This tasting tour around Barcelona’s booming craft beer scene, led by an expert Catalan brewer, is an edifying ale adventure.
Beer in Barcelona has undergone a transformation in recent years thanks to the global trend for craft beer. Local breweries and bars have sprung up like welcome geysers of foaming refreshment in what was once a parched industrial dessert ruled by lager-only brands.
To help thirsty travellers navigate this new landscape, Tapas & Beers have created a craft beer tasting tour led by Oriol Jaumà, a brewer with Art Cervesers. Young, articulate and speaking perfect English, he displays the kind of drive, in-depth knowledge and enthusiasm that makes you reflect unfavourably on your own unfocused and mis-spent youth.
I was invited on the tour along with Rob Dobson (from Homage to Barcelona) and Barcelona travel writer Ben Holbrook (from Driftwood Journals). The usual tour price is €59.
The oddly named All Those Food Market was taking place in the gorgeous grounds of Barcelona University on the day we met, so the tour diverted from its usual itinerary to make a stop at the Arts Cerveses stand and scoff an excellent pulled pork sandwich made by Chivuo’s.
From there, we moved on to the brewery-bar Garage Beer, where Oriol sat us down and talked us through the finer points of beer tasting and making, with various informative detours into related anecdotes about the drink’s history.
We also got a walk through the brewery itself, with a lively explanation of the processes involved.
A stop at BierCab for some patatas bravas led to Rob’s revelatory identification of coconut notes in a local brew and a long chat about food pairing.
Then we returned to the market for a final tipple at the Arts Cervesers stand.
The tour isn’t complicated but it’s extremely informative. Great beers are to be expected, but what elevates the experience is the expertise of Oriol, who has a genuine passion for his subject and an insider’s perspective.
Tapas & Beers Barcelona craft beer tour, email@example.com, Tel. (+34) 93 412 1597.
Like beer? Check out this post about the Manlleu Pork and Beer Festival