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The Black Lion
© Iván Moreno

Best craft beer bars in Barcelona

We visit Barcelona’s best craft beer brewpubs and alehouses that are putting the city’s beer culture on the map

By Aitor Labrador, Martí Sales and Òscar Broc
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Barcelona is getting a reputation as one of the top cities in Spain (and, dare we say, beyond) for craft beer. Even some in beer-proud Madrid will tell you that Barcelona is the place to be for great brew. This is a city with such huge aficionados of craft beer that they make that special combo of water, malt, hops and barley their cause – to the extent that there are tours of breweries, social networks devoted to craft beer, and you can even use apps like Untappd and websites such as BeerAdvocate, and RateBeer to seek out the latest barrel or bottle, including both local and imported products. Come along as we show you around the city’s top spots for the craft beer you crave.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Barcelona 

The pioneers

Cerveseria Jazz

Restaurants Sandwich shop El Poble-sec

December ’92. While Barcelona was recovering from its post-Olympic hangover, one young man was getting ready to open what was to become a beer institution: the Cerveseria Jazz. Almost a quarter of a century later, Àlex Camacho is still behind the bar cooking up some of the best hamburgers in the city with the same patience and enthusiasm as when he talks about beer. The Jazz was a founding member of the Humulus Lupulus association and Steve’s Academy, and its walls are full of history – and not just of music, but of beer as well.

La Cervesera Artesana

Music Gràcia

Times have changed since 1993, when Steve Huxley began making Iberian, the first beer to be brewed and served at a microbrewery in Barcelona. And when Olaf Martí took the helm, made sure that the Artesana stuck to its principles: keep their five taps full of their home brews, and add in special touches that run the gamut from wild mushrooms to honey or spices. A classic.

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Freiburg

Restaurants Beyond Barcelona

Before launching the great adventure that is Biercab, Manolo Baltasar transformed this sandwich shop into a place of pilgrimage for beer worshipers back in 1996. Thanks to the great selection of imported bottles – and not just from Germany – and despite starting out with just three taps (now they've got ten), this small space in front of the Collblanc market is also the perfect spot to stop in before a match at Camp Nou or a concert at Palau Sant Jordi.

2D2Dspuma

Music Sant Andreu

Thanks to the passion for their work that Susana and Maria have, the Congrés area, home to the two 2D2 spaces, has become another must of a destination for beer lovers. They've got a shop where you can browse their unique selection, with up to 1,000 beers (including their own, of course), and a bar with nine taps that rotate local brews. What’s more, on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights they offer beers plus tapas at prices that will make you happy. Who said craft beer had to be expensive?

Beerxample

BierCab
© Maria Dias

Biercab

Bars and pubs L'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample

Just like the businesses in the Gaixample, the area’s beer purveyors have become an attraction beyond the limits of the city, beyond Catalonia and even beyond the borders of Spain. The turning point came when Biercab placed in the world ranking of beer establishments on the specialised website RateBeer, in summer 2014. The knowledge and insight of the brewpub's partners – Navarran brewery Naparbier, distributors Zombier, and two respected professionals from the sector, Sven Bosch (The Drunk Monk) and Manolo Baltasar (Freiburg) – laid the foundations. They've got 30 taps and a huge selection of bottled beers, which is extended now extended at their shop at Muntaner, 57.

Rosses i Torrades

Shopping Specialist food and drink Eixample

Thanks to his Rosses i Torrades, David Pié can claim the title of honorary godfather of the district’s beer culture. Open since 2010, this shop and bar invites you to enjoy a perfectly poured pint while you listen to vinyl on the turntable and disconnect from the outside world on a tour of the more than 500 beers on the shelves (though its likely best you dont try them all in one go).

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BrewDog
©MariaDias

Brewdog Bar

Restaurants L'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample

Only a few metres up the road from Rosses i Torrades there are two more recent arrivals, both obligatory stops. For starters, there’s Brewdog, the first Scottish pub in Spain, offering 20 draught beers (a mix of their own brews and guest beers), including their award-winning Punk IPA. 

Oma Bistro
©MariaDias

Oma Bistró

Restaurants Contemporary European Esquerra de l’Eixample

On the same stretch of pavement as Brewdog stands Oma Bistró, a heavenly space that serves the best brunches in the area and that seems like it was transported from the confines of Williamsburg through a wormhole right to Consell de Cent. Here you can accompany your selection of craft beer from the various taps with your fill of their enticing NYC-style brunch, which is the cure to any hangover or start to any great day. 

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Garage Beer Co

Bars and pubs Breweries L'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample

Also on Consell de Cent, just before it meets Biercab Street – sorry, Muntaner – another establishment is a favourite among beer novices and experts alike. It’s Garage Beer Co, a brewpub where, in addition to sampling their own beers, you can make yourself at home on a sofa only a few feet from the fermentation tanks.

MonDoré

Restaurants

Long story short, when people talk about the Beerxample, they’re talking about the ideal showcase and barometer for Barcelona’s burgeoning beer culture. There is at least one establishment in every neighbourhood with something to offer lifelong beer geeks and the increasing numbers of new converts: shops, brewpubs, fashionable bars, and even restaurants with special beer and food pairings, such as Racó d'en Cesc and here at MonDoré.

