In the midst of the hot lanes of Madrid, in the cellar bars of the Spanish capital, “La Virgen” is the beverage of choice. “Sin trucos, sin prisas” is the motto of the craft beer brewery “La Virgen”. In English this means: “no tricks, no hurry”. The idea to establish their own brewery did not originate in the Spanish metropolis, but in the dream destination of all hippies and creative minds: San Francisco. Inspired by the American craft beer scene, in 2011, master brewer Jaime Riesgo and his co-founder Ana Coello turned their dream into reality. They built their brewery with associated pub in the neighbourhood of Las Rozas and installed their first tap in 2012. At the time, they only had four employees, whereas today, 80 workmates brew, serve and market beer in a joint effort. The young brewery has managed to create a huge fan base by using social media and becoming the talk of the town.
If you ask the staff of La Virgen for their secret recipe, apart from water, barley and hops they also mention “lots of love”. For their first beer “La Lager”, the craft beer fans relied specifically on the age-old purity law. The master brewers also experiment with new, but always 100 per cent natural formulas so that their fans do not become bored too quickly. Apart from seven long runners, La Virgen also has twelve special varieties on offer. So, apart from traditional beers, such as the “Pale Ale 360°” and the wheat beer Trico Limpio, the Christmas beer “Castanas” with chestnut flavour and the strong dark ale “Turbock” can also be found on the drinks menu. As a homage to this Spanish delicacy, the amber ale “Jamonera” tastes of jamón, the intensive, spicy ham which is an integral part of any Spanish Tapas plate.
The repertoire of La Virgen not only includes guided tours of the brewery, but also special events: For their in-house Oktoberfest, they pertinently serve the so-called Märzen (March beer). Those who are curious about La Virgen, have the possibility to visit one of their six taprooms with fancy names and a creative concept, such as “la Fuente de la Virgen” (“virgin’s well”). Besides beer, you can get a typically Spanish menu there, with specialities such as “patatas bravas”. An undeniable asset for the young brewery at any event are their food trucks which are equipped with a draught beer dispenser of their own. The two Mercedes-Benz 614 D Vario match the brand image perfectly and are simply adored by the costumers. The interior has enough space to provide a large crowd of hungry and thirsty craft beer fans with hot dogs and fresh draught beer, poured right from the tap. When asked about the recipe for their success, the La Virgen crew point to their motto “no tricks, no hurry” – simply having a good time with tasty beer and dear friends.