What to drink in Barcelona

No, I've never been very keen on those "best beers to try before you die" compilations. Nor do I like to publish beer ratings or rankings: the greatness of beer depends on far too many things, and I don't really want to give my tastes some kind of definitive superior status. But even when I frown and permanently wrinkle my brow at this kind of stuff, I must admit that it sometimes can be useful. Let's put an example.

Imagine you're travelling to Barcelona and you want to try some of the local beers on offer. Maybe you're one of those adventurous drinkers who would try anything they find. Good luck, my friend. Or, maybe you'd love to have some local perspective, suggestions on which beers you should really try to find and drink, given that your time, money and liver productivity are actually finite.

For those on the second group, you're in the right place if you're looking for beer recommendations in Barcelona. Once a year I write an email with lots of explanations and a quick, direct question to answer:

"¿Could you please list two beers that you drank last year and that you'd recommend without hesitation?"

The recipients of my email, the people who answered to this question, are local drinkers: people who spend quite a lot of time and money on beer. The kind of people I expect to find desperately drowning their souls at the bar of all those beery places that I like to pay a visit from time to time, when I go out in Barcelona. Ladies and gents with different backgrounds, whose advice on beer I would trust on any beer festival. Pretty awesome individuals, as you can see.

My only determinants are that the selected beers should be local -whatever local means to every respondent- and easy -ish- to find in Barcelona. Beer aged after its commercialisation -vintages- are specifically banned.

They're not supposed to be the best; not the ones you can't go to the grave without having a try. Just plain advice: the locals' choice when they order their rounds. Each list comprises local beers with their name, brewer, style, alcohol by volume and a short comment.


Note that styles are the ones stated by the brewers themselves -I also frown at styles, but I understand that these can somehow tell what one can expect of a single beer, when no complete technical information is available-. The short comments are written by me, to provide a little extra information or background to each beer.

Make sure then to pay a visit to each year's list. Even if you can't find the exact listed beers, take for granted that each list includes a fine selection of our local brewers. So take notes for your next trip!

Salut i birra!