Us Brits get short shrift as a bunch of binging boozers who run riot like vikings through the streets of our own nation and any other we may frequent on our travels. It´s true, there´s a definite ´let´s get pissed´ philosophy that exists in the UK that you´ll rarely find in Seville (unless you´re at a serious botellon session where inebriation seems to be fairly high up the list of objectives for the evening).
But in Blighty, mid week it´s not uncommon for someone to nurse a sparkling water as they have their own personal non-alcohol pact of ´not on a school night´, while here in Seville that seems to be a bit of a foreign concept, quite literally. I remember the first time a Sevillano proudly announced that they didn´t drink water, only beer and coffee, after all both contain H20 in some form and must therefore hydrate to the same degree. Indeed it´s one of the many ´Guiri´ stereotypes to see a hot looking northern European or American, tenaciously grasping their 1.5 litre of water as they march around the city in the searing heat, but very rarely will you see a local doing the same.
You see in Seville beer, and to be more precise, local brand ´Cruz Campo´ is king. Any hour after about 11.30am is beer o´ clock, and one beer is never taken in isolation, after all they are served in teeny tiny glasses, and so what harm can it do to slide another one down. Beer is part of the bedrock of society, doctors have been known to prescribe drinking beer for its vitamin and nutritional components (casting aside for a moment that it does actually contain alcohol) and immaculately turned out grannies think nothing of quaffing a few cañitas´ with their multi-generational families.
Ok, yes it´s true, I do admit on a hot day, there is nothing like an ice cold cerveza to quench your thirst. And hot days there are many, so in the peak heat of summer, that thirst quenching beer can be something that becomes a daily occurrence from midday onwards.
But anyway, cultural observations aside, if you want any chance of getting under the skin of the local peeps, you will indeed have to drink beer, and if you happen to tire of the virtual monopoly of Cruz Campo on the beer taps in the city, then there´s a new bar in town to throw a bit of variety into the mix.
‘Maquila Bar’ on Calle Delgado, just the other side of the Alameda, is a stylish, minimalist beer joint for lovers of craft beers and cool hipster vibes. They boast a micro-brewery at the back that produces their own artisan beer called ‘Son’, but they also have a whole host of other fancy pants cervezas including organic, non-gluten, dark and non-alcoholic either on tap or in bottles.
Fronted by Eloy del Rio, a self-professed craft beer enthusiast who prior to Maquila launched Los Palillos in Alfalfa, he works alongside a tight team of experienced staff, including head chef Daniel Torres . The food is aspirational, I tried the ´Ensalada de ventresca de Atun confitada con verduras asadas´ which was a really tasty tuna salad with roasted vegetables and a zingy vinaigrette. There´s a lot of meaty dishes, so if you´re vegetarian you might be limited to the home made chips, but you could strike lucky with the ´Guiso´ (stew) of the day which won´t always contain pig derivatives.
Maquila Bar Calle Delgado 4, 697 81 38 49