Getting to know: Tibidabo Brewing

L’Hospitalet de Llobregat — known locally as simply L’Hospitalet — is the Catalan municipality immediately southwest of Barcelona that plays host to the annual Barcelona Beer Festival, attracting many thousands of visitors each year who are keen to try some of the finest local, national and international beers.

However, for the last couple of years there has been yet another splendid reason to visit this corner of a city and community that is already a world-class leader in the field of Craft Beer brewing.

Tibidabo Brewing is housed in a cavernous yet unassuming industrial space only a few minutes’ walk from the centre of L’Hospitalet; and the endless procession of drinkers following a well-worn path to its door confirms the trifling effort to get here is worthwhile and extremely rewarding.

The brainchild of Borja and Patricia, Tibidabo Brewing epitomises Catalan cool.  And it epitomises the widespread excellence in brewing seen in this small corner of Europe.  With Quentin, a former brewer at Haarlem’s Jopen Bier, manning the brewhouse, a talent for producing excellent beers is guaranteed.

Tibidabo Brewing reeks of Americana.  Not so much in the attitude or ethos behind the brewery, but certainly in the physical space itself — it could easily be a popular brewery-cum-taproom in any major US city.  It’s airy, spacious, bright, welcoming, comfortable and offering many, many beery delights to appreciative visitors.  And there is not much else that a brewery can do to be successful in enticing drinkers.

It has not only all the right brewing ingredients to produce some awe-inspiring beer, but it also has all the other soft and extremely necessary ingredients to be a very successful taproom and social gathering place.  An amalgamation of wooden benches, smart tiles, comfortable armchairs, upcycled pallets and the obligatory Fussball table.

The taproom itself has a few more hurdles to cross before it can officially open, yet anybody visiting the brewery and taproom on one of its preview days will agree that everything suggests it will be a highlight for beer-lovers, newbies and passers-by once fully open to the public.

It is little wonder that Tibidabo Brewing is named after Mount Tibidabo, the highest peak in the region that overlooks Barcelona to the north-west of the city.  Anybody else wishing to reach the high standards of beer production and convivial presentation shown by Tibidabo Brewing will expect to face a challenging climb to the top.

Then there is the social conscience and values of Tibidabo Brewing.  Yet more aspects of the brewery’s approach that ought to be applauded.  Having an altruistic vision of sharing that contributes to not-for-profit organisations and their projects demonstrates genuine sincerity.  Tibidabo Brewing is generous in its care and interest in the greater good of society.

Tibidabo Brewing presents its beers in bottle, cans and draft.  Its design and graphic approach mirroring a smartness and sophistication that is evident in both Tibidabo Brewing’s relaxing and hospitable brewery-cum-taproom and in the convivial and warm welcome offered by its staff.  Great stuff.

And there are growlers too.  Another nod to the palpable sense of Americana.

Almost every beer style is represented in the Tibidabo Brewing, or unique variants thereof.  The presence of liquid alchemy in the form of barrels working their aging magic on already-impressive base beers demonstrates to the visiting beer-faithful that this is a brewery that knows what it’s doing.  And the first sip of a barrel-aged approximation of liquid-gold confirms its truly does know what it’s doing.

When in Barcelona or the Catalan region, Tibidabo Brewing is an essential stop on any beer-journey through the area.  Don’t bother to climb Mount Tibidabo — come to Tibidabo Brewing instead and sample the dizzying heights of impressive beer production in a taproom that oozes a quality all of its own.