CocoVail, Barcelona’s first beer hall, is revealing our inaugural premier list of Best Craft Beers in Barcelona.
We will elect our top selections every year starting now with the first edition in 2017. The idea is to give consumers the best possible mix out of the growing range of breweries and craft beers in Barcelona.
We also want to give credit where it is due to the hard working brew masters all over the city and region. They work their asses off to make quality products. They should get some love and respect for it.
Our selections are based on various criterion. A lot of time and consideration were put into this list from our staff, especially Eze Meta (CocoVail’s Craft Beer Master) and clients.
Selection’s cannon guidelines: We considered various characteristics and qualities to create this compilation, including our experience with the local craft beers at Coco Vail Beer Hall. These comprise our personal opinions, the sales, the variety, innovation, originality, and the market’s needs.
Without further adieu, here’s what we consider to be the list of Best Craft Beers in Barcelona 2017.
Hoptimista – EDGE Brewing (Barcelona, Catalunya) – Best Seller
This somewhat typical West Coast IPA, with an inevitable European twist, is appropriately bitter with a balance of hops. It’s pretty herbal in flavor with hints of a piny aroma (think Juniper).
Due to its well balanced 6,6% ABV and 47 IBUs it makes for a phenomenal “All Night” beer. Can’t go wrong with it regardless of the time of day or year. It will keep you warm during the brisk wintertime and fresh during the summer to cool off in the sun’s rays.
Edge Brewing was founded by two Americans who are becoming well-known in the area. In their words, “EDGE is American craft beer brewed in Barcelona.”
We’re really stoked about sharing their passion on our menu and it’s a pleasure working with them on a frequent basis.
Blonde – Espiga (Alt Penedès, Catalunya) – Most Innovative
It’s light bodied, with hints of fruit and with a bitter finish to end the experience. It’s like a solid book, it has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Ideal for a long session, because of its 4,5% ABV and its 25 IBUs.
Espiga took home the prize for 2nd best beer in the category of Blonde Ale – Golden Ale 2015 by Rate Beer. The brewery is in the heart of Penedes, which is a land most known for its grapes and wine production.
It was founded by two biologists, and year-after-year they look to reaffirm the prestige they are gaining exponentially.
We really, really like them and are also proud to showcase their hard work at CocoVail.
Soup – Garage Beer Co. (Barcelona, Catalunya) (NEIPA)- Most Trendy Beer
It possesses fresh aromas of tropical fruits and mixed citrus. Although it is a bit dense, it is delightful to drink, elegant in it’s flow. Soup has a 6% ABV and 35 IBUs.
Garage Beer Co. specializes in New England India Pale Ales, which are becoming very desirable and trendy among craft beer aficionados around the world.
It is hands down the best in its category out of the Spanish beer market.
This creation adds a lot to our complete selection. Additionally, due to its name, you can always tell you’re mom, I’m getting into some Soup. She’ll understand and won’t get too worried about you.
Castanya – Montseny (Sant Miquel de Balenyà, Catalunya) – Our Best Local Discovery
Castanya is an Imperial brown ale with chestnut. It is produced right in the heart of Montseny with the water sourced directly from the region. It can’t be any more Montseny even if it tries.
Fun fact: the use of chestnut is a nod to the traditions in this region, as during the Halloween season, instead of Trick or Treating and costumes, people roast chestnuts and sweet potatoes. This beer is a symbol of how one can pay tribute to traditional customs and history.
Castanya de Viladrau has an amber, opaque color with a dense foam. The flavors are of a toasted malt with smokey chestnut on the finishing touch. It sits at a pretty 7,8% ABV with 26 IBUs.
Dumbstruck – Jakobsland (Santiago de Compostela, Galicia) – Best Rookie (Est. 2016)
Dumbstruck features aromas and flavors of tropical fruit, such as mango, passion fruit, and peach. While the refreshing taste of fruits starts the party, it ends with a bitter twist and is fairly malty in presence. It has a rich orange color and contains 6.3% ABV as well as 60 IBUs.
Jakobsland is a brewery established in 2016 (same year as CocoVail), in Santiago de Compostela, founded by two South Africans. They recently burst into the scene, and are here to stay.
Their collection offers a variety of very nice IPAs. We are fortunate to discover them, and they are a sign that all around Spain, the Beer Revolution has only just begun.
Honorable Mention: CocoVail IPA – Catalan Brewery (Badalona, Catalunya)
We didn’t want to include our very own Coco Vail IPA, because we needed to be subjective. Having said that it’s impossible to avoid mentioning it somehow. While it didn’t quite make the list for our Best Craft Beers in Barcelona, we want to give it a shout out and perhaps a little encouragement for the years to come.
This craft beer was born out of a beautiful collaboration with our friends from Catalan Brewery, Joan and Manuel. They put together our very own house IPA. It’s a red, malty and bitter elixir with 6,8% ABV and 70 IBUs.
Its notes of pine aroma (think Juniper, again) have an intense caramel flavor from the malts. It’s as silky as the coveted silk worms from the days of Marco Polo, and we can’t thank the creators enough for putting their time and effort on this. We are excited for what other collaborations come in the future.
Best Craft Beers in Barcelona: Final Notes
In closing, we hope this gives you a little idea of the craft beer scene in Barcelona. This region isn’t just about tapas and wine, there’s a lot more to it. It’s time for these breweries to get more and more recognition.
The presence of craft beer in Barcelona and all around Spain is merely at the beginning, friends.
Cheers, and come sample some of what we consider the Best Craft Beers in Barcelona 🙂