Post originally published in Barcelona Food Experience
BARCELONA BEER FESTIVAL: A WEEK-LONG CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL IN BARCELONA
Words don't really do justice to the Barcelona Beer Festival week experience, including the events around the city. The seventh edition of the festival took place this past weekend, and it has, again, surpassed all our expectations.
All of the know-how accumulated during the last edition (the first one in La Farga) has greatly benefitted the attendees and has translated into much more space, a better use of the same and an improved distribution in the different areas, including the area for the professionals (BBF-PRO).
There is no doubt that in any beer event the main assets are the beers, but in the BBF, the large agenda of parallel activities is also of great significance. In addition to the 300 participating brewers and more than 500 different beers, this year there were opportunities to participate in nearly 30 different tastings, pairings, presentations, meet the brewers, conferences and discussions led by excellent professionals. It was pure joy.
As always, the activities were spot on. The entire BBF team is fully dedicated to spread the beer culture on all levels and it shows in the range of the activities: technical (Cicerone, tasting techniques with Pablo Vijande), gastronomic / sensory (Showcooking with Albert Mendiola, Beer pairings with Melissa Cole, the desserts of 'El Racó d'en Cesc, Beer Cocktails with Edge Brewing and Balius Bar), reflective (Evolution of the offer of the big beer groups, presentation Pink Boots Society), local focus (Art 9 Hores with Art Cervecers, GECAN) and international focus (Live Tasting with Leuven, Oud Beersel) to name a few.
I would especially like to highlight the the attendance of Gust Simons, Export Manager of Brasserie Dupont, who offered us a monographic talk about the history of this famous traditional brewery specialized in the Saison style, its evolution during the years and the work philosophy that characterizes them.
Among the wide range of topics was also the classic activity of live tasting with local brewers. I had the privilege of attending the one on Friday with five brewers of the Gremi d 'Elaboradores de Cervesa Artesana i Natural (GECAN): Bripau, Les Clandestines, Cerverus, Hope and As Cervesa, in what was a fantastic opportunity to meet and chat more about in depth with the brewers and their projects and taste some of their great elaborations.
And words are not enough to describe the Nomada Experience, a surprising audiovisual pairing with four of its beers - Revontulet, Marabunta, Hanami and Manchurita - transporting us to a space full of sensations and showing us what inspires them and that unique ability that craft beer has to thrill and evoke emotions. Bravo!
Music was obviously present in this edition too, for example "Los Boozan Dukes" with their lively Mardi Gras-style show, The Penguins with their reggae for the little ones and a curated selection of DJs from the Say It Loud collective with strictly vinyl sessions. For those of us who are hooked on the analog format, groove music and afro-latin sounds were much appreciated.
In addition to the fact that the legendary Vermont brewer, Alchemist Beer brewed BBF:s festival beer, an India Pale Ale from the Skadoosh series, the American non-profit association Brewers Association held a seminar called "Diversity and Quality of American Craft Beer." The spokesperson was one of its most authoritative voices, the association’s ambassador in Europe Sylvia Kopp. She presented their main objectives, values and beliefs, and also illustrated the status of the independent American beer industry and culture accompanied by a few samples of delicious American beers.
As always I want to finish by thanking those who made the festival possible and all the effort they put into it. They relentlessly keep improving it year after year and make us proud of our festival and our city. But also a huge thanks to our brewers, our bars and other establishments, and to all the people and friends who, in one way or another, with their passion and dedication, contribute to us having such a good time and increasingly appreciate craft beer culture if possible even more than ever.