Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Craft Beer in Barcelona

I have a crush on this boy in Barcelona.

Don't laugh! I'm totally smitten (check my twitter) and, when I wasn't posing bottles for beerporn or biking around the city on a beer treasure map hunt, I was heart shaped eyes staring at the boy.
Romantic longing is a great motivator for travel.

And so is beer hunting.


Barcelona, like a lot of places around the EU, is budding with craft beer interest. The culture is spreading! So much so that new things are opening up every few months.

Newest of them is BlackLab brewing. An American influenced brewpub with a trendy handsome American head brewer, outdoor seating around the corner from the beach and some guest beers to compliment their fairly well done house brews.

Although I skipped out on the brewery tour (8.50€ for an hour long tour with the brewer, a tasting flight, half pint of beer and a souvenir), I had some great chats with staff and regulars.

I could get used to this kind of service.

The Dry Stout was pretty killer. Vanilla notes, well balanced and perfect on the palate for the style. I had a few, while the coffee people aeropressed.

"Go to Caravelle, get the beer map, bring back beer."
                        -the boy

I have to find a paper map to find good beer? What kind of circus is this place? He said that I wanted the map, I wanted to use Google, but then... I do love a beer mission. Me and my rental bike headed out to find the map that would tell me where to where the hidden beer was to be found.

Caravelle does collaborations with Krut. The beer is fairly basic but well done. Caravelle itself is like a day bar/café type place with fancy type font and a home made feel. Lots of people on their computers, three draught lines and friendly staff. And.. The map.

I paid 3.50€ for this treasure and didn't regret it for a moment. The boy was right, I wanted the map.

Rosses i torrades houses everything you want. The owner was charming and helpful, they have some tap times, mikeller hop vodka and a great selection. I picked up silly stuff :

It wasn't an Ipa, just as it said. Blah sweet Belgian style yeast with a bunch of hops. Il drink it, but I won't like it.

This little guy is the coolest thing ever. No idea where to find more, but it was 2€ and effing delicious. I want more!

I used the map throughout my two days in Barcelona but also relied heavily on local insights. One of my new friends tipped me to check out Mosquito - craft beer and dumpling. Of course.
Food, service, beer and intelligent beer serving staff, Mosquito Tapas wasn't on the map, but it's better that way.

Hidden beer bar heaven!

Look out for a bunch if this brand :

It's the local macro and the massive brewpub is somewhere. I've been before and was superficially entertained. Kid level stuff. Back to the real beer hunting.

Also :

Garage Beer Co. is a killer new local micro brew with a local to sample stuff.

Edge Brewing is getting bigger and better. A proper brewery with a wise range and fantastic team. I have a vid from my tour there on the ol' YouTube if you want some moving pictures from the place.

Ale & Hop is brilliant. Go. Stay. Eat. Talk with locals and outstanding beer geek staff/owner. Buy bottles. Repeat.

All in all, I can say Barcelona is on the rise in traveling beer geek sustainability. You can survive there, although there is a lot of craft beer, the map will guide you and you'll be impressed.

Feel free to drop me an email at Nitch@tastingnitch.com if you're heading that way and I'll connect you with my beer expert nerds in the area.

I'm off to go wash the heart shapes out if my eyes and get back to reality.

Paris beer week is coming up, folks!


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