“I’m just an animal looking for a home,” penned Talking Heads genius David Byrne in what is most certainly my favourite Talking Heads’ song, This Must Be Place. In fact, it’s simply one of my favourite songs ever. I found myself sat in Central Beers as a superb cover of This Must Be the Place played in the background and I thought this lyric particularly appropriate to me as I now began my life in my seventh home in the past ten years. Marbella is to be my new permanent home, but by the second night of the four days I’ve spent in Málaga, Málaga was certainly beginning to feel like a home too. I’d fallen in love with the city and this bar in particular.
Recently, I waxed lyrical about Cruzcampo and their brewery bar, La Fábrica, in the Soho area of Malaga. Undoubtedly, that place is immense, but it failed to claim the much coveted crown of ‘My favourite bar in Málaga’. It’s early days yet, having only spent four days overall in a city I am going to be visiting a lot, but that crown currently sits firmly on the head of Central Beers.
It is probably unsurprising for you to learn that Central Beers is indeed located in the very heart of Málaga. So if you have spent the day down at the Malagueta beach, visiting Alcazaba and maybe even watching Málaga CF play, then Central Beers is as good a watering hole as I’ve found. Especially for a man of my beer tastes.
As I’ve said on these pages before, craft beer is yet to truly erupt in southern Spain, yet at Central Beers that is all that you will find there. A haven of craft beer away from the usual Estrellas and San Miguels offered by the surrounding tapas bars. There is usually a mix of about 10-15 beers with a plethora of IPAs, darks, sours and whatever else you could think of. There’s also a nice split between local, Málaga-produced beer and beers from other parts of the continent, although with a focus on Belgium it seems from my first few visits. Of course, I mainly focused on the local Málaga beers and I’m happy to report so far that there have been no duds and all have been excellent – and noticeably strong too. There is a bottles fridge too full to brim of all the current craft beer favourites – Tiny Rebel, BrewDog, Cloudwater – if something off the draught menu doesn’t take your fancy. The website claims that there are 150 beers to choose from overall and looking around the place I’d say that is probably accurate. Of course, there is a food menu to keep you fuelled too with a mix of standard Spanish tapas and then generally burgers and steaks.
Happy memories are already firmly attached to Central Beers too and not just because of the beers. On meeting up with fellow Swansea fan Dean, who was holidaying in Málaga, for a beer, he then brought his family along to Central Beers. I always say that no matter where you go in the world, us Merthyr folk always seem to find each other and the same was true here with Dean’s wife Jayne and father-in-law Cledwyn hailing from my hometown. Further adding to the it’s-a-small-worldness of this, it seemed Cledwyn knew a lot of the same people as me including Bun, another Merthyr hero who owns a Welsh pub near my dad’s home in Brittany. After another strong local beer, we were soon on the phone to Bun in his Plouye home after he’d closed up his pub for the night. It was all a little bit surreal. It did get more surreal after that when we went to Be Happy pub, but I won’t go into that place now – that is definitely worth a blog of its own and I’m still not even sure if I just dreamt that place because it was so bonkers. It’ll get a revisit for sure.
Anyway, back to Central Beers and there is one final thing to shout about here: the music. My word the music. I find it hard to define my taste in music, but if we are going to be really lazy it is ‘indie’ with a side order of electronica I suppose, but with far more stop-offs en route. In here, I seemed to be constantly pressing ‘Shazam’ on my phone as I was introduced to loads of cool new stuff, which all sat well with the laidback and cool vibe of the bar itself. I’m now a big fan of TV Girl, Poolside and Sure Sure amongst others – so thanks for that too Central Beers. It was the latter of those that jumped out at me though, thanks to the superb and heartwarming cover of the aforementioned Talking Heads’ This Must Be The Place. A cover which has been played repeatedly on my Spotify since and has sort of become the early soundtrack to my Spanish adventure.
This Must Be The Place is a song which is for me one of the most lyrically brilliant and original love songs ever written with its ode to domesticity. Again, I’m taking lines out of their context here a bit for my own good, but the “Home, it’s where I want to be / But I’m guess I’m already there” seemed fitting again. As mentioned earlier, Malaga did feel homely already and if I can find more good craft beer places like this then I’m sure the rest of Spain can feel like ‘home’ too. As for Málaga though, Central Beers definitely must be the place.