Brewing passion

degustabeer Brewing passion

Craft beer production is all the rage right now. A phenomenon that is starting to make major inroads in the gourmet food market. Bearing little resemblance to the customary traditional selection of beers, craft beers offer more complex nuances, pleasing the more discerning palate and forming part of any in vogue gastro route worth its salt. They have also attracted a legion of loyal fans, both amateur and professional, eager to discover, enjoy and celebrate them.

Our love of beer goes way back. Born out by the discovery of archaeological remains, found in the Can Sadurní cave (Begues, Barcelona), which indicate that beer has been around in Europe since as early as 3000 BC. After extensive historical wanderings, Charles V did the rest prior to his coronation by bringing his master brewers with him to Spain and thereby importing a taste for beer that had already taken hold in Flanders. And so it developed, in ebbs and flows as time went by, bringing us to the situation we find in Spain today, standing firm as Europe’s fourth largest beer manufacturer and a place where, according to Cerveceros de España (the Spanish Brewers’ Association), of the 35 million hectolitres forecast to be produced by the end of 2015, craft beer will account for 100,000, an area predicted to increase its market share to 33% this year.


Catalonia is the most active Spanish region in this sector, home to 200 brands and some 70 microbreweries. As a rule, craft beer production is an initiative attributed to the small businessman, someone for whom a love of the drink has seen a hobby turn into a business and a way of life.


 Barcelona Beer Festival co-organizer and secondary school teacher, Mikel Rius, is an example of just that. “Brewer’s yeast fermented an overwhelming passion for craft beer in me many years ago, over which time I have been making it as a hobby and demonstrating that passion by taking part in numerous projects”, he reveals. Culturally, says Mikel, we are still light years away from the rest of Europe, where it is common that almost every village has its own microbrewery. “It’s exciting to see whole families coming to beer festivals. Grandparents teaching their grandchildren about beer-making. Yes, we are lagging behind because of that, but we are on the right track – the craft beer movement is an unstoppable force”.


 At the moment, he is committed to promoting the rich diversity of this sector through initiatives such as the Degusta Beer Festiva at Barcelona Degusta, which brings a selection of over 300 types of beer from all around the world to Barcelona, in addition to showcasing some dozen styles of brewery.


 An opportunity to inspire interest in people of all tastes: “We must steer clear of intellectual elitism. Some are happy to stick to drinking the traditional beers they’ve always enjoyed, pure and simple, while others are interested in exploring different flavours, aromas and nuances. All are welcome! No doctrine – just pleasure”, he concludes.



Rise of the Machines

AircraftAssembly Rise of the Machines

Years ago a commercial airplane could only generate a mere 30Kb of information on each flight  and in the last decade our pockets and wrists have been the main target of technological innovation in filling them with smartwatches, smartphones, smartglasses and other smart gadgets. But the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) is going to change all this.

Today, the sensors in an airplane are capable of producing up to 500Gb of data per flight and the technologies used in the Internet are transforming workshop floor that had been abandoned to the few robots that took over some of the plants decades ago.

That means that factories and the objects they produce will soon start to receive the same irritating messages about updates that annoy us so when they pop up on our phones, but which bring improvements for our devices and their operation and also for productivity, efficiency and companies’ performance.

So Industry as we know it is about to change and the main players in world industry are well aware of this. According to a survey carried out at the World Economic Forum, 72% of senior executives believe that the Industrial Internet will be revolutionary. Many of those key players will gather in Barcelona next week for the first Internet of Things Solutions World Congress (IOTSWC) to rapidly pave the path to a more connected industry worldwide.

The InesTable, the unstable table

Ines tablel2 The InesTable, the unstable tableAt the Furniture Showroom held at Fira de Barcelona last June, the Carpenters’ Guild exhibited the InesTable on their stand, designed by architect Enric Miralles (Barcelona, 1955-2000). This is a real masterpiece of late 20th century Catalan design which Miralles planned in 1993, one year after the start of his partnership with Benedetta Tagliabue with whom he founded the EMBT Studio.

The table came about as the result of a proposal that Miralles received to take part in a trade show. He designed the table ‘ad hoc’, but as he was developing the project the piece became more and more personal. “He was asked to design an object for a small exhibition that would sum up his philosophy and planning approach, and he sketched it in the form of a brain; he did two versions which were symmetrical yet not identical,” explain the professionals at the Miralles-Tagliabue studio, EMBT.

In fact, he asked the carpenter to make two tables, both in solid oak, like the office furniture of the early 20th century. He kept one of them at his home on Carrer Avinyó in Barcelona.

