Barcelona Feature


Ordering Beer in Barcelona

The standard local beers made by the venerable Damm company are basically two: Estrella Dorada and Voll Damm. The darker Voll Damm bock beer is a potent, highly alcoholic brew. The lighter Estrella Dorada (translatable as "Golden Star"), normally ordered as simply una Estrella, is a cleansing lager with some bite to it (as opposed to the watery San Miguel, another less-common option). A hipper and more flavorsome alternative is Moritz, a local family-run brewery that recently reopened after a 30-year hiatus and produces an eponymous lager and the stronger Moritz Epidor. Una mediana is a middle-size bottled beer, as opposed to un quinto, which is a small bottle, a fifth of a liter, or una litrona, a full liter. Una caña is a draft beer drawn from the caña (cane, or tap). The standard choice for most Barcelona beer drinkers is una caña, but ask for una caña pequeña (a small draft) or you might get a stein of the stuff, known as una jarra. Some places serve zurritos (literally, a little slap, a hit)—shallow glasses with a couple of inches of beer splashed in the bottom. Watch out for an insidious new invention: a caña or tap with a small sign on it saying "limón," meaning lemon beer, a disappointingly sweet premixed shandy. If you want a shandy, a mix of beer and lemon-flavored fizzy water, order a clara and mix it yourself. This brew is sometimes served in a glass porrón, a jar with a slender spout designed to be poured from overhead at full arm's length and passed around. This is best attempted while wearing clothes you don't mind soaking with a little Bacchian overflow.

Updated: 09-2013

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