Blacklab Brewhouse & Kitchen
Palau de Mar
Plaça Pau Vila 1
Located near the water in downtown Barcelona, Blacklab is a restaurant/brewery with a variety of brews and a robust menu split into western pub favorites like nachos, wings, fries and mac & cheese, and eastern fare like ramen, dumplings, edamame and Asian ribs, plus burgers, salads and more. There's ample seating both inside and outside (we chose the latter), and events such as brewery tours and live bands. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, and if you like craft beer, chances are they'll have something for you.
So let's take a gander at these brews....
Renaissance Man NEIPA (5.1%): New England IPA. Creamy body, hazy appearance and a ton of juicy, citrusy hop aromas. Low bitterness.
JB: I love NEIPAs, and this was an excellent specimen. Cloudy, tangy, full of that citra hops flavor I adore, with notes of mango. I liked this one so much I had to order a full pint after the flight.
Manor Farm Saison (5%): Saison. Our last saison of the season. An updated recipe with more caramelized malts and abundant Belgian yeast characteristics due to high temperature fermentation.
JB: Saisons are always a refreshing, spicy bit of fun. This had the signature wyeast flavor like a Hefeweizen, with just a hint of citrus and clove.
Terraplane (5.2%): Robust Porter. Great dark malt flavors, but not too much body. Made for the Barcelona climate.
JB: Drinking a porter in 70-degree weather seems odd, but this was pretty enjoyable. Dark and rich with strong coffee notes and a slightly bitter finish. I'd have maybe dialed back the coffee a tad, but Terraplane is a solid effort.
La Normal (5%): Golden Ale. Finally back on draft. Easy drinking and refreshing golden beer.
JB: If you're a fan of say, Night Shift's Nite Lite lager, this'll scratch you where ya itch. La Normal is light and crisp with a balanced flavor. Perfect for a hot day.
Tropicalia (4%): Kettle Sour with Pineapple. Originally a collab in 2018 with Marble Beer Co. in Manchester, this beer was so good we had to make it again. Light and refreshing for summertime!
JB: I'm not big on sour beers, but this has a bold pineapple flavor and the sourness is right up front. If sours are your thing, check it out.
Watermelon Man (5%): Made one time every summer. The sweetness of a wheat beer with 75kg of real watermelon.
JB: It's made with bits of real watermelon, so ya know it's good. Like sours, watermelon beers aren't my forte, but this boasts a strong watermelon flavor (unlike for example Hell or High Watermelon where it's barely there at all), with a light, subtly sweet finish.
And that about sums up our Blacklab visit - in a city known for its wine, cava and vermouth, it was fun to stop off for a few beers and change it up. Barcelona is seeing more and more little craft beer joints popping up, and it's great to see that even across the pond the alcoholic art form I love is beginning to thrive.
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