Miralles himself recognized that the design of a table is a challenge for any professional. When he planned the InesTable his intention was to create an object that would be versatile, dynamic and adaptable to different spaces, times and activities. And he most definitely achieved that aim: the table has four pairs of legs comprising one fixed and one mobile part, plus a fixed fifth leg which appears in the prototype that the architect kept at his home. The supports underpin six elements in different shapes and sizes which make up the board, all interconnected by hinges that facilitate their movements. Thus depending on the time or individual preferences, the table can be transformed by swivelling one section or dropping another, or several at a time, to create one area for thinking, another for playing, and another for working or just enjoying a meal or a game of chess. It all depends.

Today, the table takes pride of place in the EMBT Studio, occupying its centre and its heart. Everything revolves around this multifaceted object. “It’s an essential part of the office; it’s the table where we hold important meetings to discuss project with the different teams and to meet with important clients. It represents the office philosophy in terms of thinking and acting and it keeps Enric at the forefront of our minds,” say the designers at the office.

If anyone is interested in getting a close-up look, the InesTable will be on display between 25 July and 25 September at Palau de Casavells (Casavells, Girona) as part of the exhibition being opened this Saturday by Benedetta Tagliabue.

Who invented fashion shows?

Of all the different social and business events, fashion shows continue to occupy a pole position that not even the all-powerful internet has managed to threaten. In spite of bloggers, trendsetters and cool hunters, not only have they not lost one iota of glamour but continue to be the number one tool for showcasing fashion. But what about their history?

The fashion show is an ‘invention’ that dates back to the late 19th century. Previously, information about new fashions was disseminated through a very limited specialist press, in paintings of high-society women and by dolls (yes, ceramic or rag dolls) which seamstresses used as miniature models to show the creations in their workshops.

It was thanks to Charles Frederick Worth, the British designer regarded as the father of haute couture (United Kingdom, 1825 – Paris, 1895) that gowns managed to reach much more spectacular venues outside designers’ ateliers. Accustomed as he was to dressing high-society European and American women, he was the first to introduce the catwalk as a new method of promoting fashion, using models who glided up and down catwalks set up in theatres, palaces and society salons. He was also the inventor of concepts such as ‘collections’ and ‘branding’, stitching his firm’s label (griffe) inside each garment.

But the true boom in catwalk shows came during the Belle Époque at the instigation of French modiste Paul Poiret (Paris, 1879 – Paris, 1944) who organized a tour of the leading European and American capitals to present his creations. For the first time, catwalk shows were transformed into high-profile international events attended by journalists and foreign buyers.

And in this history, Barcelona and its trade fair venue have a place of honour, being the first Spanish city to organize a fashion show. This took place in 1920 at the Exhibition Centre, establishing the ground rules of a fashion show that would become institutionalized two years later. Fifty years on, Fira de Barcelona hosted the first fashion show of bikinis and later miniskirts.

Barcelona has kept the tradition alive and continues to host leading fashion events such as 080, Denim by Première Vision and Barcelona Bridal Week , with catwalk shows whose importance continues to keep the Catalan capital at the centre of the world’s gaze.

An Easy Rider in Fira

PostHarley2015 An Easy Rider in Fira

Deep in the HR offices of Fira and behind contracts and pay slips hides a Harley Davidson, his rider Ramon Aceytuno and his passion for these motorcycles and the lifestyle devoted by those who hang their white-collar shirt every Friday to put on a leather vest and roll their bikes like him.

Being a biker and riding a Harley for me is like unwinding from the routine of everyday life, and rolling on these machines is extremely rewarding” says Aceytuno who currently drives a black 2010 Dyna Street Bob but whose first Harley was a Sportster 883 XL bought in 1993, “which I still have” points out.

His passion comes from very far: “I have a memory of childhood in which a family member took me to the movies to see the Easy Rider, and the aesthetics of these bikes struck me deeply.” As deep as it did to the thousands of fans who gather at local, state or international periodic concentrations. “In this world there are meetings and meetings throughout the year, some massive and other exclusive to certain motorclubs, members and fans where you always end up meeting people that share your tastes and preferences -states Aceytuno- and it is in fact thanks to this world that I met my partner “. So Cupid also rolls a Harley.

Ramon will surely be one of the hundreds of thousands who will visit Fira de Barcelona t and the city his weekend to concentrate at the Barcelona Harley Days which fill the Montjuïc venue with leather vests, rock & roll and of course motorcycles every July.

“Kidnap” at Fira de Barcelona

PostSecuestro2 “Kidnap” at Fira de BarcelonaSuspense… a great deal of suspense is looming over Fira de Barcelona these days. Having become a railway station for the crazy adventures of Anacleto: Agente Secreto and an airport where some of the most bizarre situations took place in Ahora o Nunca, the time has now come for the thriller genre and Secuestro.

