The protagonist of this new POURTRAITS edition is Alex Lazarowicz, founder and alma mater (together with his partner and friend Dimi) of one of the most genuine and inspiring projects in the Sant Antoni neighborhood: Barna-Brew brewpub.Read More
When speaking with people like Arturo it is easy to reach the conclusion that Hunter S. Thompson's famous quote "Good people drink good beer" is quite accurate. And most definitely in his case. Arturo Ruiz, in addition to being a great person and craft beer fan, has been one of the protagonists of our beer landscape for a few years now.Read More
Carlos Gremone and Debora Schneider transmit pure passion for gastronomy and craft beer. In Bar Centro, a reference in the Barcelona craft scene where Carlos and Debora are co-founders and owners, these two Venezuelans have been playing an important role as ambassadors of good beer in the right side of the Eixample for already a few years.
Recently I sat down for a chat and shared a drink with them, which for me is always a huge pleasure, they are such lovely people! And obviously I took the opportunity to ask them about beer, get their opinion about the craft beer movement, and ask them to help me choose the best pairing to accompany their spectacular Crispy Fried Chicken burger!
Ø: Why craft beer?
Debora: Our focus on quality products, preferably home-made when possible and respecting the environment, goes hand in hand with our philosophy: everything is produced in our kitchen, from preparing the burgers from scratch, making sauces and pickles, choosing Vaca Vieja Gallega meat because they are cows that have the opportunity to be outdoors until an adult age, respecting their growth and providing greater quality to what we later consume.
When you consume quality products your body appreciates it, the feeling is completely different, and it is the same with craft beer. The idea of craft beer is to have a product that accompanies and goes hand in hand with what we do on a daily basis in our kitchen.
Ø: Where and when did you taste that first craft beer that changed your perception and hooked you to the craft world?
Debora and Carlos: Many years ago, we can’t remember the date exactly but about five years ago, we were on a trip to New York and ate at Russ & Daughters which is one of our favorite places there. A couple of streets away we found a store specialized in craft beers, "Top Hop Beer Shop", which has a tasting bar. We went inside to have a look and from that day onwards we began to look for places specialized in beer. When we returned to Barcelona, we realized that there was a certain craft movement on the rise and we began investigating what has happening here.
Ø: Barcelona is a city traditionally dominated by beer giants and industrial lager beers, but you have always opted for craft beer. Have you noticed an evolution and / or maturity in your clientele as far as the consumption of craft beer is concerned?
Carlos: It definitely has evolved, and plenty! Although there is still a long way to go. But it's nice to work in a craft bar and see the increasing amount of people open and willing to try something that for many was unthinkable since it was sometimes categorized as a "hipster" movement (which is so far from the truth), and that there are even clients of a certain age who come back enthusiastically week after week to see what's new, what new features and what new flavors they can taste or what our recommendations are.
This is tremendously pleasing and over time the amount of people has increased who understand that it is not a type of beer to drink fifteen in a row of, but to sit down to taste, enjoy and get to know more about.
Ø: What beer would you recommend to a client who comes to Bar Centro and tells you that he has never tasted a craft beer before?
Carlos: Normally we recommend something soft in order to train the palate, if someone has never tasted something very hoppy it can be overpowering. It depends on what is currently on the blackboard: a Session Ale or a Blonde Ale, or even a Cream Ale or a Table Beer, we always have some of these on tap.
Ø: Have you thought about making your own beer?
Carlos: Yes, we have played with the idea, and we keep on looking into it, but the time hasn’t been right yet.
Ø: What kind of beer would define the identity and soul of Bar Centro?
Carlos: Without a doubt it would be an IPA, something quite classic and hoppy. Making a classic and doing it well is usually the most challenging task, from there we can experiment with other styles where there is room for more freedom. But having a defined style and perfectioning it is the goal.
Ø: What is the last craft beer you have tasted and left you speechless?
Carlos and Debora: From the local beers the 'Mosaic Doble Ipa Latte' from SOMA, and from the imported ones 'We'll Always Have Paris', an Imperial Stout from SORI BREWING in collaboration with BROUWERIJ KEES.
These two have been the latest ones, but by no means are they the only ones, very hight quality beers are being made and on a weekly basis we see really incredible ones.
Ø: Those of us who follow you on social networks know that you love to travel and find inspiration in the gastronomy at the destinations you visit. As far as craft beer is concerned, what place would you recommend us to visit?
Debora: Oh, that is difficult, we still have many places we’d like to visit, like Belgium or the West Coast of the United States, for example, but if we recommend a place nearby, we would begin with London, without a doubt.
Ø: Do you think that Barcelona is at the level of the main European capitals in terms of craft beer?
Debora and Carlos: Quality has risen a lot in the last two years, there is plenty of good beers here that rise to the occasion. We have to keep going!
