Monday, 17 November 2014

(Drink) dates for your diary: La Vermutería pop-up, Ruta del Carajillo & Madrid Beer Week

If you're fond of a tipple or two, you're bound to love the variety of well-priced booze that Spain has to offer. Fine wine at a fraction of the price we pay in the UK, a range of draft and craft beers, Catalan cava and of course, sherry. There are also a few lesser-known drinks to taste test: newly-trendy vermouth and carajillo, a brandy-laced coffee for those who like their winter warmers with a kick. You can obviously order these drinks at most bars around the country, but if you're in Madrid over the next few weeks, you might want to check out some of these events.

La Vermutería pop-up

The bar at a La Vermuteria event

Since getting the hipsters' seal of approval, the traditional Spanish aperitif vermut (vermouth) is popping up again in bars around the country. There are particularly big vermouth scenes in Barcelona and Madrid, where you'll find more than just bearded fixie-bike owners sipping on a neat vermut on the rocks before tucking into their Sunday lunches. Fusing the vermouth trend with the fashion for pop-up events, La Vermutería pop-up takes over bars around Madrid on Sunday afternoons, serving a different brand of vermouth each time. There are tastings in the early afternoon, followed by several hours of vermouth-sipping to the soundtrack of a DJ. A couple of different tapas are also available to munch on. It's a fun and inexpensive way to spend a Sunday afternoon catching up with friends: a glass of vermut is just €2 a pop. Negronis are also on offer for the cocktail lovers out there. All brands of vermouth on offer are artesanal and haven't yet gone mainstream: perfect for those who enjoy getting a piece of the action before the general public. So that'll be why it's so popular with hipsters, then...

A glass of the good stuff

When: Most Sundays – for upcoming dates check their website. If you want to check it out this year, you're in luck: the next event runs from 21 November–24 December at Christmas pop-up The Hovse (no, that's not a typo) on Calle General Arrando 40.
Where: Bars around Madrid, and occasionally other cities. Previous venues have included Muy Placer en Conserva in Conde Duque and Stop Madrid on Calle Hortaleza.

La Ruta del Carajillo

Every winter, Brandy Magno offers a 'Ruta del Carajillo' around a selection of Spanish cities (A Coruña, Albacete, Girona, Madrid, Murcia and Valencia). During the event, certain bars around the city offer a carajillo (brandy-infused coffee) for the price of a normal coffee. The venues that form the route tend to be cosy, boho cafés ideal for curling up in away from the cold. Participating bars give out a 'Pasaporte Carajillo Magno' with details of all the spots on the route, and you can ask for your 'passport' to be stamped to be in with a chance of winning a trip to Prague. Even if you aren't a big carajillo fan, it's worth checking out the list of bars online or picking up a passport – you're bound to find a few new favourite cafés. Bars on the Madrid route include Café Manuela, Vacaciones and Populart.

When: During November & December. In Madrid, the event runs from 7 November–5 December. Check the website for the dates in other cities.
Where: Bars around A Coruña, Albacete, Girona, Madrid, Murcia and Valencia. Full list here.

Madrid Beer Week

From Madrid Beer Week website

Craft beer continues to grow in popularity around Spain, and Madrid Beer Week sets out to celebrate it with a range of beer-related events. For 10 days in November, more than 20 venues around the city offer tastings, workshops, presentations and beer-tapa pairing menus. Bars participating in Madrid Beer Week include La Tape, Fábrica Maravillas and La Hemeroteca. A few events to watch out for include the brewery visit at Fábrica Maravillas on 21 November, the homebrew workshop at La Tienda de Cerveza on 22 November and the many maridaje (food & drink pairing) events during the ten days.

When: From 21–30 November.
Where: More than 20 bars and shops around Madrid. Full list of venues and events here.


  1. I've only found one place that does the good stuff here in Seville -and it was served in a Martini glass! Craft beer is getting big though with Taifa being my fave and two craft beer shops where you can sample beers from the rest of Andalusia, Spain and Europe (The Great Power of Beer on Gran Poder and Lupolis near Metropol Parasol).

    1. Shame there aren't more bars that serve vermut in Seville - not even any 'bares Manolo'? Hope the trend spreads! La Vermutería need to do an event in Seville for you. I'm really not a beer fan, but it's still good to see that smaller producers are growing.

  2. I think that maybe some bares Manolos has it and I think even some 'pubs' but they often look at you oddly if you ask for anything other than C beer, gin or rum... Great to see on your Twitter feed that La vermutería IS coming to Seville. I am sure there will be some vermú love in the new swanky market to be opened next week.


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