Wednesday, 2 December 2015

La Birreria - A new addition to Valencia's craft ale scene

The craft ale revolution seems to have spread to all corners of the globe, ensuring a glass of local, small-batch brewed beer can be found in most places. This goes for Valencia as much as anywhere else, as my boyfriend and I discovered when we were visiting to coincide with La Tomatina Festival this summer.

In the centre of the city, we stumbled upon The Market, offering a good selection of brews including some we had heard of and a few new to our pallets. This little place close to the Central Market had all the makings of a great craft beer bar - a bit dingy inside, an upturned barrel on the street used as a table and a friendly and knowledgeable barman keen to match the right beers with his clientele.

While we enjoyed a few beers here, a real find came a little later on when we were exploring down the route of the former river towards the sea. Keen to check out the ultra-modern buildings that had been built down there we took a wander, but decided to stop for some lunch on the way. The receptionist at our hotel had recommended a few places to get a traditional paella, but at the height of the summer we found most of them were closed. Eventually we got to Raco de Turia, where we had a delicious lunch, but we walked past La Birreria as we wandered about the area.

It was closed due to the hour (lunchtime), but we vowed to stop by on our return journey later that evening, which we did. This lovely little modern bar serves up artesan beer from Valencia, Spain and the wider world and we later found out, was just three weeks old.

Sitting at one of the tables in the street we watched as a member of staff laid a small table for a party. It turned out that the celebration was to mark the owner, Roberto's, birthday. As we sat and tried various beers, including a sea water one called Boqueron, we were welcomed into the festivities and given morsels of tapas and birthday cake. Surrounded by Roberto's friends and family, the atmosphere was really fun and inclusive.

If you are in Valencia and are a fan of craft beer, be sure to head a little way out of the historic centre of the city to find La Birreria. We are sure you will receive a welcome as warm as the one we experienced. And we wish Roberto and his staff lots of luck in their venture. It deserves to do well.

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