Barcelona Brew Pub

Blackboard in Barcelona brewpub Beer Nut and several others have been there before us, but we had to try out Barcelona’s two brew-pubs, starting with Cervesera Artesana.

As a place to hang out, it was perfect — lively, but not crowded, and very friendly. And it’s always nice to see the brewing kit on site.

But what about the beer? There were four on tap: wheat, honey, black and “tostada” (brown ale, basically). All four were interesting, and all four were served way too cold. Once they’d warmed up a bit, we were able to taste them better.

Wheat — peculiar, being thin and rather lemony, with an almost lambic quality — but, at the end of the day, quite pleasant and refreshing.

Honey — again, thin, but not unlike various (nondescript) summer ales we’ve had in the UK, without an overpowering honey taste.

Black — now we’re talking — American porter-like, with a massive amount of hop flavour and bitterness. Cascades?

Tostada — the best of the bunch, and the most popular with the regulars. Again, tons of hop aroma and flavour, and a lovely red colour. Not the best beer in the world, but certainly one of the better beers in Spain…

Sadly, the enticing sounding Iberian pale ale (IPA) and Iberian stout weren’t on.

What they think of the English Pt. 1

Screaming monkey, Nimes Natural History Museum

You can’t turn on the TV in the UK these days without seeing a report about binge drinking, accompanied by footage of girls rolling around on the floor; young men fighting; and people vomiting or urinating in public places.

Well, it seems they’ve seen that footage in France, too. We asked for a second 250 ml bottle of beer to accompany our meal in a very nice Chilean restaurant in Nimes and the owner/chef/waiter nodded sagely, before saying sadly: “Yes, I hear you have problems with drinking in London these days.”

Irrelevant photo from the vast cupboard of stuffed monkeys at the Natural History Museum in Nimes.

Interruption to your service

Boak is in France. I’m off to join her tomorrow, for three weeks. So, updates might be a bit less frequent than usual.

But don’t despair — we already have a post written for the Session, and we’ve got plenty of ideas for beer-related expeditions and experiments in France and Spain.

And I gather computers and internet connections are now very common on the Continent…

Oktoberfest Kicks Off Today

Oktoberfest kicked off today. Here’s an article on Oktoberfest from a magazine for American troops — some of whom were on the 9 am “drunk bus” to get prime tables at the big tents in Munich.

It didn’t really occur to me at the time, but there were a lot of American servicemen in Bavaria when we were there last.  That’s probably now one of the characteristic features of Oktoberfest.

Paris Hilton, however, is banned.