPA, brew pub, and modern design.
Yesterday, just 5 minutes beyond my usual commute, I exited the train at the end of the line in Colmenar Viejo. In the northern mountain range of Madrid sits a brewery with a touch of the nordic gods. Freya, Thor and Skadi are the beer names, and their color range from amber to a rich chocolate brown represents a new beer movement in Madrid. Caña culture, as the capital knows, which consists of rounds and rounds of small glasses of light lager is shifting slowly away to something with more heart, robust flavor and hops. Skål! As they say in Norway, cheers to that.
Photo 1: The Nordic gods label each of Lest Brewery’s handmade creations. The sweet stout goes by Skadi.
Photo 2: The northern mountain range outside Colmenar Viejo is reminescent of Wales. The best part? This view is just minutes from Lest Brewery. In the spring, summer, and fall, hiking and biking opportunities abound.
Photo 3: My friend relishes his box of craft beer in the midst of the green pasture.
Photo 4: The train ride back to Madrid, a vision of orange in the glory of a mountain sunset.
Where? Calle del Oro, 45, Colmenar Viejo.
Easiest way to arrive? Hop on the Renfe Cercanias train, line C4, at Sol. Take it all the way north until you see stone fences and roaming cows. The train even greets you with a sweet English goodbye.