Ø: You have a cooling system for the kegs that keeps the beer in the best possible condition and eight taps that rotate constantly. What style is always present in your fridge or on your blackboard?
Carlos: With our eight taps we try to keep it balanced, there needs to be a good classic IPA, a more experimental IPA or a fruity one, a good Pale Ale, an Imperial Stout, and in summer a Sour or Berliner, a soft Ale, an Amber or a Bitter.
Ø: Now that the NEIPAs have come to stay, what do you think will be the next trend for brewers?
Debora: Beers with lower alcohol and plenty of hops, we believe that maybe something like a New England Pale Pale.
Ø: Just as visiting Bar Centro without drinking a beer would be a crime, so is leaving without first tasting one of your delicious burgers. I need your help: which beer from your taps would you recommend to pair with your Crispy Fried Chicken?
Debora: Speaking of NEIPA, we now have one on tap from GIPSY HILL BREWING, 'Drifter NEIPA', with 7% ABV that would be perfect.
Neither very soft nor very intense, to contrast with the intense flavors in our Crispy Fried Chicken. It is not an extremely fruity NEIPA, which makes it contrast well and provides balance. If I were you I would order two!
Bar Centro. Calle Casp, 55 08010 Barcelona
Post originally published in BARCELONA FOOD EXPERIENCE
ALL BEGAN IN 2013
My story with Edge Brewing goes back quite some time. I remember perfectly when back in 2013 Barcelona Food Experience told me about a new brewery in Poblenou, similar to what we had seen on our visits during to the US. It feels like yesterday, but since then there are many liters of happiness that have been fermented in their facilities at C / Llull, 62.
THE ORIGINS: TWO AMERICAN BREWING CRAFT BEER IN POBLE NOU
Edge Brewing began as an entrepreneurial adventure of two Americans, Scott Vanover and Alan Sheppard, who literally brought a factory in their suitcase, although in this case they needed no less than six cargo containers. Equipment designed in the US, hops imported from Yakima Valley (Washington) and kept fresh in a refrigeration chamber, and yeast from White Labs (San Diego, California). Mix it and magic happens.
EDGE BREWING, ONE OF THE MAIN PLAYERS IN BARCELONA’S CRAFT BEER SCENE
In a recent post we talked about BierCaB and what it stands for in positioning Barcelona as a reference within the beer world map. There is no doubt that Edge, awarded in 2014 as the best new brewery in the world by Ratebeer users, could be added to that same platform. And the only thing we need to get there is a T-10 metrocard.
During these last years of the craft beer revolution where we’ve moved from training wheels to a pole position, Edge Brewing has remained as a leader on the scene. Together with Edge we have trained, we have grown and above all, we have had so much fun. And there is no stopping this train!
SOME CHANGES BUT THE SAME MAGIC
After the departure of the founding master brewer Alan Sheppard, Sean McLin arrived with his sensational beer festival shirt and left us with an excellent legacy of three years. And with his farewell, the dynasty and the success of Edge continues, because at the steering wheel is the current Head Brewer Riley Finnigan, a top catch from Avery Brewing Co. (Boulder, Colorado).
Along with Riley there are other fundamental parts of the team such as Robin, Jofre and the most recent addition Linda, in addition to the rest of the team members. We are in luck, because the journey has only just begun and very exciting times are ahead.
AWARDED BEERS, TASTINGS, TOUR AND EGE EXPLORERS CLUB
Apart from its renowned and award-winning beers, Edge offers private tasting sessions and tours through the factory, which is a unique opportunity to know in detail what the brewing process consists of, the ingredients that are used and the main styles that are brewed. If you have never try a beer fresh from the fermenter, I don't know what you are waiting for.
Also may sure you keep tabs on the events and parties that take place in the tasting room (with an inner patio!). Now Edge also offers membership to their own club of beer lovers: Edge Explorers Club.
Since 2017, the Edge Brewing team is also one of the organizers of the most recent and exciting projects of our city, which is none other than the MASH festival.
MASH BEER FESTIVAL CO-HOSTS
MASH is being organized by Edge and the local beer brewery Garage Beer Co. (a post on them will be published soon), and this year the host will be nobody less than the importers and distributors Shelton Brothers. MASH is destined to become another of the reference festivals of our city and the rest of the country.
MASH festival will take place next October in Nau Bostik, and with the expectations being very high for this years edition I will certainly not miss it. Considered this as a heads up!
Adress: C / Llull, 62
Very rarely does one have the opportunity to hear, firsthand, the history behind one of the pioneers and most influential breweries in the craft brewing movement in the United States.Read More
It is no secret that Barcelona has earned its reputation as a beer capital in recent years. And not only in Spain, but at European level it has managed to consolidate itself in a very short time as one of the most interesting, exciting and lively travel destinations in the craft beer scene.Read More