Spain, famous for tapas, sangria, amazing wines and unique lifestyle, is a country where beer takes an important part of day to day life, quaffing down almost twice beer as wine each year at thousands of bodegas and tapas bars. While beer production has been dominated by big brands, nowadays almost a new brew appears on the market almost every day.
To date there are around 400 producers of craft beer in Spain, although it represents just a tiny fraction (0.3 percent) of the country beer market, brews are growing like beer-foam. Between 2008 and 2015 it grew 1.600%. Most of the breweries are concentrated in Catalonia, the region where this beer revolution started thanks to brewmaster Steve Huxley who set its precedents.
The craft beer revolution in Spain has expanded to little villages and big cities, mainly in Andalusia, Euskadi, Valencia, Castilla-La Mancha, Galicia, Catalonia, Castilla and Leon, and Madrid. Each brewery is unique, they use malts and hops from different parts of the world, local water, and yeast strains that ensure quality. Many have the brewmaster touch who adds plants and fruits, but never preservatives and colorants, ensuring a natural product.
Within the beer-world, there are so many options, and we must say that most are simply great. Always think about the flavors you enjoy the most when choosing a craft beer, and allow a bit of a surprise from the beer. Here, we talk about our picks for getting a taste of Spain´s best brews. But before that let’s review the essential beer glossary in Spain:
- Beer in Spanish: Cerveza
- I want beer: quiero una cerveza por favor
- Craft Beer: Cerveza Artesanal
- Cheers: Salud!
(photo: Bodega Fermin)
CRAFT BEER IN BARCELONA
Barcelona is the epicenter for the beer boom in Spain and the region, Catalonia, is home to most breweries in the country.
Top Craft Beer Brands in Barcelona
- Nomada Brewing evokes memories and creates beauty, that’s simply their concept!
- Guineu means fox in Catalan, and their beers are created based on emotional recipes.
- La Pirata incendiary, artisan, and natural beers. Started as a home-brewing adventure between friends.
Top Craft Beer Bars in Barcelona
- BlackLab Brewpub (Palau del Mar, Plaça de Pau Vila, 1) has one of the best terraces in Barcelona, their tap beer comes out literally from the hands of Matt (the brewer). Their Sunday Pils got a gold medal this year!
- Garage Beer (Carrer Consell de Cent, 261) inspired by those home-brewers and master Steve Huxley, this bar pioneered the Barcelona Beer Revolution.
- Homo Sibaris (Plaça d’Osca 4) totally off the beaten path brewery with an amazing selection of brews and great food pairing options.
Tip: in case you wanna uncover the best of Spanish Craft Beer, you can join our Barcelona Brews Tasting Experience.
CRAFT BEER IN BILBAO
Bilbao, the trendy industrial port city in northern Spain, capital of the Basque Country, famous for its pintxo bars and Frank Gehry–designed Guggenheim Museum, has a pulsing artisan beer scene.
Top Craft Beer Brands in Bilbao
- Boga garagardoa is a beer cooperative founded by 7 young entrepreneurs, who aim to produce a locally brew
- Black Bitch microbrewery was founded in 2014 and is producing two promising beers: a Pale Ale and potent Black Bitch Porter
- Laugar brewery is in a constant process of innovation, and their artisan beers are all about crossing the borderline.
Top Craft Beer Bars in Bilbao
- Singular Bar (Lersundi Kalea, 2) is located around the Guggenheim Museum, with 6 craft beer taps that combine local, national and international beers plus a wide selection of bottled beers make this bar, just singular.
- Zazpi Bide (Barrenkale Barrena, 18) is that old school bar where pintxos and Amster beer tricks your first impression, though they have a couple of taps with artisan beers and a fantastic selection of bottled beer. Their pintxos are delicious!
- Bihotz Cafe (Aretzaga, 6) is a cafe bar that has four tapas with the latest brews from the Bilbao´ scene plus an international beer invited for the occasion. Growlers are available for takeaway beer!
CRAFT BEER IN SAN SEBASTIAN
Home to surfers, more pintxos and txakoli wine, San Sebastian is the foodies´ haven in Spain, and is awakening on this brews revolution!
(photo credit: Gross Company)
Top Craft Beer Brands in San Sebastian
BrewGross Company No Hops No Hope! Their microbrewery that is breaking through in northern Spain. Great and honest brews!
Top Craft Beer Bars in San Sebastian
- La Madame (C/ San Bartolomé 35) is not just a restaurant, but a space where gastronomy, local and international art, including music, converge and create an eclectic atmosphere.
- Pub Drop (Reyes Católicos 18) offers a wide selection of artisan beers from all over the planet, including the brews from Bilbao and San Sebastian, excellent beers!
CRAFT BEER IN VALENCIA
Valencia is the synonym of paella, beaches, and fun. Famous for its avant-garde buildings and historic past, this Mediterranean enclave will soon be inviting us to pair their paellas with craft beers!
Top Craft Beer Brands in Valencia
- Cerveza Tyris is proud to be the first artisan beer produced in Valencia, nowadays they are producing 300,000 liters of brews
- La Socarrada is a brewing company that already has received international awards for their craft beers and is an innovative project in Argentinian lands that supports artisan beer revolution!
Top Craft Beer Bars in Valencia
- Olhöps (Sueca, 21) started as an online beer shop and became a bar with 10 craft beer taps where there is always something going on.
- The Market (Carrer de les danses, 5) is an Irish style bar where the eclectic Valencia crowd meets and enjoy local brews, in particular, the Tyris and any new artisan beer creation.
- Beers & Travels (Carrer dels Serrans, 19) are the pioneers in Valencia´s craft beer scene and the best local brews are available at their beer taps.
- Ruzanúvol (Luis Santángel, 3) is a unique brewbar where beer rotates and always pairs with Italian dishes prepared mainly with Italian produce, the expertise of the house.
CRAFT BEER IN MADRID
Every month a new microbrewery appears in the Spanish Capital where more and more madrileños are getting hooked into this new trend. Wanna know what is beer in Spanish? get to the capital to discover it!.
(photo credit: Ann Layman)
Top Craft Beer Brands in Madrid
- Freaks Brewing is a nomad brewery, they go to any place they get invited and create amazing brews. While you enjoy one of their artisan beers, they are already dreaming about the next one.
- Cervezas La Virgen was conceived as a project encouraged on the local breweries of the US west coast. It is an honest beer with a character inspired on the ¨madrileños¨.
Top Craft Beer Bars in Madrid
- Fabrica Maravillas (Calle Valverde 29) is the cherry on the cake for one of Madrid´s most eclectic neighborhoods: Malasaña. Beer brewed in Malasaña for Malasaña and the world!
- El Baden Baden (Germán Pérez Carrasco, 51) has 7 tap beers that rotate every week. It has a charming atmosphere and a big screen to watch football. As it is quite off the beaten path, the visit is even worth!
- Café Chinaski de Lavapiés (Calle de la Fe, 19) is a colorful and mythic bar that has around 18 craft beers on tap that somehow represent the multiculturalist environment of where is located: Lavapies.
The world of craft beer is in constant evolution, and we are always happy to hear about new craft beer bars and brands in Spain! Just drop us a comment on our Facebook page and I’ll check it out! In the meantime, we invite you to visit Barcelona and get immerse in the world of Bodegas and Wines as well, all well accompanied by tapas and good vibes!