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La Cerveseria Clandestina

Restaurants Burgers Sagrada Família

Near the Sagrada Família is this bar with good music, occasional art exhibitions, and a vibe that will make you feel right at home. They serve excellent hamburgers and tapas (with vegan options even), and quite the array of craft beers. It's hard to find a craft beer you won't like, bearing in mind that they have ten taps they change regularly, and as for the menu of bottles, there are more than 50 on offer.

La Més Petita

Bars and pubs Breweries La Nova Esquerra de l'Eixample

With eight taps, La Més Petita, though its name means 'The Littlest One' is possibly the beer bar with the most pulls per square metre in the city. Theirs is a careful offering of domestic and imported craft beers in cosy surroundings. You can also get your brew of choice to take away in reusable containers.

Beer in the barris

Ale&Hop
© Ivan Giménez

Ale&Hop

Bars and pubs Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera

Since 2011, the Born has also had its temple for beer worshipers. With a dozen rotating taps and three refrigerators full to bursting, as well as one of the most flexible timetables in the city (from Wednesday to Sunday you can enjoy your favourite beverage until 1.30am), Ale&Hop is also a great place to try eat, with pintxos on Thursdays, brunch at weekends, and healthy vegetarian food anytime. See? Beer can be healthy!

Ølgod
© Maria Dias

Ølgod

Bars and pubs Breweries El Raval

Ølgod is a craft beer bar in the heart of the Raval that boasts 30 taps. The name comes from a Danish town, and means 'god of beer', and you'll notice it all as soon as you walk in when you're greeted by runes and a Viking ship. The folks at Ølgod are dedicated to craft beer from the north (although there's always a local representation). In the kitchen is the same chef who worked in the space that stood here before: Juicy Jones. This translates to a small menu of vegetarian dishes made from simple yet quality recipes where everything is home-made (including the tortilla chips). There's also a good, generous set lunch menu, which includes a pint of craft beer, or two half pints if you're in the mood for trying a couple of different brews.

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Homo Sibaris

Bars and pubs Breweries Sants - Montjuïc

After trying his first bitter thanks to Steve Huxley, and becoming part of the beginnings of the Barcelona beer revolution with La Cerveteca and the association of beer culture Humulus Lupulus, Guillem Laporta headed back to the Sants neighbourhood. There he and some friends opened Homo Sibaris, where they could sell their own beer and have more freedom to try out new recipes. This is a must on any craft beer route. And with a terrace on Plaça d'Osca, what more could you ask for?

Beer'linale
© Maria Dias

Beer'linale

Bars and pubs Breweries

Beer'linale welcomes you with 30 craft beer taps and a blackboard with all the detailed varieties. The servers are attentive, quick and know how to give advice if you're overwhelmed by choice. Surely, purists will find gaps in the beer catalogue, but for most of us neophytes, the 30 taps and the more than 180 bottled varieties will be more than enough. They also boast an arsenal of tapas and dishes that are absolutely essential to avoid crawling out of the place like a slug.

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Il Birrino
Photograph: Maria Dias

Il Birrino

Restaurants Italian

You're greeted by a blackboard with six craft beers, five of them Catalan. Beer is the official poison at Il Birrino, a small space that might puzzle you at first, because next to the list of beers there's another blackboard with pasta and starters. Craft beer and puttanesca? Yes, please! The selection of beers in rotation, although short, is impeccable and adaptable to different palates. And if you're hungry, you'll be happy to know that Chef Emanuele is one of the best cooks we've had the pleasure to cross paths with. 

La Rovira
© Ivan Giménez

Bar La Rovira

Bars and pubs Breweries Gràcia

What's so attractive about La Rovira? For starters, there are 18 taps of craft beer, 15 of which are on a regular rotation. If you're a novice, your friendly brewmaster, Noe, or any of the wait staff can give you the info you need before you spend your money. They'll even let you try a finger so you can be sure of your choice. In addition to the beer, you can also get delicious grilled sandwiches with names of surrounding streets: the Reig i Bonet, for example, is chicken, avocado, onion and xipotle. They show Barça matches, have a beautiful jukebox with great singles, and at midday they offer a good lunch combo.

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Mikkeller Bar Barcelona

Bars and pubs Breweries Esquerra de l’Eixample

Direct from Copenhagen, Mikkeller Bar Barcelona brings you 24 different taps of the craft beer you crave. The space is cosy, modern and 100 percent Scandinavian. It's one of the most 'hygge' places in the city. What's that now? 'Hygge' is a Danish concept that has become synonymous with a nice afternoon at home on the sofa watching films under a blanket, with candles and an herbal tea in your hands. Or a good beer, of course. 

La Cervecita

Shopping Sant Martí

A beer a day... is the sage advice La Cervetica's Quim and Angie offer. This friendly spot represents the essence of beer, with a dozen varieties on tap (including three hand pumps) and more than 300 bottled beers. It's the brewing soul of Poblenou, where you'll find a die-hard group of faithful local customers as well as in-the-know visitors stopping by after a long day at the beach.

