Friday, 12 June 2015

People #1: Montse Virgili & Carlos Rodríguez

Today I start this new section called People. Any guesses on what's about? Yes, it is about people. More specifically, it is about those who I've met because of beer; individuals that do fascinating stuff and that have somehow been important to me. I'm glad to start with the following interview, that I was asked to write for the X edition of the local beer festival that started it all: Mostra de Cervesa Artesana de Mediona. The interview will be published in Catalan in the official booklet of the festival, but here's a translation.

I can still remember the first time I visited Montse and Carlos at their home, in April 2011. I met with a group of beer aficionados to pay a visit to a very remote place in Alt Penedès, a great wine territory, where some of the most popular and rare beers of the moment were being produced. It was supposed to be another beer-related visit, just like the ones I had been doing for some time thanks to the subtle microbrewing boom that had very recently taken place in Catalonia. But it turned out to be a turning point on the way I understood beer. Moreover, it progressively meant a vital change of perspective.

On that sunny day of early spring I didn't visit a tiny brewery, not even a country house. That day I was invited to a true home. I met a hospitalary family that left everything behind during a period of economic growth. They switched a stable urban life for an uncertain one in a tiny little village of little more than 1.000 inhabitants. Idylic as it sounds, it can't be understood without years of sacrifices to pursue an own idea of a life-style.