Where are Real Ale Breweries in Barcelona Spain
The English populace drinking huge quantities of fermented vegetable products flavoured by hops is a full-time hobby come lifestyle. Even Plato said, “He is a wise man who invented beer”. Who are we lesser mortals to argue? Not needing any more encouragement we crawled around beery Barcelona for a need to alleviate the winter social lubricantitus.
In Spain, there are a plethora of English bars. You are never far away from a pint of wife-beater or the amber-nectar. Saying that as much as my Spanish and Catalan friends love English and foreign beer but are put off by the shocking prices. There are Spanish stouts, ales or bitters if you know where to go.
Barcelona has three smaller breweries of note. One is the Cervecería El Vaso de Oro. Itis tucked away in c/ Balboa 6, 08003 Barcelona. They have solely one type of beer on tap called ‘Vaso de Oro Rubia’. It is an amber coloured lager and has an impressive 7% alcohol content. This brewski has a rich, bitter-like, malt and nutty taste. The Cerveceríais very popular and serves great food.
If you would like to sample some unusual cold ones or even know about how to ferment some homemade brews then head for La Cervesera Artesana C/ Sant Agustí, 14. For the author this place is a touch above the rest and this Eixample pub is ideal for taking your Spanish partner booze-bonding. They do various brews on tap and brew onsite as well as courses on beer making.
I recommend their Iberian Pale Ale and Iberian Stout. Their beer is served at nitrogen cool temperatures. Distinguished drinkers will let the beer warm a bit before tasting to get all the flavour.
Another local beer is ectoplasm sounding GLOPS brewed by Llúpols i Llevats S.L. A very recent company set up in 2005 it is enjoyed in lots of bars around Barcelona. The brews come in four types, Blanca, Negra, Lager and Fumada and are brewed with passion. Their beers can be found around town but notably at Bar Bodega Bartoli, Vallespir. 41. A way outside Barcelona things change with a Tarragona brewery called Rosita who make very pleasant and surprising ale of the same name.
Moritz is the oldest of all Barcelona beer making by a long stretch founded in 1830. In the 1970′s it ceased production until 2000. They only manufacture one Miller or Cools Lite kind of lager of the same name. Notably this brewery is has a confusing website designed to comfort the inebriated enjoy moritz.es. If you are looking for an alcohol free beer, I highly recommend this brand’s offering.
The second oldest existing Barcelona brewery is Damm and offers some of the strongest glass sandwiches on the market. The company’s been around in Barcelona since 1876 and Estrella Damm is their most popular product. Their factory is open to the public but the brewery disappointingly only does tours for 40+ people.
Damm’s number 1 jar for putting hairs on your chest is 7.2% Voll Damm. This pilsner lager is close to German-like Vollbie. It is not quite Special Brew, but tastes a lot better and less associated with tramps and beer-recyc. Another stronger dark lager of theirs is Bock Damm and is very much like a Münchener beer. A bit harder to find in bars, but it is very pleasurable drink.
Going to any party you would have encountered Xibeca Damm Classic litre bottle. Normally the die-hard Spanish beer drinkers bring these, drink the harder tinnies and leave these devils lurking undeservedly in the fridge. This pale ‘Clásica’ lager is the breweries weakest beer at 4.6%. From experience this beer gives a surefire hangover when mixed with other beers in quantity.
More than likely you have come across Cruz Campo. It was a private brewery but now part of the Heineken Corporation. The company was founded in 1904, Sevilla and their popular beer of choice is Cruz Del Sur. This tasty beverage is extremely popular in Southern Spain, notably Andalusia. However, it is their weakest offering at 4.5%. They make stronger beers, notably their Legado de Yuste 6.5%. It is worth a try as it is Spain’s first Spanish abbey beer. Their next strongest is Amstel Reserva at 6%, and Cruzcampo Seleccion Especial 5.7%. Their only pilsner is Amstel 1870.
San Miguel have a factory in Barcelona, however like Mahou, they are a part of the huge Danone group. The group has three typical lagers San Miguel Especial, 5.4%, San Miguel 1516, 4.2% and an organic beer San Miguel Eco, 4.2%. Their forth offering is a lot stronger San Miguel Nostrum, at a nice 6.1%. This beer is similar to Voll Damm.
Diverging a little from domestic beer there are a few other pubs in Barcelona offering Belgian Beer. The most famous is Bel Chica. An interesting English bar Bristol Blue in Torrent de l’Olla 39-41, offers a wide selection of Czech beers. Cerveceria el Flabiol, Rambla del Brasil 55, stocks over 70 types of beer from Czech, Belgian, UK, German and smaller Spanish breweries.
A lot of Barcelona’s breweries are a mystery even to the majority of the locals, my advise is, get a seat at the end of the bar and get your Britney’s in now!