Sants is best known by Barcelona beer lovers for being the home of the legendary Homo Sibaris craft beer bar (in the gastro haven of Plaça d’Osca), but the new addition of La Gorda Beer Factory on Carrer de Riego – a rock ‘n’ roll-blasting mini-brewpub run by two young Catalan brothers – shows that this workaday enclave of Barcelona is getting hipper by the day.
Gorda ~ Spanish word for a fat girl or woman
“Once I started brewing, it was all I wanted to do,” Toni explained with an air of wisdom and grace that betrayed his youthful smile (he’s 25!).
I didn’t want to study anything else or do anything else. This was it!
He led me out to the back of the pub to the on-site brewery and I was blinded by the shimmering vats and pipes and valves and tempting giant red buttons. “How did you learn how to use all of this stuff?” I asked.
“I took a course. And I also practised at home with this,” he said as he rattled his fingernails on the side of a bucket-sized home-brewing tank.
It must have been a long way to go from home-brewing to opening a bar, I thought, but Toni’s passion and boundless energy has inspired a rather rapid mastering of the craft, the result of which can best be enjoyed in his La Gorda Summer Ale.
Light and hoppy, this fragrant session ale is bordering on IPA, with just the right amount of bite – the perfect companion for Barcelona’s long balmy nights.
La Gorda Beer Factory offers quality beer in a relaxed and totally unpretentious atmosphere – the bar was previously “an old Latino bar”. What’s more, Toni is clearly destined to brew some of the city’s best beers over the next couple of years and, I believe, represents the future of the city’s blossoming craft beer scene.
I also believe that Carrer de Riego will become one of the next streets to undergo a similar transformation to Carrer Parlament and Carrer Blai.
All in all La Gorda is great news for Sants, and even better news for beer lovers.
Make it Happen
Head to Plaça d’Osca early to get a table on the terrace. Enjoy a vermouth or a few beers from Homo Sibaris and once you’re warmed up, take the two-second stroll around the corner to La Gorda Beer Factory and sample a few of Toni’s latest beers. If you spot him at the end of the bar, be sure to ask for his recommendations. He speaks perfect English and is a very friendly young chap.
Address: 29, Carrer de Riego, Sants
Nearest Metro: Plaça de Sants (Blue or red line) – It’s also walkable from Sants Estacio