Louis Moritz (source (.doc)) was an Alsatian who settled in Barcelona in 1851 and, two years later, started working for a local brewer, Ernest Ganivet. In 1856 he started his own business, and in 1859 Luis Moritz y Compañía bought Joan Maurer’s brewery at the Santa Madrona gate. In 1864 a new brewery was opened at Casanova 2, and in 1894 Louis/Luis built a house for himself at Ronda Sant Antoni 41, with features like a Gambrinus and hop (Catalan vernacular synonym: boca de llop, wolf’s mouth) and malt motifs. In the early 70s the business got into severe difficulties, blamed on the oil price hikes. I hope this doesn’t mean they were cutting costs by using industrial ethanol.

Google has helpfully digitised (literally) the 1857 Municipal Ordinances (Ordenanzas Municipales de la Ciudad de Barcelona), Articles 170-1 of which say:

170. It is forbidden to establish factories of beer, tallow candles, or soap, tanneries, or other similar within the City or Barceloneta.
171. Those already in existence will be allowed to continue if, on being visited or inspected, they are found not to be highly detrimental to public health, in terms of the premises themselves and their situation.

(170. No podrá establecerse dentro de la Ciudad, ni en la Barceloneta, fábrica alguna de cerveza, velas de sebo, jabon, curtidos ú otros análogas.
171. Las que ahora existan podrán continuar, á no ser que, de una visita, ó inspección facultativa resultare que son muy perjudiciales á la salud pública, atendido el local de los establecimientos y el punto en que se hallan situados.)

I guess the 1864 brewery must have got round this by being situated on the Montjuïc side of Ronda Sant Antoni, outside the walls. Ah! how the world has altered: contemporary evil, in the shape of hordes of prostitutes, is all to be found on the city side, while you can walk down the Moritz side with nary a “Hello darling.”

However, this may all change quite soon. When Moritz went belly-up the family hung onto the brand, and they now intend to open a monstrous drinking hole–Fàbrica Moritz–in the restored Sant Antoni buildings, out-Oirishing the Oirish theme bars and the legendary local turn of the century Drink Hall (Rambla+Nou). This clearly fits in perfectly with the mayor’s belated stop-them-pis$$ing-in-the-streets–(vomiting’s-OK) ordinance.

(The ordinances are worth a read. Some highlights: the articles dealing with nude bathing (inc horses, dogs and soldiers), nightwatchmen and something else which I’ve forgotten but do remind me when you find it.)

Similar posts


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *