While living steps from the Mercat Sant Antoni and minutes from Plaça Catalunya in the summer of 2010, I passed almost daily a boarded up building, fringing on the edge of Raval and L'Eixample, two of Barcelona's most stepped through neighborhoods. One could have easily overlooked this rather massive side structure adorned with graffiti, out-of-date concert posters and unsuspicious brown paper. But now that the veil has been lifted, in particular when the final rays of the sun tuck behind the mountainside, the flourescent lights of Ceveseria Moritz come into plain view. Since 1856 this brew, and nearly 200 year old factory, has produced hands down the "Barcelona beer," until 2000 when production was taken to Zaragoza, some 300 kilometers inland. An outrage of sorts ensued, as locals - in the know - had less difficulty asking for the beer that was once tried and true Barna. However, the prodigal son has returned and they call him, Fàbrica Moritz Barcelona.
Abundant yet carefully exposed brick of the industrial area, blended with sleek metal reinforcements and a lighting system that makes everybody look good, seem to have made the five year construction wait time worthwhile. On the way to the bathroom one will pass large vats of the brewing and fermentation rooms, vintage posters, wide concrete floors and angled mirrors creating a sort of labrynith from point A to point B; clearly a detour to take-in the scenery will be necessary. You may even bump into the wine bar, bakery or concept shop along the way.
Jean Nouvel, the French architect responsible for Barcelona's notorious and celebrated modern glow-stick phallus, the Torre Agbar, is responsible for the new design - which thus far is pulling in exceptional reviews from critics and bar crawlers.
Jordi Vilà, most famously known in the Ciudad Condal for his expertise at Alkimia, is in charge of the menu direction for Fàbrica Mortiz, where he has welcomed the "average" to appease the masses. Nothing fancy, just elevated fresh ingredients and presentation of the standard tapas from around the corner, alas an answer to the working class' dilemma of being/feeling chic without spending the dough to do so.
I opted for the summer refresher "una clara" a blend of 50% beer on tap and 50% Fanta limón
Las patatas bravas of Fàbrica Moritz Barcelona
Design concepts of Moritz Barcelona advertising- modernity and antiquity
Visit their site: Moritz
Visit their restaurant/beer factory:
Ronda de Sant Antoni 39-43
Barcelona, Catalunya 08011
Metro: Sant Antonio or Plaça Catalunya
+34 93 423 54 34
While in these dire economic times it might seem odd to invest so much money into a product or project at the hands of a famous designer and a well-known chef, the response and pride that this brand has created for its residents and the city of Barcelona, as well as an appealing to the eye space, have been a welcome respite from other civilian hardships; creating a gathering spot for people of many different classes, backgrounds and interests to bond over the common Mediterranean tradition of sipping a beer with friends and chatting until the sun comes up.
Update: After a disappointing meal here this week, I advise to not spend or expect much from the culinary side of this establishment. Service was slow (in fairness they were slammed), food was rushed and sloppy. However, if you're curious to see the space, which I still stand by as being one of the more interesting interiors - and historically speaking important buildings of L'Eixample - sit down and order a 2 euros draft beer, and be sure to hit the bathroom on the way out.