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FREE the BEER - Orwell and pub power

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

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The British pub was and in many towns still is the heart of a community. A place where men hide from domestic responsibilities, gossip is exchanged and the meaning of life explored. All brought together by an ambience of equality, shoulder to shoulder rich and working class, an openness absent in most other British public spaces and most importantly a lovely, 'room temperature' pint of ale.

George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm, creator of 'Big Brother' was also a 'Big Beer Lover.' That's Big Brother the autonomous dystopian government, not the TV show about a fish tank full of mannequins rubbing each other on camera in hope of a book deal.

Orwell was passionate about 'society' he spent a lot of his time socialising with the common Londoner, forming ideas and learning from his peers in the pub. It is clear that these real life experiences influenced his fiction, in fact he wrote about them. On February 9th 1946 he published an article in the Evening Standard describing his favourite pub 'the Moon Under Water.' Although the pub itself is fictional, Orwell lists the ten qualities that would make this 'perfect pub' and to this day Publicans use it as a guide. With a recent trend in 'craft beer' finally, thankfully arriving in Spain, we ask if these local purveyors of libations have observed Orwell's ten golden rules.

Located on the perimeter of the often overcrowded tapas zone 'El Tubo,' Hoppy offers a refreshing

alternative to the wine and tapas that surrounds it. The staff are beer fanatics and have selflessly explored the constantly changing 15 taps of international beers in order to provide you the best recommendations. Variety is key in this bar, there are always new, interesting and sometimes inspiring beers on offer (I refer to the Mikkeler chipotle beer, fantastic and memorable). The menu offers 56 bottled international beers, plus special or limited options. There is a decent selection of tapas and meals to accompany your beer, in the form of 'comfort food' hot dogs, burgers and mini pizzas. You may not be able to, or want to leave. The atmosphere is sociable and welcoming. Although Orwell didn't approve of music, here they have remarkable taste and play a great selection of indie, rock and alternative tracks to help you forget the incessant regaetton of your average bar.

We don't know if Orwell liked heavy metal, but the Beer corner does. This bar makes you want to get a tattoo. If that's not your thing, then the beer definitely will be, with 12 taps of local and international beers of a very high standard. From Indian Pale Ales to Abbey Dubbels. Again, the food here is fantastic, really good tapas and the atmosphere fuelled by the friendly staff (with excellent English) ensures the beginning of a delightfulevening venturing into the line of bars in calle Heroismo. Better still, stay here and soak up some beery atmosphere. We're sure that Orwell would be at the bar writing notes on the frontline of the craft beer revolution.

It's no secret the Bulldog Team are big fans of Ordio Minero. In terms of keeping it 'local' look no further.

They brew their own beers, the infamous Matadragons or 'Dragon Slayer' being a strong contester for best beer in Spain. The head brewer is often in the bar chatting with locals, the croquetas featured in this article are made locally and are AMAZING. The wall is decorated with details on how to order a beer in several languages, including Aragonés, bringing down borders with BEER. Orwell would approve of both the friendly, local atmosphere and the fine selection of locally produced food and drink. Always a good vibe, happiness guaranteed. Finally, the prices, like the staff, are very kind.

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