Spain, Madrid – Part 1

Our trip started as usual, in the airport terminal drinking beers and eating burgers at the Denver Chop House & Brewery. Getting through security and boarding the flight went smoothly. We first flew to Newark where we had a short layover. We had already heard about the nightmare of ordering food in the Newark Terminal C so we decided to skip it and just sat there waiting for our flight. In short, the nightmare is that you have to order on iPads at all restaurants, no one will talk to you, the iPad quite often won’t work, you’re charged an 18% gratuity before they’ve even brought out your meal, if you order a beer at the bar you’re charged instant gratuity and if you order another, well you’re charged again. I do not agree with this kind of service (or lack there of) and refuse to patronize this kind of establishment. Okay, now that said, I’ll get back to the trip. Our 2nd flight was straight into Madrid. It was a long flight but the free wine helped. Hubby and I agreed that we both only slept for about 45 min total. When we landed we took a shuttle bus to T4 where we were able to catch the C1 Renfe train towards Principe Pio. We got off at Atocha station and walked just a short distance to our hotel, the AC Carlton.

It was still morning, around 10am, and no rooms were ready. We stashed our bags with the concierge and headed out to find some food and scope out the surroundings. We walked up the El Rastro market, which is like a cross between a garage sale, sidewalk sale, and arts & crafts booths. It was packed.

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Too crowded for us so we ducked down a side street and made our way to La Buena Pinta which is tucked away inside of a building selling many crafts/foods/drinks. La Buena Pinta sells many different beers from local and far away breweries. We enjoyed talking to the owner, who was quite knowledgeable about beers. The first two beers that we had were Domus Aurea, a pale ale, and Mad Porter by Mad Brewing, both brewed in Spain.

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We grabbed a late lunch at what we thought was a restaurant recommended to us by a local but I think we messed up. I think we were a block off and I’m not even sure of the name of the place we ate at. It was only okay but we needed some food. It was located on the south side of the Reina Sofia Museo.

Next we ventured to a place that the owner of La Buena Pinta recommended to us: Chinaski Lavapies. I had the Skulls & Tentacles Barleywine by Brouwerji De Molen in the Netherlands and hubby had the Amber Ale brewed by Vulturis Cervezas Artesanales in Spain. This place was a small brightly painted bar with multiple colors on the walls, ceiling and floors. The ambiance was laid back but then again it was early and Madrid doesn’t get jumping until late into the night. As with most places we encountered in Madrid we got free tapas with our brews. We found it funny that they had a large selection of US micro-brews available.

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We wandered the streets for hours checking out all of the beautiful plazas and courtyards. I love European streets with the stone pathways and the quaint sizes. We visited Santa Cruz Plaza, Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Jacinto Benavente and Puerta del Sol and stopped along the way at Taberna El Papelon for an A.K. Damm beer brewed in Barcelona.

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We had been up for something like 36 hours with only 45 min of sleep and were extremely tired so we stopped into Vinoteca Barbechera on the east end of Plaza Santa Ana a night cap of wine before heading back to the hotel. You could tell that the people of Madrid were just starting to come out and socialize for the night. Such a late culture.

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~ by willtriforbeer on January 19, 2016.

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