France Spain

Revisiting old haunts

Unfiltered lager at Naturbier in Madrid

When I went on my travels a couple of years ago around Spain and France, I didn’t have a huge number of amazing beer experiences to report.  Nonetheless, there were a couple of interesting places  to which I was keen to take Baileythis time round.

The first was Naturbier in Madrid,  a friendly brewpub in the heart of the city. I was interested to see if Bailey would agree with my positive opinions and he did, although we both agreed that this time the “rubio” (blonde/pale) beer was better — almost as good as some unfiltered lagers we’d had in Germany.

The second was the Frog & Rosbif (Paris St Denis branch) which seems to have quite a bad reputation as an expat dive.  I loved it last time and was almost a bit nervous to take Bailey there… Would it be as good?

Yes and no.  The wheat beer and lager were a bit odd tasting, and the waitress warned us off the stout (“It’s not so good today.  Why not try something something else?”).  But the two ales were fresh and the atmosphere and service were great.  What’s interesting about this place is how it manages to be so popular with the locals: we didn’t spot any obvious ex-pats. It’s certainly not because it’s cheap…


3 replies on “Revisiting old haunts”

“almost as good as some unfiltered lagers we’d had in Germany.”

Blimey. Apart from kellerbier you’ve had good unfiltered blonde beer in Germany? In my experience most are just trub laden disasters.

I did not expect much from the Frog & Rosbif, and it wasn’t much, either. The ginger ale was all right, but the rest was pretty bad stuff.

With a little extra care they would have had an all right range of beers. I don’t know if it’s true tat they brew in all their pubs. If they do, centralizing the brewing would be a good idea.
(It’s the first time I have ever advocated centralizing anything!)

Tandleman — the stuff we’ve had in the not-that-beery bits of Germany (Mainz and Heidelberg, for example) was pretty rubbish, but we were thinking of Bavaria/Franconia. They seem to give all kinds of names to unfiltered (i.e. opaque) lagers down there, of which kellerbier is one, hence the catch-all term.

Knut — once again, after two weeks drinking Cruzcampo, Kronenbourg, San Miguel and Mahou, even a halfway decent ale tastes like nectar. We didn’t try the ginger this time, but the ESB-alike and the IPA were both pretty good. Not as good as most British beer, but better than, say, Greene King IPA. You did a much better job of hunting down decent beer in Paris than we did, though!

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