Most people think of the beach and tapas when they think of Barcelona. I think about the beer. And trust me: If there’s one thing I know, it’s good beer. Sure, the beach in Barcelona is great. So is the food, the wine, the culture – but that’s not what this article is about. If you’re a craft beer lover, then Barcelona is the city for you. While Barcelona is relatively new to the craft beer scene with one of the first craft beer bars starting up just 3 years ago, it has blossomed rapidly. With quality beer of all sorts available around the city, you’ll never run out of craft beer drinking options in this city. Although there are many craft beer bars and breweries in Barcelona, here’s my list of the 10 BEST options out there.
1. BierCab: Located in the Eixample (esh-omp-lah) neighborhood, BierCab has one of the most extensive beer lists available. Luckily for us, they do flights of beer, so you can pick and choose small portions of multiple beers off of their rotating list of incredibly delicious beer. They have a special focus on Belgian beers. BierCab was the first craft beer bars in the area, and they essentially started the craft beer movement in Barcelona. I recommend coming here early (because it gets BUSY at night) and grabbing a flight and some food. The food is tasty and affordable. If you’re not in the mood for going out, BierCab has a bottle shop next door where you can buy bottles of beer for take away!
2. Garage Beer Company: Located just around the corner from BierCab is Garage Beer Company, a local brewery and tap room. Garage Beer Company offers a variety of taps, the vast majority of them being their own house brew. Although you can’t do flights here, you can order pints or half pints and still get a great idea for their quality beer. They also serve food. We tried the porchetta sandwich and it was delicious!
*photo courtesy of http://www.happyinspain.com (we were already 5 craft beer bars in and forgot to take a picture!)
3. Brew Dog Barcelona: Okay, okay. Brew Dog is brewery from Scotland that has now become a monster chain with establishments in almost every city with a craft beer scene. That being said, I really like this location because it has a variety of taps and bottles that AREN’T Brew Dog’s beer – not that Brew Dog makes bad beer, but it’s a big company and you can get their beer almost anywhere. Additionally, this brewery is in the same area as BierCab and Garage Beer Company, so you can easily pub hop from one to the next within a matter of minutes. They also serve flights of beer – something I believe to be very important in any self-respecting craft beer establishment.
4. NaparBCN: Also located in the Eixample neighborhood (a much less touristy neighborhood with awesome food and drinking establishments), NaparBCN is the love child of a Michelin Star Chef and a master brewer. It’s a relatively new establishment that has been very well-received. The interior is absolutely beautiful, the beer is top notch, and the food is perfectly crafted. Remember, this is a restaurant of a Michelin Star Chef, and so the food is great quality and is a little on the pricier side (but not too crazy). I recommend coming here at the very least for a flight of great, locally-crafted beer. If you plan to have dinner, it’s best if you make reservations in advance!
5. Barcelona Beer Company Tap Room: Also located in Eixample, about 5 minutes walking from any of the establishments above, is the Barcelona Beer Company Tap Room. You can find Barcelona Beer Company’s beer at multiple establishments in the city – and good beer, it is. They offer flights of beer, half pints, and full pints. They also have a simple menu of inexpensive and tasty food. I personally enjoyed the Pulled Duck Sandwich with Hoisin Sauce. My favorite of their beers was the Miss Hops IPA. They have approximately 10-12 of their own beers on tap, another 2-3 collaborations, and 2-3 guest taps.
6. Mikkeller Bar: Yes, you guessed it. This craft beer bar is located in Eixample as well. The locals refer to this area as craft beer alley. It’s where you come to get your fix. If you didn’t already know, Mikkeller is a large craft brewery out of Denmark. They also have bars in multiple locations in the world, but not quite to the extent as Brew Dog. This is an adorable craft beer bar that specializes in Danish beers – mostly Mikkeller – but also Tool Brewery and Warpigs (Danish), as well as local Catalan beers. Mikkeller has a full kitchen with a focus on rustic Catalan dishes.
7. Kaelderkold: Located just off La Rambla, Barcelona’s craziest, most famous, and arguably most interesting (tourist trap) street, lays Kaelderkold, a hole-in-the-wall craft beer bar joint for beer lovers. This place gets quite busy in the evening, since it’s centrally located and just off of the main tourist strip. I personally love coming here in the early afternoon to enjoy a flight of beer. The bartenders I have met love beer. They like to talk about beer, help with recommendations, and even share their favorite Barcelona beer establishments with you, if you ask. With 15 taps and a large selection of bottles (especially sours), this place is a must-visit, especially for a mid-day break off of the crazy and sometimes-overwhelming La Rambla strip.
8. Olstad: Owned by the same people as Kaelderkold, Olstad is a craft beer bar with almost 30 taps available. They’ve got a bit of a hipster theme, in my opinion. Craft beer and vegan food. BUT don’t hate if you’re a meat eater. We ordered the “chicken” tacos and they were delicious. It wasn’t until after that we realized they were made with an imitation tofu meat. For real. If nothing else, go for the beer. It’s worth it! No flights here – just small and large beers.
9. Black Lab Brewhouse & Kitchen: Black Lab is located in the Barcelonetta neighborhood – an area known for their LOCAL, legitimate tapas establishments. I really enjoy this brewery – they only serve their own beer, and they have a nice food menu as well. The service is great. The beer is quality. No flights here, but I’d definitely recommend coming and trying some of their brew.
10. Bodega Fermin: Last but not least, I absolutely love Bodega Fermin. This is a teensy, tiny hole-in-the-wall located in the Barcelonetta neighborhood. I mean, really – this place is a hidden gem. They always have about 10 beers on tap, then a wide variety of bottles. The taps are always quality. This place is just freakin’ adorable and what this neighborhood is all about. I’ve never been in there with other tourists, either – it’s a real locals place, and I highly recommend you pop in for a drink and a snack.
BONUS!! YES, I said “Top 10”, but there’s one more beer joint I’d like to add to the list.
Cocovail Beer Hall Barcelona: Although I haven’t had the chance to visit, I’m dying to visit next time we’re in Barcelona. Cocovail Beer Hall is Barcelona’s first American-Style craft beer hall in the city. They have 24 local craft beers on tap at any given time and offer American-themed food items, like chicken wings & burgers – great if you’re a beer lover with a hankering for some back-home foods to accompany a local Barcelona brew. Located at the edge of the Eixample district.
Well, there you have it. There are my “Top 10” for craft beer bars and breweries in Barcelona. This I can promise you: You will NEVER go thirsty in this city. Cheers, drink up (responsibly), enjoy, and have fun!