Thursday, August 15, 2013

La Festa Major de Gracia 2013 - 1st annual Vilabirra Microbrew Festival

La Festa Major de Gracia are one of the summer highlights of Barcelona. Every year the village of Gracia, which until 1897 was a separate, thriving town from the neighboring city of Barcelona, hosts a 10 day street carnival which turns the heart of the city into a maze of paper mâché decorations, stalls and activities for all ages. Locals mix with tourists among the brightly adorned buildings and squares. It really is one of the most interesting and festive celebrations of the summer in the city. 

This year, with the ever increasing craft brew revolution taking place across the peninsula, the festival is offering its first ever craft brew festival, VilaBirra. Hosted by the Cara B bar, the beer festival offers 14 taps with more than 30 different beers from around the world. Some of the local beers worth highlighting are:

  • Sang de Gossa from Zulogaarden
  • Suria from La Pirata (I haven't had this one, so it's on my short list to try first)
  • Blat Raner from L'Anjub (probably my favorite wheat beer from Catalonia, one of the best I've had from anywhere in recent years)
  • and perhaps the one I am most looking forward to: La Virreina, which is a beer made specifically for the Festa Major, only 850 bottles made according to the website. 
In addition to the beers available for sampling, there will be activities such as beer tasting courses, concerts, and a workshop on homebrewing. So if you needed another reason to visit Barcelona's most popular summer festival this year, may i suggest the VilaBirra Festival!

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