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Neil and Valerie travelled to Barcelona in November 2009. Barcelona is the capital and the largest city in Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid. It's most famous landmark is La Sagrada Família. Construction of commenced in 1882 and despite it still not being complete is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other sites include Parc Guell, Casa Mila, The Olympic Stadium, Parc Montjuic, the Nou Camp Stadium (home of Barcelona FC) and Las Ramblas, which is a cafe-lined street running from the port into the city centre. When we visited there were lots of building works taking place. Barcelona is the only city we've visited where we didn't feel safe and all in all is the least favourite and most expensive of all the european cities which we have visited. Despite there being numerous bars, decent beer is quite hard to find. And when we did find somewhere decent it didn't open until the evening.
Cerveceria El Vaso de Oro. c/ Balboa 6, 08003 Barcelona. Open daily 09.00 - 00.00.
Vaso de Oro Rubia 7% Amber lager. Vaso de Oro Ambar Negra 4.8% Dark lager.
Down near the port and towards the northern end. We visited 2 or 3 times and only once managed to get in and get a seat. This is a long narrow place with the bar running virtually from one end to the other. There are stools along the bar and the only way to get from one end to the other is to go outside and back in through one of the other doors. Plates of tapas entirely cover the bar. At one end there are 4 tall tables with stools. The barman all wore captains’ epaulettes on their shirts and were'nt very talkative. The Rubia was refreshing and deceptive. The Negra had a musty taste, I don't think that they sell a lot of it.
La Cerveteca, Gignàs 25. Open Mon-Tue 16:00-22:00, Wed-Sun 12:00-22:00.
4 changing draught beers and an extensive bottled beer range.
A bottle shop cum tasting room selling rare Spanish micro-brewed beers. Located on a corner near the post office, four streets/alleys back from the front. This place consists of a shop area with shelves full of bottled beers including bottles of Brewdog Paradox for sale at €8.80, plus others from the UK. In between the shelves in any spare bit of space there were several stacks of beer crates. There is also a small bar in one corner and some tall tables for standing round. There were a couple of stools on top of the grate looking down to the cellar by the window and next to a couple of fridges, also full of bottled beer. At the back was a small room with one large table and a few chairs. The owner came taking to us and originated from Liverpool. He had lived in Spain for so long that he had lost his scouse accent. The beers available on draught on this occasion were Stout Eric, Aktien Hell, Steingadener & Moinette Blonde. On out second vist the Stout Eric had been replaced by Equinox.
Viena Rambles Rambla dels Estudis 115, open daily from 09.00. Closing time 23.30 to 01.00.
Estrella Damm, Bock Damm
Located half way up Las Ramblas on the left hand side. (facing inland). Part of a chain of cafes serving pre-cooked Austrian style fast-food. Inside the central bar is u-shaped with high stools all around it and the odd tall table and stools by the walls. The floor was tiled & there were ornate wall tiles around the edge of the bar. The ceiling was very unusual with paintings on it surrounded by wooden panelling. There is a balcony housing a grand piano overlooking the bar as you go to the toilets. The waiters were dressed in traditional Austrian costumes and the beer is served in pot mugs - Austrian Style. The beer was reasonably priced.
^ Valerie Hollows ^
Glaciar Bar, Plaça Reial, Opening hours: Mon - Fri :00 - , Sat 10:00 –
Estrella Damm, Bock-Damm, Voll-Damm
Located in the corner of a square off the right hand side off Las Ramblas. There are 2 inside drinking areas one rather small, and the other round the corner much larger with many tables. There are also tables and chairs outside in the square for use in warmer weather. The bottled beer list is fairly extensive with about 40 beers on the list. We tried a couple of the local beers, Cervesa del Montseny Lupulus Natural 5.4% and Cervesa del Montseny Negra 5.2%. The Lupus had a lemony hoppiness with a smooth finish, the Negra was rather bitter. Both were served very cold, too cold for our tastes. Service was very efficient.
Bar Bodega Bartoli, Vallespir. 41, 08014 Barcelona. Opening hours: Mon - Fri :00 - , Sat 10:00 –
Quite a way from most of the other bars, this place is an outlet for beers from the local micro-brewery Glops. There were two available for us to try. Glops Fosca de Blat 4.5% was a cloudy, amber beer with a fruity taste. The Glops Fumada 5.1% was much paler and, as the name suggests, rather smoky in taste. Worth the walk out to for these rare beers.
La Cervesera Artesana, C/ Sant Agustí 14, 08012 Barcelona. Mon - Thu 18:00 - 02:00, Fri - Sat 18:00 - 03:00, Sunday closed.
