Craft Beer Emerges in Spain’s Barcelona

While drinking domestic beers, most are lagers or pilsners, most of us just think, “hey, this is what I grew up with”. This is drastically changing around the globe. At first the term, “microbrew”, was heard in beer crowds as the new thing. They were pricey and hard to come by. Times have changed in the beer community and now we have access to thousands of different flavors and original recipes popping up everywhere. The term, “microbrew”, no longer applies. Craft beer is the new term as it defines the true meaning. Brewers are crafting the beers on a large scale, not a micro scale.

I have attended close to 55 beer festivals in my time and visited breweries in Poland, Germany, USA, Spain, Greece and Dominican Republic. And through the years, I am more impressed with the quality and recipes brewers are creating. The USA has the ability to really explode some amazing flavors, such as the ones I have tasted abroad. It is a matter of getting the customer to change their ways of mundane repetition. Working in wine and beer retailers in the USA, I learned that the average customer drinks the same beer or wine every week. It is the go-to. There is nothing wrong with buying what you know to be safe, but who wants to do that forever? Sounds boring.

A few years ago, I moved to sunny and charming Barcelona, Spain. I decided to retire from the corporate life and start my own wine and craft beer tours. My first goal was to find an established craft brewery that produced quality and delicious beers in Barcelona. Of course, I had to undertake many mandatory tastings before I would partner. Or so, I told myself they were mandatory. Barcelona Wine and Beer Experience tour company was then born.

The really cool thing, is that many of the employees at the breweries in Barcelona, are from all over the globe. I have met brewers from Spain, Italy, USA, UK, Ireland, Russia and Romania. Many of them gained the knowledge and skill in their home countries. Similar to chefs in 5 diamond restaurants. They come together to create works of art. Blacklab Brewery’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Blackwave craft beer is a dark ale that was aged for 10 months in a whiskey barrel that came from the Evan Williams distillery in Kentucky, USA. This beer was at a spiking 10% ABV. The taste was complex with hints of molasses, cinnamon, char and oak. It would be a beer that old sailors would drink on the high seas during a storm. Edge Brewing’s Triple Virgin Cherries is a collaboration with Belgium brewer Gunther Bensch of Biir Brewing. This Belgium Tripel beer is made with kilos of ripe Barcelona cherries. At 7.7%, you feel satisfied that you are enjoying a fruity Belgium beer while not loosing out. I was told by one of the brewers at Edge, that the beer has some champagne presence to it. This beer took me by surprise, I wasn’t expecting a fruit beer to taste this flavorful and robust. Sweet and sour notes.

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Working with both of these breweries, I have learned to respect the beer business more than ever. They work hard to bring the guests the best possible product and they are proud of it. Cheers to them!

For a limited time, Barcelona Wine and Beer Experience is offering 40% OFF on Craft Beer Tours in Barcelona. The beer tour is combined with a 45 minute historic walking tour before arriving at the brewery. By the time we arrive, you will be thirsty for that beer. For more info, please visit us online at www.bcnwineandbeerexp.com or email us at daniel@bcnwineandbeerexp.com . Don’t be thirsty in Barcelona!

 

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Tip #5 Booking Flights with Multiple Carriers and Bag Fees

Many of us will travel using websites such as Kayak.com and Momondo.com, which bundle different flights on different carriers into one ticket. For example, London to Tokyo may have a flight on Ryanair from London to Istanbul and then a change of planes in Istanbul and fly out on Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to Tokyo. The ticket may be the cheapest you find and so that sounds and looks amazing!

BUT, consider now that you have not paid for bags or meals. Just because you booked those flights together in no way means that you will also pay one baggage fee to check a bag. No way. Once you book that ticket online, you receive 2 separate codes, one for each airline. At this point, you will need to pay a bag fee for each airline you fly with. 1 bag fee for Ryanair and another bag fee to Turkish Airlines.

Many times I have heard people say what a great deal they got, and then tell me they paid multiple bag fees because they did not think about the fact that these websites book a separate ticket for each flight, thus, more bag fees. OUCH! Now the price has gone up.

The solution – Do not check a bag OR do not book these together. Find the most direct flight to your destination or even into the country of your destination and then take a train or bus. Trains and buses usually do not charge for bags and you have added another leg to your adventure. This can save you some money off of the air ticket and another bag fee.

I took a flight from Barcelona to Seattle,WA, USA for $145 or 128 euros, and then took a train for $29 to Portland,OR, USA. This saved me a lot of money as Portland did not have many cheap flights to book.

Also, many buses now have USB ports, WiFi, WC (bathroom) and on-board free movies on the back headrest screen. Alsa bus, Flixbus in Europe have these great amenities.