The old mythological brewery in Barcelona

* The author is part of the community of readers of La Vanguardia.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
17 March 2023 Friday 21:44
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The old mythological brewery in Barcelona

* The author is part of the community of readers of La Vanguardia

Gambrinus is the name of a mythological character in the Netherlands. He arose within folklore during the period of the Middle Ages. He is compared to a jovial and plump character, drinking beer and some legends make him the inventor of this drink.

They said that Prometheus was the one who brought fire to men and is currently practically forgotten by the general public. On the other hand, there are Gambrinus clubs all over the world, which demonstrates the different importance that humanity attaches to one or another civilizing character.

The primitive Gambrinus brewery in Barcelona was located at Portal de Santa Madrona number 9, a street that connected the Rambla de Santa Mónica and the Avenida del Marqués del Duero, a colorful place from the end of the 19th century where the best and most worst in town

Old book stalls, breweries and places of prostitution, a place of entertainment for the soldiers from the former Atarazanas barracks and the sailors whose ships were docked at the dock, who spent the night on the ships or in nearby areas and found their entertainment there. nearby area.

Some members of the bourgeoisie also came to the place to carry out their nightly forays, away from prying eyes, without citizen traffic. Whoever went there knew what was there.

Valentín Pons opened the first Gambrinus in 1881 on the corner with Montserrat street, as a Brewery Restaurant with typical Alsatian products, with rooms for travelers, that is, a hotel. He was the most popular around. And it had as neighbors on the upper floors the Mont d'Or furniture, a place of relief after the great voyages of sailors.

Very close, on Montserrat street, was the Teatro Circo Barcelonés, which completed the circle of distraction for tourists who were only looking for leisure on their walks in the area. From Las Ramblas to Calle Mina, on its mountain side, it was a continuous swarm of men looking for a place of recreation, not in vain we can review the businesses open in this section:

Next, we found that three of the many brothels in the area were located in the following buildings:

Despite the attempt to preserve the brewery from the environment that surrounded it and having carried out works on the first floor to prepare it for holding banquets, it was soon possible to verify that, despite the interest of the company, its situation made it impossible for the further development of the brewery.

This motivated Valentín Pons, in 1882, to decide to open a new restaurant on the Rambla de Santa Mónica corner with Pasaje Comercio, currently Pasaje de la Banca, which brings visitors from the Ramblas closer to the Wax Museum.

Valentín Pons conditioned the premises as a bar, café and on the ground floor, he installed the billiards room and the restaurant on the mezzanine.

Already entered the 20th century, the Gambrinus Brewery was moved to the Plaza de Catalunya, occupying the premises of the Munich Brewery, which closed its doors on a chamfer with Rivadeneyra.

Both breweries carried out an event that is impossible to see nowadays, which was to make a joint stand at the Montjüic trade fair, presenting themselves with Catalan Beers.

Luis Moritz Trautmann arrived from Alsace to Barcelona in 1851, founded a brewery with a partner in 1854 on Arco de Cires street and the success made him expand it and move to the Portal de Santa Madrona. After several changes, he was forced, in 1864, to build a new factory in Ronda San Antonio at the corner of Casanovas street, which was in operation until the 1960s.

August Kuentzmann Damm settled in Barcelona in 1872. In 1876, he founded his own brewery on Viladomat street with his cousin Joseph Damm. In 1905, he transferred the production of beers to the new factory of the Dos de Mayo block, Cartagena, Industria, Roussillon, which received the name of La Bohemia to remember his origins.