This time we’re treading down south, all the way to the Iberian peninsula. From the coastal city of Barcelona comes craft beer brewed by Barcelona Beer Company. Previously, Lithuanians had little exposure to Spanish beer (the only exception was Damm brewery). But now, thanks to importers Prohibicija, we can be better acquainted with a wine country that knows how to brew, too.
We’ve long had these five brews, but kept tasting them at a slow pace. And though we had no beergasms tasting them, each and every one of them proved to be of high quality, easy drinkability and, surprisingly, became better as we sipped them away. Truly, these are slow burners and you need to take time to truly appreciate their taste. So let’s do just that — appreciate and draw some more conclusions.
(OT: Are we being insensitive? Should we label this beer as Catalonian? Barcelona Beer Company is a brewer with strong Barcelonian identity, but we felt that mentioning one city twice in the title would be an overkill; besides, we like labeling our reviews by country of origin).
First up is Barcelona Beer, a tribute to the beautiful city of Barcelona.
Style: American Pale Ale
Appearance: Hazyish copper-coloured body with a low fluffy white head.
Aroma: A bit weak, with hints of flowers, grass, berries.
Taste: It starts off with a caramel-like sweetness and ends on very expressive hops. The bitterness might seem a bit too blunt, though.
Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, with a long-lasting aftertaste. Very pleasant to drink.
Notes: It’s a simple and clean beer with a good balance. Although after the first sip it didn’t seem remarkable, the more we drank of it, the more we liked it.
Now off to Big Bear. Just look at this angry vegetarian (!) bear called Frank.
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5.0 %
Appearance: Clear copper-coloured body with a thick off-white head.
Aroma: Biscuity malts and caramel but with less hops than we’d like.
Taste: Hey, all the hops are right there were you need them! The malts flash by quickly, followed by herby, earthy bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Dry, well-carbonated beer with a long-lasting aftertaste.
Notes: It’s quite a sharp beer and we doubt we’d drink more than one glass at a time. We thought it’s quite an unexpected Pale Ale, which, too, improved upon better acquaintance.
Let’s follow the green hoppy road up to Cerdos Voladores, pigs with attitude.
Appearance: Semi-opaque dark copper-coloured body with a tall and thick off-white head.
Aroma: A nice blend of hops — flowers, herbs, fruits.
Taste: It starts off with pleasantly sweet and refreshing notes. It’s strongly hopped, but more refreshing and less dry than the Big Bear.
Mouthfeel: Again, a well-carbonated beer with a long-lasting aftertaste.
Notes: The hops kept getting more pronounced with each sip. We liked that this IPA was quite refreshing, not bent on killing everyone with
And now it’s time for something softer, more summery — La Bella Lola.
Style: Mediterranean Blonde Ale
Appearance: Semi-opaque golden body with a low white head.
Aroma: Lemony, with a touch of sweetness.
Taste: The same lemony notes, only more bitter here. Neither malts nor hops overpower one another, creating a nice balance. We liked the subtle bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing, with a medium lasting aftertaste.
Notes: We paired it with a pan of shrimp paella and it did not disappoint. It’s a nice summer beer.
And now, to finish this off comes La Niña Barbuda, a bearded lady in the shape of brown ale.
Style: Brown Ale
Appearance: Hazyish reddish brown body with a tall creamy off-white head that leaves beautiful lace.
Aroma: It smells of bread leaven — a bit sour, a bit sweet.
Taste: It is intensely roasted, with candy notes to balance out the strong bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Long-lasting aftertaste and a body that’s neither too light nor too heavy.
Notes: This one is for the chillier evenings — it’s warming enough without the unnecessary sharpness of alcohol and makes you giddy pretty fast.
With Barcelona Beer Company, you gotta admire the attention to details — different bottles, different caps, different stylish or funky labels. It seems that everything is though out.
Disclaimer: We had these brews in a span of couple of months (April-May).