Brewpubs in Barcelona as seen by a Belgian Brewer
The author of this post, Alex Lazarowicz, is the founder of Barna-Brew, a new brewpub in Sant Antoni, Barcelona. Falling for Belgian beers and for Barcelona, he made the journey to unite the two through Barna-Brew.
Although the craft beer scene has been booming for a number of years in Barcelona, it is the proliferation of brewpubs in the last few years that has caught the eye. As the owner of the latest addition, Barna-Brew, I have watched others spring up like mushrooms while finishing my project. Back when Barna-Brew was just an idea, the only brewpub research I could do was check out the Cervesera Artesana in Gracia, famous for its past association with Barcelona beer pioneer Steve Huxley.
Back then there was a proliferation of breweries and beer brands, many of them based out of the city, like Montseny and Guineu, two of the longest-running breweries on the scene. A move towards production within the city perimeters also began to appear with Fort, Birra 008, Barcelona Beer Company, and Edge Brewing. This has been followed most recently by Garage’s and Almogaver’s new breweries in the Sant Andreu district, as well as Tibidabo Brewing.
The last three years have seen the explosion of the brewpub model, with my last count there being eight places in Barcelona where beers are brewed on site and served to the public on a daily basis. I also felt it would be the natural next step for a city like Barcelona. With a city full of people that live their lives on the streets more than at home, and with a strong gastronomic culture, this was a logical step for the sector. It was also a necessary move to convince locals to drink more craft beer by being able to showcase freshly made beer for reasonable prices.
BlackLab kicked off the new-wave of brewpubs with their American-style beers and Asian-American style tapas, quickly followed by the Steve Huxley-inspired guys from Garage. In their footsteps followed La Gorda Beer Factory in Sants, as well as Brewpub Le Sec in Poble Sec. Two ambitious projects followed in their wake: Abirradero- the 40 tap showcase of the Instituto de Cerveza Artesana which had been brewing for years in Poble Sec, and Napar BCN- a successful joint venture of the people behind the successful craft beer bar Biercab, a Michelin-starred chef, and a top brewery from Navarra (Naparbier). Most recently Caravelle, a cafe-restaurant in Raval has added a nano brewery next door, making beers with Australian inspiration.
We at Barna-Brew are proud to have joined this group of brewpubs, each developing the craft beer culture of different neighbourhoods, from Barceloneta (Black Lab), Sants, (La Gorda), Eixample (Garage and Napar BCN), Poble Sec (Brewpub Le Sec and Abirradero), Sant Antoni (Barna Brew) and Raval (Caravelle). We hope to have added our own flavours to the brewpub scene- our Belgian-style beers with a Catalan twist are perfect for the Barcelona climate, and have been paired with a Barcelona-bodega style menu, courtesy of the famous tapas restaurant La Pepita.
Cheers and hope you enjoy the Barcelona brewpubs on your stay!
We make award-winning Belgian-style beers with a local twist. Our Moreneta series of beers features a Blonde with orange blossom honey from El Perello, a Blanche with bayleaf, a locally used herb, and a Brune based on the Catalan drink “rom cremat”. Come try them and our new beers, at our Barcelona bodega-style brewpub on Carrer Parlament 45!