Monday 5 May 2014

The right beer at the right time

Martim Moniz: a square-shaped square
So there I was in the centre of Lisbon, researching the city’s food and drink scene for a travel piece and it was time for a mid-afternoon break, which I took in Martim Moniz, a fair-sized square dotted with food stalls. I grabbed a beer, a half litre of Sagres, you know one of the main Portuguese lager brands, nothing special, ok, cold and refreshing. The mood in the square was relaxed and ambient, with some sort of jazz playing in the background inter-cut with the sounds of people enjoying themselves. I drank the beer and I suddenly felt that here was a perfect beer moment. I didn’t need craft beer, I didn’t need cask beer, what I had in my plastic glass was just right, it was the right beer at the right time and I was even taken back a few years to a time in an old Paris bar where me and mate just drank whatever lager was on the bar, nothing special, but once again it was the right beer for the right time. Later on in the day, I went to a small bar in the Principe Real district that I’d read about and this time I plumped for a bottle of Sovina IPA, which was made by an artisanal brewery in Porto. It wasn’t bad and this time I was glad to be drinking something other than Sagres. I made the beer last and enjoyed it as the Lisbon rush hour passed on outside this tiny bar. I won’t want to drink Sagres for a long time, but on that sunny afternoon it was the right beer at the right time, which is perhaps an indication of how all beer has the power and potential to provide that special background to our lives.
Portuguese craft, I mean, artisanal beer


  1. Good beer is good beer, but all beer can be special at the right place and time.

  2. What's the name of the bar in Principe Real? I've had Sorvina around some of the restaurants and shops not yet seen it behind the bar anywhere.