Despite visiting Barcelona quite frequently over the years, I’d never realised it had a decent and growing craft beer scene. Until now that is. Thanks to this recent discovery, here are five of the best craft beer bars in Barcelona worth a visit.
A couple of family holidays aside, I’ve been going to Barcelona every year for the last five years. I’m lucky enough in my job as a tech journalist to visit for a trade show called MWC. I’ve always just assumed that craft beer wasn’t a thing over there; after all I’d only been offered Estrella in almost every bar and restaurant we’d been to. Everyone drinks it and no one seems to complain.
It’s perhaps due to getting more into craft beer over the last year or two (following likeminded people on Twitter, Facebook groups etc) that I found out there was in fact a thriving craft beer scene in the Spanish city. So this year I decided to find out where the best places to go are (with my colleagues, too).
Now, I’ve not visited every bar to come up with what I think are the best, but these are certainly what I consider to be five of the best. You’ll notice that BrewDog’s bar in Barcelona is missing. This is because a) I didn’t go there and b) it’s the most obvious place to go so I’d rather point out other options.
Anyway here we go…
Garage Beer Co.
Like most of the bars here, we popped into Garage for a pre-dinner drink but it was so good we went back afterwards. It’s a little way from La Rambla but certainly walkable and very close to the aforementioned BrewDog bar so you could tick both off in one go.
There’s a great vibe at Garage Beer with a distinct style which pleased my eye at least – a mish mash of sofas and lights with the micro-brewery on show, too. Although it doesn’t have as many taps as some of the below bars at just 10 (+1 cask engine which wasn’t in use), we found the beer to be top-notch. I particularly liked the While Wheels IPA and No/Country Imperial Stout but there’s a lot more.
Don’t ask me how to pronounce it but this is a gem of a bar tucked just off La Rambla that you’d be lucky to just stumble upon. It’s got 15 taps and some interesting beers in bottles too. I had probably my favourite beer of the trip here in the form of Lab No 005, a New England IPA from Cerveses La Pirata.
It’s cosy and there’s somewhat limited space at the bar but head down the stairs and there’s a cool almost cave-like seating area adorned with pictures of famous musicians. The tunes playing through the system were pretty good.
This bar is also just off La Rambla but a bit easier to find than Kælderkold. It’s clean, spacious and friendly (I particularly like all the exposed brick). The bar has a whopping 30 taps with many being local beers.
Sitting at the bar is always great in my opinion and the staff were really helpful. We sampled a few and I enjoyed a Saison called Boris by Freaks Brewing. The food also looked good, although we didn’t try any.
BlackLab Brewhouse & Kitchen
If you find yourself near the harbour or zoo then BlackLab (as in Labrador not laboratory) is well worth a visit. As the name suggests, it’s a bar and restaurant serving mainly burgers. We sat inside on a chilly February evening but there’s also plenty of outside space, too (I preferred being able to see all the brewing gear anyway).
There was a little confusion over which beers were off but the ones we got to try (all in-house) were pretty good. The highlight being the Serie-X Blackwave peach cobbler – an imperial stout with vanilla (although I didn’t get much peach flavour). Since the ribs (my usual go to) were sold out I opted for the BlackLab burger which was ok, but the house fries were the star.
Barcelona Beer Company
A little way off La Ramba, Barcelona Beer Company is similar to Beer’linale in that it’s got a clean and bright interior. There’s plenty of wood and lots of football references if that’s your thing. I wasn’t so keen on the beer list being displayed on TVs mind.
Although the beer was nice it was my least favourite for a few reasons. A light above us kept switching on and off, the waiter was in a strange mood and there’s very limited space to sit at the bar. These are all very small things, though, and the bar is worth a visit if you’re in the area. I got a flight of four beers for 8 Euro (I think) which isn’t bad.
So there you have it, five great craft beer bars in Barcelona to seek out next time you’re there. I’ve put a map together below to help you find them (including BrewDog) and I’d also like to thank Matt Chinnery and Mark for the tips (oh and my colleagues for traipsing around with me).
Read next: Craft beer events calendar 2017.