Vikings and craft beer snobs rejoice! Ølgod craft beer bar brings a touch of Scandinavian sophistication to Barcelona’s bohemian Raval neighbourhood.
Squirrelled away between the Halal butchers and Punjabi supermarkets of Carrer de Hospital, you’d be forgiven for completely missing this stunning Norse-themed temple of beerology. Shadeless lamps shine brightly over the crisp white walls, illuminating fairytale drawings of unicorns, trolls, pixies and beautiful forest fairies – the first hint (unless you know from the name) at the bar’s Danish heritage.
Ølgod ~ “Beer God” in Danish
A twenty-something-foot long concrete bar almost spans the entire length of the room, with 30 taps sparkling and seducing under the lights. Only about twenty of them were in use on my visit, but, to be fair, they’d only been open a couple of weeks.
Like the more mature but smaller sister bar, Kaelderkold – Yes, that’s why it looks so familiar! – there’s a great selection of Danish beers to choose from, as well as local Catalan brews and a good selection from other parts of Scandinavia and the UK.
Other standout features include a creative “beer cocktail” menu, which includes 15 varieties such as the “Beer Pirinha”, “Black Russian”, “Ølgod Shandy” and “Nordic Sour”. I haven’t tried them here, but I’ve had one or two at Kaelderkold and they were surprisingly satisfying.
With more space to play with than Kaelderkold, the atmosphere lends itself more to the idea of having something to nibble on whilst quaffing your way through the beers. A very well priced tapas menu features beer-friendly flavours such as patatas bravas, hummus, paté, nachos with guacamole, pickles and veggie burgers.
Yes, it is all vegetarian! A throw back, perhaps, to the venue’s previous incarnation as a vegetarian/vegan restaurant known as Juicy Jones – who ever knew it was owned by the same people!
In a Nutshell
A simple and modest space that offers a comfortable setting for enjoying serious beers from serious brewers, this is my kind of craft beer bar. I think the owners have managed to improve on what they’ve achieved with Kaelderkold – more beer taps, more space, more food – and if the prices were about a euro cheaper per glass, I’d probably spend an unhealthy amount of my time here.