Grégory Tapol

The best beer is the one you share!

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Togetherness in beery-ness

By Cecilie Gamst Berg 

Woeful is the man who has to choose between rugby and beer, for the two are welded together and nothing can come between them. 

Still, that was the heavy choice Grégory Tapot had to make when he woke up one day, 40 years old, and thought “I need a big change.”

 

After many years in marketing in his native France, where he worked for L’Oreal, Coca-cola and other “big ones”, travelling all over the world, he wanted to do something he really loved and realised that, apart from his wife and two children, he only had two big loves: Rugby and beer. 

 

“It was hard! But as I was becoming a bit old for rugby, the choice made itself. Beer it was.” 

The family left France shortly after and set off for Mallorca where they found the perfect house in the idyllic, traditionally Mallorquin village Bunyola, a short car ride from Palma but largely unchanged for decades if not centuries. 

 

But watch out, there’s now a modern new kid on the block! For although beer has been around for a long time, Tapot has tapped into the zeitgeist of the microbrewery movement to create a truly modern brewery/gathering point in tiny Bunyola, and called it Cervezas Juntos, ‘beers together.’ 

“The best beer is the one you share!” he enthuses, showing off the brewery’s tables, stools and sofas, all of which he has made himself. Here, in a locale known as “the smallest supermarket in the world” he can comfortably seat 15 – 20 people and still be within the boundaries of the ever changing Covid rules. 

 

“Oh, Covid. I first set up my microbrewery in 2019 in a building near the airport. I had all the documents, all the licences, but then I was told: “you can’t make beer here!” I said I had already started, but no, something about brewing having to take place only on the ground floor. I looked everywhere for a new place, and – so funny – in the end found the ideal place right around the corner from where we had been living the whole time.”

 

No sooner had Tapot proudly opened Cervezas Juntos in January this year when -  boom! Covid!

 

“It was the worst moment ever to open a brewery, but…” he shrugs and smiles. No, not a “Gallic” shrug. A perfectly ordinary shrug. For Tapot has bigger fish to fry than sit around Gallically shrugging. He has a website to build and clients to serve. 

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“I’m in it for the long haul and I want to show people that we can do things even in these circumstances,” he says. 

 

For even now in the dark winter of the Covidity, clients are coming in in dribs and drabs, and the “bar” is filling up the three days a week he is open. 

 

He provides workshops for people who want to make and bottle their own brew, and the rest of the days he spends cleaning. For in beer making, there is a lot of cleaning. 

 

From the seating area you can see everything that goes on in the brewing area, much like the one-way mirror in a police station, where five barrels, each holding 5000 litres of beer, stand gleaming, trying to outshine the sparkling white wall tiles. The cleanliness is overwhelming. It has to be in beer production, and as a newcomer in the village – Bunyola is the kind of village where someone who moved in 50 years ago is seen as a newcomer – Tapot attracts a lot of attention from the authorities. 

 

“ I have been checked three times already. But here, everything is above board. I won’t even put homemade snacks on the bar. Not even covered by a glass lid. I’m doing everything properly.”

The brewing process from hop to bottle normally takes a month, but clients who want to see their own name and the production date on a Cervezas Juntos bottle can come and pick up the product they have made after only two weeks. 

 

For Tapot, the virus could probably not have hit at a worse time, but he is philosophical about it. 

 

“I have nothing to complain about. This is what I wanted to do. I am living the dream!”

 

If you want to share a moment of beer together with other people, you ought to swing around Bunyola. Cervezas Juntos  is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and if you’re lucky, you will even be entertained on guitar by the owner himself. 

Fábrica de Cervezas Juntos

 

Passeig Antoni Estarellas, 5, 07110 Bunyola, Illes Balears

Thurs, Friday 6pm - 12am

Saturday 9am - 2pm, 6pm - 12am

+34 699 07 87 48

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London Olympics 2012

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