I.P.A (Iberian Pale Ale), I.S. (Iberian Stout), Rubia, Krombacher, Fransiskaner Hefeweizen, Timmermans Peche, Timmermans Blanche, Pauwel Kwak, Guinness Stout.
Brewpub at the back of the city with a vaulted ceiling and unplastered walls. The brewing kit can clearly be seen behind glass at the back. There are four house beers on sale including a special. This place was expensive even at Barcelona standards and glasses always came 3/4 full. The Iberian Stout was rather fruity for a dark beer, The Pale Ale was more amber in colour with a flowery, grapefruit taste and a dry hoppy finish. We also tried a couple of the more unusual bottled beers. Almaza from the Lebanon 6.5% was pale, soft & mellow. Ave Maria 4.9% was a German lager with added hemp. On our second visit we tried the Rubia (Blonde) and the current seasonal which was Setas. The Setas came with a sprinkling on the top. It was dark and so cloudy it looked like mud. The taste was rather savoury. The strangest beer we'd ever tried.
Cerveseria d'Or, Carrer del Consell de Cent 339, 08007 Barcelona.
La Trappe Dubbel, Furstenberg Blonde, Pilsener Urquell, Guinness Stout.
A tapas bar on the corner of Rambla de Catalunya. As well as serving a decent range on draught, it also has a decent selection of bottled beers. We tried a couple from a small Spanish brewery located just south of Barcelona. Artisanale de Tarragona Cap D'ona 6.5% (Amber, fruity & dry). This beer won the Gold Award 2009 at the National Concours. Artisananle de Tarragona Rosita 5.5%. Unfortunately they were served in Furstenberg Pils glasses. To finish off we tried Cervesa del Montseny Malta 5.1%. This was a golden beer, which is unpasteurised and unfiltered.
Cerveseria Mengi Mengi, 245 Carrer de Provenca
A long thin bar made to look like a German Beer Hall with wooden floor, tables and wall panelling. The back wall consisted of a glass cabinet with brewery memorabilia. Beers on draught are Spaten & Fransiskaner from Munich in Bavaria.
La Bodegueta, Rambla Catalunya 100, 08008 Barcelona. Mon - Sat 19:00 - 01:30, Sun 19:00 - 01:00.
Located on the corner of Rambla Catalunya. The bar is down half a dozen stairs from street level. On the occasion which we visited, it was packed to the door. There was a waiting list for a table to eat so we found a perch by the door to drink our draught AK Damm.
La Confiteria, C/ St. Pau, 128, 08001 Barcelona. Mon-Sat 7pm-3am; Sun 7pm-2am.
Converted from an old nineteenth century sweet shop, this place sells Spanish brewery Mahou beers both on draught and in bottles. It was sympathetically refurbished in the 1980's and retains lots on the original fittings although they are now filled with bottles of alcohol rather than jars of sweets.
Belchica Bar, Villarroel 60, 08011 Barcelona. Mon - Fri 18:00 - 03:00, Sat 19:00 - 03:00, Sun 19:00 - 01:00
Draught La Chouffe, Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Leffe Blonde, Leffe Brune.
A student style bar, dimly lit and with dark painted walls. It served a list of about 40 Belgian bottled beers which contained nothing really out of the ordinary. We tried a bottle of Cuvee Rene Geueze Lambic
Bristol Blue, Torrent de l'Olla 39-41
Paulaner Hefeweizen, Grimbergen, Marstson's Pedigree (keg), Pilsener Urquell.
An English style bar just around the corner from La Cervesera Artesana. We went in search of Draught Litovel lager from the Czech Republic but unfortunately they no longer sold it.
Maximilian, Avda. Diagonal 545-577, 08029 Barcelona. Open Mon-Thu 07.30 - 01.30, Fri til 02.00, Sat 08.30 - 02.00, Sun 12.00 - 01.30
Draught Bitburger Pils, Erdinger Weisse, Guinness Stout.
Located on the corner of La Illa shopping centre. This is a posh burger bar where we stopped for some lunch only to find that is had decent bottled beer list. Bottled beers included Hoepfrier Porter, Schmucker Bio Pils, Alhambra Reserve.
El Xampanyet, C/Montcada 22, Barcelona.On a narrow, cobbled alley opposite the Picasso Museum. Blue-tiled walls and antique artefacts combine with marble tables and zinc bar. There were some interesting bottled beers ion the bar, possibly German. We didn't get to try them as this bar was just closing as we arrived.
Article by Valerie Hollows