Barcelona has a reputation as a very cool, cultured and trendy city and it’s also in the midst of a beer revolution. Although Estrella and the like dominate, there are now a growing number of smaller breweries popping up in the city and craft beer bars opening their doors.
We recently spent a weekend exploring the city and here’s a little look at some of the bars and breweries we visited in Barcelona.
Located in the Eixample area of the city, Garage Brewery was our first port of call as we’d arranged a brewery tour. It’s a fairly small brewery – in fact, it’s all in the backroom of the bar – but they’re looking to expand in the future. The brewer who showed us round was English (I’ve totally forgotten his name, sorry) and was also very helpful in recommending us places to visit in the city. Nice little bar with a good selection of grub too.
Carrer del Consell de Cent 261 – garagebeer.co.
A bit out of the city centre, Edge is located in a more industrial area and they regularly open their tasting room. To attend, you need to either bring your Edge Brewery growler, wear one of their t-shirts or sign-up for free in advance online (which is what we did). It’s not really a Catalonian brewery as such – it was founded by a group of Americans who were looking for somewhere outside of the US to set up, and one of them formerly worked for a company that produced brewery equipment so all of the gear was shipped over from the States. It’s got a nice atmosphere and is a decent place for a few beers.
Carrer de Llull 62 – edgebrewing.com.
Mikkeller Bar Barcelona
I had to start with Mikkeller as it was the opening of their Barcelona bar that piqued my interest in visiting the city. The look is very similar to Mikkeller & Friends in Copenhagen – clean Scandi-style design with plenty of wood. It’s not the cheapest bar in the city (in fact, we met someone in another bar who told us there are other venues in Barcelona serving Mikkeller and much more affordable prices) but it had a great selection. The people working behind the bar were also lovely and the majority of the clientèle were locals. Definitely one of my favourites.
Carrer de Valencia 202 – mikkeller.dk/location/mikkeller-bar-barcelona.
BierCab is a hugely popular bar serving excellent food and a wide range of quality beer from across the world. Because of its busyness, it can seem slightly chaotic but the staff have everything under control and will help you find a seat and take your order (a special shout out to the older British couple who robbed our seats while we were walking over to them though…). It’s also got a shop next door selling beer to take away and merch. I had my favourite beer of the weekend here: Omnipollo’s Noa Pecan Mud Cake Stout, which was an absolute joy. A must-visit.
Calle Muntaner 55 – biercab.com/en.
Ale and Hop
Like BierCab, Ale and Hop’s selection is dominated by beers from outside Spain and it also gets VERY busy. The back room is a restaurant area and when we visited on a Saturday evening, it was all booked up but the waiter found us a little spot on a ledge which was perfect for some beers and some nachos. A bonus for us was that all of the food was vegetarian. It’s popular for a reason!
(It’s worth noting that there is also a shop in Barcelona named Ale-Hop. It’s not a beer place, so don’t get mixed up!)
Carrer de les Basses de Sant Pere 10 – aleandhop.com.
This place seemed fairly new and was definitely what you’d describe as ‘cool’ with a steampunk/industrial design. It felt more like a restaurant than a bar though – most of the tables at the front were reserved but there are larger, communal tables at the back. We did think about grabbing some food but the veggie selection wasn’t particularly inspiring and was on the expensive side for what it was. Overall, it was pretty pricey and the service wasn’t as good as some other venues so we just had one and left – although the beer is very good. You can find Naparbier in a few places in Barcelona (BierCab, for example).
Carrer de la Diputació 223 – naparbcn.com.
Located close to some of the more touristy parts of the city in the Gothic Quarter, this is a small hole-in-the-wall style bar with about 15 beers on draught. They also serve a weird and wonderful range of beer cocktails and the music is good so we quite enjoyed it in here. However, we did think afterwards that we may have been overcharged on our second visit which was a bit of a shame but it’s still worth calling in if you’re in the area.
Carrer del Cardenal Casañas 7 – twitter.com/kaelderkold.
Close to Barceloneta, BlackLab Brewhouse is a very modern venue serving all their own beers. There’s two sections – a restaurant area with table service and a section next to the brewery without table service. They also sell growlers if you want to take some booze to the beach.
Palau del Mar, Plaça Pau Vila 1 – blacklab.es.
This seems like quite a new opening, as we did ask some locals about it and they’d never heard of it. It’s located close to the Parel-lel underground stop and had a huge range of beers on draught – about 40! Perfect if you like plenty to choose from and I think it’s worth the walk/underground journey to check it out. From what I remember, ICA is their own brewery.
Carrer de Vila i Vilà 7 – abirradero.com.
Rosses i Torrades
Described as a ‘beer cellar’, this is a fairly large beer shop with a small bar selling a couple of options on draught. It was another place popular with locals and is worth popping into if you’re in the area.
Carrer del Consell de Cent 192 – rossesitorrades.com.
Cerveseria La Resistència
A long and thin venue which felt a lot more traditional that some of the other spots we visited, this was more of a locals bar and had a relaxed atmosphere and a decent selection on draught. It’s more off the beaten track than some of the other beer bars if you’re looking for somewhere a bit quieter.
Carrer de Viladomat 107 – facebook.com/cerveseriaresistencia.
A short wander around from Barcelona’s cathedral, CatBar is a bustling and friendly little craft beer and vegan burger place. Cats dominate the décor although I’m not too sure if any of them actually reside in the bar – we didn’t see any, although dogs aren’t allowed to enter and have to wait outside so that suggests there could be? Fun, quirky and lively but not too rammed on a Saturday night.
Carrer de la Bòria 17 – facebook.com/CatBarCAT.
A more traditional bar located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. There’s plenty on offer here, both on draught and in bottle and it’s very casual. The décor was pretty cool too.
Carrer d’en Gignàs 25 – lacerveteca.com.
This place describes itself as a growler and beer market and it does feel more like somewhere to grab beer to takeaway rather than to sit in. It’s got huge glass windows and it was far too hot (we visited in March), and the beer selection was OK but there’s other venues I’d chose to visit over this place again. We did visit on a Friday afternoon at lunch time and were the only customers though – maybe the atmosphere is different of an evening.
Carrer de Còrsega 379 – thebeerket.com.
La Bona Pinta
We stumbled across this little shop and bar walking away from La Sagrada Familia. It has more than 100 bottled beers from across Spain, Belgium and the UK on sale to drink in or takeaway and there are also options on cask and keg (this were all British on our visit). There was also a nice chap working behind the bar who was keen to recommend us some other places to go in the city.
Carrer de la Diputació 433 – facebook.com/LaBonaPinta.
Brew Pub Le Sec
This was one of my favourite venues in the city. A little more off the beaten track, it felt more like a locals bar and we were the only English-speaking people in there at the time. It’s a brewpub and has the beer fermenting away on a mezzanine floor above the bar. It had a great atmosphere (and at one point, played Faith by Limp Bizkit which we enjoyed very much) and was somewhere we’d initially only popped into for one but ended up staying a few hours.
Carrer de Margarit 52 – facebook.com/brewpublesec.