Thursday, March 15, 2012

Barcelona Beer Festival - a retrospective

The first annual Barcelona Beer Festival has come and gone.  Lots of things I could write about, but today I am going to limit myself to a summary of the festival as a whole, rather than the individual beers (and there were plenty of options, from around Catalunya, Europe and the States).

Firstly, the idea of holding the beer festival in a Gothic cloister is romantic and cool, drawing us back to the religious roots of beer in Europe. Kind of cool, undoubtedly. But from a logistical standpoint it was a bit crowded. Yes there were tables, which were always packed (well, until about an hour before closing time on Sunday) and a few tables, but the size of the place proved a logistical obstacle. Getting to the taps was no more difficult than your average pub packed on a Friday night, really. But for so many beers it was tough to see which kegs were where, and making it from one beer to another sometimes seemed a Herculean task.

There were some great things to be said for the festival. I would be remiss if i failed to mention the fact that, as the first Barcelona Beer Festival, it was great to see it publicized on the local radio and around town. A real effort was made to get the word out (which might have accounted for the logistical problems mentioned above). It showed a real commitment to introduce the craft beer world to the public, for which I applaud (loudly) and raise my glass.

Another reason for celebration was the beer list itself. One might imply that the Barcelona Beer Festival would concentrate on beer from Barcelona. Logical of course. But to see the local craft beers lined up with beers from Belgium, Holland, Germany, England and the USA showed that they were not afraid to  put their own against the competition. The local beers stood tall and held their own against such well-known breweries as Rogue, Meantime, Brewdog, Mikkeller, Flying Dog and others. That to me was best publicity, to show that craft beer from Catalonia and Spain is an evolving world that in just a few short years has begun to stake its claim as a legitimate brewing region.

1 comment:

Mager said...

You are lucky to have this event