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Kælderkold

Bars and pubs El Gòtic

Behind this name many of us find tongue-twistingly foreign – it literally means 'cold basement' – is a desire to bring the spirit of Denmark to La Rambla. After all, the Scandinavian country is home to prized breweries such as Mikkeller, Amager and To Øl. Not only does Kælderkold boast 15 quality taps, this small bar was a pioneer in implementing a menu of beer cocktails. Cheers! Or as they say here, skål!

Bodega Berlanga
© Irene Fernandez

Bodega Berlanga

Bars and pubs Tapas bars Ciutat Vella

Bodega Berlanga aims to be that kind of a place where you can have a few quiet beers with some good friends. But what beers! There's value on making the good stuff great here. You'll be licking your lips over the local craft beer Fort (brewed in L'Hospitalet) on tap, in blonde and black. They also have beer-based concoctions, like the Austrohúngaro, with beer, apple syrup, tequila and mezcal. As if that weren't enough, you get a little tapa with every drink order. Everything seems to have lined up nicely to guarantee a good time at Bodega Berlanga.

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Enkel
Photograph: Enkel

Enkel

Restaurants Contemporary European

Hidden in the Gothic neighbourhood, Enkel is an all-day restaurant combining Mediterranean and Latin American influences into one delicious cuisine. Their brunch is a culinary delight made from fresh produce from the local area and offers various vegetarian options. Be sure to try their craft beer on tap, local wine list or speciality coffee.

Brewpubs (direct from the fermenter to you)

Fàbrica Moritz
© Raul Tejero

Fàbrica Moritz

Restaurants Creative contemporary Eixample

The gourmet area of Cervesa Moritz, in what used to be the old factory, is a non-stop food and drink extravaganza. In the brewery area, which has the longest bar in the city, you can try unpasteurised beer from a beer tap connected directly to a barrel in a microbrewery. You can also choose from a long menu of tapas from around the world. In this building, which was completely renovated by Jean Nouvel, you can also visit the microbrewery, but the best thing is to just take a stroll around and discover the little architectural details – the plant-lined walls, the periscope windows – that make the Fàbrica Moritz one of the city’s most amazing public buildings.

BrewPub Le Sec

Restaurants El Poble-sec

With everything in its place, Anna Cufí's vast knowledge and alchemist Bernat Diego's experience are the best guarantee for that this lovely micropub that youll find just in front of the Cervecería Jazz and Steve's Academy. Wordplay aside, BrewPub Le Sec is changing the face of Poble-sec, we're sure of it.

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BlackLab Brewhouse & Kitchen

Restaurants American Ciutat Vella

A great location and a fusion menu (combining Asian and US influences) are the strong points of this ambitious project that seems to have won over a fair chunk of the city’s beer-drinking public. Their Claudia IPA and Cosas Que Pasan APA were some of the best in 2015.

El Vaso de Oro

Restaurants La Barceloneta

As well as producing legendary tapas for almost 50 years, since 2009 El Vaso de Oro has been serving Fort beer at the perfect temperature, straight from the brewery in L’Hospitalet. One of their delectable 'platillos' (small plates of food) accompanied by a slender flute of ice-cold beer should be a rite of passage for any beer fan in Barcelona.

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Edge Brewing
Photograph: Ivan Giménez

Edge Brewing

Restaurants La Vila Olímpica del Poblenou

Since 2013, brewers Scott and Alan have been working hard in this corner of Poblenou, and they still find room in their busy schedules to share their passion for craft beer. This artisanal microbrewery brews beer with American hops. You can buy a kind of pack of tickets that will get you the good stuff at an even fairer price (two litres for about a tenner) and visit their anti-aircraft battery, with tasting included, of course. Check in on their website, where you'll find upcoming activities and pairings, always with beer as the star of the show.

Shops

Lambicus

Shopping

Beer fans in Barcelona were sad when La Maison Belge closed down, but soon Henk filled the void in the hearts of hops fans with the opening of this shop that boasts almost 500 different beers and two inviting taps to go along with the range of local products. Unbeatable.

Family Beer
Maria Dias

Family Beer

Shopping Delis Gràcia

Those in the know agree that the real revolution in brewing is home brewing. If you have the the right refrigeration conditions and the space for it, you can find everything you need to make beer at home right here: four-litre kits, mixtures and ingredients galore, accessories, courses and more. Is that the sound of Heineken quaking in its boots?

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La Flor de Llúpol

Shopping Sant Andreu de Palomar

In the heart of Sant Andreu, you can find this shop with over 200 varieties, four beers on tap, and a list of programmes, including tastings of British and German beers, and a session of beer pairings with Asturian cheeses.

If wine is more your thing...

The 12 best Barcelona wine bars

Bars and pubs Wine bars

Wine aficionados will be happy to know these brilliant Barcelona wine bars can certainly compete with some of the best in Spain. That means you can get it red, white, pink, fizzy, by the glass or by the bottle here. And whatever you fancy, this list’s got it. With this guide, you don’t have to be an expert; just pop along, ask, and the sommelier will help you choose what best suits you.

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