The film, directed by Mar Targarona (Muere mi Vida or Abuela de Verano) and produced by Rodar y Rodar Cine (El Orfanato and Los ojos de Julia), stars Blanca Portillo along with Antonio Dechent, Vicente Romero, José Coronado, Marc Domènech and Macarena Gómez, amongst others.

In the film, Portillo plays the part of Patricia, a prestigious lawyer and desperate mother who decides to take justice into her own hands to punish the presumed kidnapper of her son.

Some of the Gran Via venue’s meeting rooms and parking areas were used to recreate the protagonist’s office, the office car park and other scenes where the new film’s action takes place. However, we’ll have to wait until its release next year to find out who is the baddie!

The father of Sónar

SónarSynth The father of Sónar

Little did Elisha Gray imagine while inventing the musical telegraph back in 1876 that his invention would eventually result in the synthesizer which in turn would become the central element, but not he only one, of a new musical genre in its own right: electronic music.

In its 2015 edition, the Sónar –the leading international electronic music event–pays tribute to this historic instrument through a small sample of some of the synths that have marked different moment in the history of this music such as the Rolands or the OSCar (Oxford Synthesiser Company) together with some of today’s most revolutionary models as the ones manufactured by Novation.

All have been basic working tools for artists like George Clinton (one of the fathers of the Funk) or current Bonobo, JETS and Jupiter Lion, who have been part of the posters Sonar in 2014 and 2015.

As a last curiosity, science fiction lovers also have experienced two models WASP, no physical keyboard synthesizer in the late 70s with the sound effects of the Doctor Who series were created.

Denim flies to Orion

PostDenim Denim flies to Orion

There’s nothing better than an adventure to Orion to identify with the most rebellious and adventurous denim spirit, or at least that’s what we’re told by the experts from Denim Première Vision, the show dedicated to jeanswear that will be revealing the ‘Denim Constellation’ trends at the event. Rusty colours, rustic/worn-out styles, ripped jeans, stonewashing and mottling effects in earth tones evoke the spirit of the adventurer, returning to the simplicity of basic (tough) values to start again in another dimension, with a roomy, comfortable cut and super-elastic fabric that allows a full range of movement in 360 degrees.

Our interstellar journey continues as far as the ‘Dark Eclipse’: every nuance of black and smoky-toned finishes imbue this most fashionable of garments, tinting it in shades of grey with flashes of silver and metal. And for a spacewalk what could be better than the ‘Zero Gravity’ style, featuring blends of quilted fabrics, denim with synthetic leather and cotton jersey, giving shape to garments that are ideal for zero gravity, provided they obey the three essential commandments: comfort, volume and ‘tweedy’ textures.

Though there are some exceptions: rigid, stretch-free denim is also back, aimed – according to the experts – at the most purist denim fans, who may just be hippies nostalgic for the 60s, 70s and 80s with a preference for solid ground over space travel to relaunch their message of Peace & Love, enveloped, naturally enough, in skin-tight, high-waist, bell-bottom jeans.

 Download the Autumn/Winter 2016/17 trends here

Create your own home

Wikihouse Create your own homeWe started off by printing documents, then moved on to photos, and now, though it seems unbelievable, we can even print our own homes.

At least, this is the idea of Wikihouse an innovative digital manufacturing formula that will allow anyone to create their own home using the free software concept. The process is a simple one: You download the basic plans from the internet, free of charge; you personalize them according to your needs using a software program ( and you print each of the pieces on a 3D printer which, being the most expensive part of the process, you can find at the nearest ‘fab lab. You can then assemble the pieces manually until you have your own tailor-made house.

At the recent edition of Beyond Building Barcelona-Construmat, this idea from the realms of science fiction actually materialized in the shape of a 40 sq. m house built with panels of recycled wood. This is just one of the examples of the move that is being made toward
s more innovative, ground-breaking and imaginative formulas for the new construction sector of the future.

Driving a dream

BlogFerrari Driving a dream

At the wheel of a Ferrari 430 Spider, the adrenaline rush is certain. The roar of the 490 HP engine in action and a Formula 1-like gearshift . And although it is able to go from 0-100 km/h in less than five seconds the sense of security in their inside it is amazing.

These days at the Barcelona International Motor Show, motor enthusiasts can not only watch car premieres live but live the unique experience of driving legendary luxury car brands like Ferrari or Lamborghini: 7 kilometers through the urban circuit of Montjuic, 15 minutes flying on asphalt, driving emotions … fulfilling a dream.

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