Whether you're looking for artisan credentials, the astmosphere of an authentic Catalan cerveseria (brew house) or simply a decent jar, here are Time Out's recommended destinations for the best beers in town...
Trinity and Luci are two very good cats, no matter how bad they claim to be. They serve some of the best tapas in Barcelona, and when you order a drink, they give a free tapa. It makes you want to pitch a tent right outside their door. As if that were not enough, Trinity makes gin & tonics with cucumber and pepper that are guaranteed to give any cat an extra 15 lives.
Bar Mut has an ineffably Gallic feel, with its etched glass, bronze fittings, chanteuses on the sound system, and (whisper it) Paris prices. The tapas are undeniably superior, however, running from a carpaccio of sea urchin to fried eggs with foie. Other sophisticated food for the soul to look out for includes haricot beans with wild mushrooms and morcilla or poached egg with chips and chorizo sauce. In a word? Formidable.
For some time now, the Morro Fi blog has been considered an essential website for those who aspire to keeping their stomachs happy. These one-time explorers of anchovy and secallona havens have set up their own oasis. Working in a tiny space, Marcel serves the aperitifs that he has always wished he could have found in bars. Marcel’s draught beers hide a secret that only you can see if you pay close attention to the hands of this man who is known as the Rimbaud of the beer tap. Two fingers of poetic justice, that’s what I find in each glass.
This is Barcelona’s brewing library. Just to make sure you fully understand their drinks list, here’s a brief tutorial: IPA, ale, lager... If you don’t understand any of them, it doesn’t matter. Their aim at the Cerveteca is to spread the word about fine beers and to help people to appreciate them, but if you’re not sure you can always bluff your way with comments like: "Mmm, this one’s much sweeter" or "This reminds me of Guinness". They stock all different kinds of beers here, and there’s more nationalities than at a UN summit. The brewing method is particularly important. They also serve biological, alcohol-free and craft beers. If you can’t find a beer you like here, then face it – you just don’t like beer!
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, devised by by Jordi Vilà, which fuses the cuisines of Alsace and Spain. There is also a wine bar, and a French-style brasserie will soon be opening, as well as a gourmet restaurant. 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.
Its official name is Tres Pins or the Museum of Beer, but no-uses either of these names. The locals know it for its Sunday aperitifs and for the prawns they serve, which are renowned in the district. If you manage to escape from the terrace and get into the bar, you'll see that it’s packed full with hundreds of imported beers, all home-brewed and with different strengths. The best thing to do is ask about the photos of the floods at Sant Andreu that are hanging on the wall. If you do that, the tales and the beers will never end. Fortunately.
The Mosquito is the epitome of exoticism. They make excellent Cantonese cuisine, particularly the famous dim sum rolls. Giles, the restaurant owner, is an Englishman who, after travelling round Asia for years, decided to open a Chinese restaurant in Barcelona, but without all the clichés. What makes his restaurant even more unusual are the four taps of delicious English ale, as well as more than 70 brands of craft beer from Catalonia and the rest of the world. Any questions? Then ask him; he knows pretty much everything about beer.
From the outside it looks like an Irish pub, but it’s not. Inside it’s like an antique shop, decorated with all kinds of unusual objects. They combine imported beers with exquisite cheeses and anchovies from the Cantabrian coast. You can also try their toasts and salads, and choose from a whole range of home-brewed beers to wash them down. Their draught beer is hard to beat.