So there I am on a Friday evening in Malaga, in a very modern bar, with a black and white theme in the tables and chairs, but a stainless steel serving thing and a wall with a cupboard filled with loads of — dare I say it — craft beers from across the world (lots of Mikkeller). I like the place — in a funny sort of way it reminded me of Moeder Lambic (the second one), with its light and airy ambience, a none too precious attitude to beer with also a great beer list, of the sort you wouldn’t expect to find in Madrid never mind in the south of Spain.
There was a blackboard at the end of the bar with the draft beers’ names up there — I’ve come all this way and there is Thornbridge and BrewDog, but there’s also some Danish beer plus the best example of a Spanish c-word beer I have had for a long time. Dougall’s 942 Pale Ale is a fragrant (as in peach and orange ripe skins frotting each other until the cows come home) beauty of a beer with a weighty mouth feel and a dancing almost Sufi-like whirl of refreshment through the whole of the gulp. Thornbridge’s St Petersburg is a blast.
And as I watch a drunk American woman trying to keep it to together through her glass of Dead Pony Club, while lads with beards order Green Flash barley wine alongside Paulaner Weiss, I am struck by this thought: are craft beer bars the Irish bars of the future (a thought occasioned by the sight of a nearby Irish bar — Morrissey’s, for a moment I thought it was perhaps an ironic English bar celebrating Manchester misery) and mightn’t it not be a good thing?