Our take on the Barcelona Beer Festival!
Ever been to Barcelona? You should go … seriously, go – right now! Or better yet, wait until next year’s Barcelona Beer Festival and kill two birds with one stone!
The Ambiental crew attended the three-days festival in Barcelona last weekend, and all in all we are very content with the beer we got to try, as well as with the rather charming lack of organization that one can expect from a beer festival hosted in the country of ‘Mañana, mañana’.
We had time to enjoy the city, tourist around like proper Swedes; that is, we basked in the warming sun, enjoyed its spring vibes, tried every single tapa and wine that we could find – Barcelona is one of our absolute favourite cities in the world!
Now, a word about what Barcelona Beer Festival is all about! This festival is a bit different than the typical beer festival, the main difference being that most brewers don’t present and pour the beer themselves. Instead, the organizer has a bunch of Spanish youngsters pouring the beer – sometimes they pour more, and sometimes they pour less – which means that even the brewers presenting beer can walk around and enjoy the festival as a visitor. However, a select few brewers, such as our partner Eskilstuna Ölkultur, had been chosen for what is called ‘Meet the brewer’; Anders stood behind the tap, pouring Eskilstuna’s Spruce ale and Dubbel-IPA, exchanging words with enthusiastic visitors who wanted to know more about the beer.
Every now and then, two well-dressed fellas who were keeping tabs on all the beer in rotation on a giant blackboard rang a big bell to inform the visitors that a new beer had entered the rotation. Needless to say, each ringing of the bell made the crowd go nuts … and thirsty!
We met with local Barcelona beer makers, national Spanish brewers, and international beeristas. The beers that made us know that we had come to the right places were, among others:
Conehead by Zero Gravity
Imperial Black IPA by Dunham
Tribute by 14th Star Brewing Company
Red Baron IPA and SuperHuman IPA by Four Lions Brewery
Gregarious by Queen City Brewery
Drink Me Alive! by Brønhër Brew
Lazurite by Warpigs Brewpub
Mangofeber by Brewski
Hop Hunters Winter IPL by Bidassoa Basque Brewery, La Quince Brewery, Brewgross and Drunken Bros
What then did we do in Barcelona after the beer festival had closed? Damn right – we drank more beer!
We stopped by the recently opened brewpub NaparBCN and enjoyed some fine dining and brews. We partied hard with a bunch of brewers – e.g. Brewski, Eskilstuna Ölkultur, La Quince and Zeta Beer – at Garage Beer Co (Note: Handcrafted beer together with ´Killing in the name of´ by Rage against the Machine is a combo everybody should experience at least once!). We also made a pit stop at BierCaB to enjoy their fine list of artisanal refreshments.
To the head-banging brewers at Garage Beer Co., the organizers of Barcelona Beer Festival, and to all of you who we met, talked with, and who we will contact soon again for future projects – we salute you!