Beer people love to talk about how the beverage they care about so much has brought the same kind of sentiment with other human beings. We’re often finding ways that malt, barley, hops and yeast have given us another figurative ingredient: friends. For those of us who think about beer too much, it’s always a treat to find like-minded others wherever we go.
In June, I found myself in downtown Madrid while staying in the city as part of short media tour hosted by Mahou San Miguel. I wanted to find some local craft beer and Google led me to Bee Beer Craft Beer and Cheeses, a small bottle shop with brands from around Spain, most notably the namesake brewery of the business. It was there I wound up chatting with owner Xavier Losada, learning about what led him to open a craft-focused store in a market where that kind of beer still feels a little new. Xavier has a curiosity to create something new that wouldn’t feel too out of place in an American market and he’s working to change the mentality of locals, not just tourists like me who wander into a welcoming bar that feels like home.
These kinds of conversations, where there’s an international insight to trends or interests we may take for granted stateside, can be so valuable. It’s a time to meet others who are watching what’s happening in beer with a new perspective and better grasp all the changes taking place as craft beer becomes increasingly important around the globe. I heard all that from Xavier, who also actively watches the boundaries of flavor as he creates new brands to serve under the Bee Beer banner.