Bottles of Tyris, a craft beer from Valencia, Spain

Best Craft Beer Bars in Valencia

When I think of beer culture in Europe, I definitely don’t think of España. My mind conjures images of rowdy Oktoberfest in Germany, dusty taverns in the UK, and Belgian ales that must be served in giant, obnoxious glasses. What I didn’t know is that Spain has actually been one of the leading European countries in the microbrew trend in the past five years and is the fourth leading producer of beer overall. Copying the American microbrews tradition of lovingly and manually making beers without filters, Spanish craft brewers have re-instilled a “shopping small” mentality in consumers where sourcing locally becomes more and more popular, and quality beats quantity any day. Folks take pride in supporting small, local businesses…especially when that business leads to a good buzz.

Poster at Tyris on Tap, Valencia, Spain

Words of wisdom, at Tyris on Tap

If you´re hankering to try some good, local craft brews as well as imported microbrews, you don´t have to fly to Munich to do it. Here are our top 8 locales to hit up around Valencia and check out the cerveza scene right around the corner.

Portland Ale House (Carrer de Salamanca, 10, 46005 València)
We couldn’t talk about craft beer in Valencia without mentioning the Portland Ale House. As the most authentic American bar and restaurant in town, the ale house brings the love of home brewing all the way from Oregon, U.S.A where the owner Maurice is originally from. As a lover of microbrews, Maurice was disappointed with the offerings of locally brewed, craft beer in Spain, so he decided to open up his ale house to remedy the situation, and Valencia is thrilled he did. Now run by his nephew Jared, the loud and energetic bar packs in crowds nightly to hang out in the charming tavern covered with imported American memorabilia and recycled wood from Oregon, and is complete with a popcorn machine for patrons. They host a variety of American parties and events throughout the year such as a big Thanksgiving feast and Super Bowl party for the American ex-pats, but also cater to Valencians with sports games, quiz nights and a weekly language exchange. Their home brews change seasonally but right now you can find an IPA, Hefeweizen, and an Amber Ale. A darker brew will be released this winter to keep you warm on those unbearably cold Mediterranean nights (please note the sarcasm). Traditional American pub grub like burgers, wings and nachos go great with any of the cervezas on tap so you won´t go hungry.

Bartenders at Portland Ale House, Valencia, Spain

A true ‘brew pub’, Portland Ale House services up house-made microbrews

Ruzanuvol (Carrer de Lluís de Santàngel, 3, 46005 València) 7PM–1AM
Like I said, when I think of craft brew I definitely don´t think of Spain…but then again I don´t think of Italy either. That’s exactly what Ruzanuvol has to offer though; Italian, crafted beer from two of the oldest leading producers, Birrificio Italiano and Birrificio Lambrate, which have been producing craft style beer since 1996. When the owners Giovanni and Barbara arrived in Valencia in 2010, they were disappointed with the basically non-existent craft beer offerings. As they had previously worked in the industry in their home in Milan, they decided to share their love of craft beer with Valencia and open their own restaurant and bar. The two breweries on tap offer a variety of different beers and styles so the five taps at Ruzanuvol are constantly changing. Authentic Italian tapas accompany the cerveza selections with products brought directly from Italy. We recommend pairing a crisp Birrificio Italiano with a nice Italian cheese platter. The place gives off a good vibe that is even evident in their name which is a play on the name of the neighborhood in which the bar is located “Ruzafa,” and a Milanese word that literally means “to push the clouds” or make good weather, which of course isn’t hard to find here in sunny Valencia.

Exterior of Ruzanuvol, Italian Craft Beer Bar, Valencia, Spain

Ruzanuvol, Italian Craft Beer Bar, Valencia, Spain Source: www.ruzanuvol.com

The Market (Carrer de les Danses, 5, 46001 València)
You might walk right by The Market if you weren’t paying attention. Located on a cramped, tired street in the old town, from the outside, this small Irish style pub looks like a dive you might find your Tío Pepe in on a Tuesday evening. After stepping inside you’ll find that the clientele are much cooler and slightly more hipster (read: bearded) than you had imagined, with funky art on the walls and an overall good vibe that makes you want to hunker down and stay for another round. Opened in 2014, and offering up a changing variety of both domestic and international microbrews, this little taproom reminds us that “good people drink good beer.” If you’re like me and have no idea what to ask for, the knowledgeable bartender will give you suggestions whether you’re a newbie to the beer scene or are just looking to try something new. I liked the BrewDog “Vagabond” and surprisingly the toasty “Paquita Brown.”

Tyris on Tap, Valencia, Spain

Tyris on Tap, Valencia, Spain

Tyris on Tap (Carrer de la Taula de Canvis, 6, 46001 València)
“Malted grains, hops, water, and yeast. No more, no less.” That´s the slogan Cerveza Artesanal Tyris (pronounced “tee-reece” which in Spanish also sounds like you’re saying “titties”) uses on their website to describe their authentic craft beer, and man do they know how to mix those four ingredients together. The official taproom for Tyris beer is located near the Mercado Central in the old town, and is a great spot to hit up before or after dinner in El Carmen to listen to some chill music or hangout on their terrace and try one of their 10 craft beers on tap. Their flagship brew “Tyris Original” is the perfect cherry popper if your palate isn’t quite accustomed to darker, powerful “Tyris Artworks” brews like “Diablos Joe” or their black Indian Pale ale “Black Pussy Palace.” Ha. I just like saying the names. “Au Yeah” is one of my favorite American Pale Ales and “Vipa” rocks too if you want to try a “Tyris Hit.” If you get a chance to go before they run out, “Pim Pam Pumpkin Ale” is their specialty brew this fall and you can try it in house or take home a growler of any beer for 16€ deposit for the glass jug and 16€ to fill it each time. Visits to the brewery are open on Saturdays and for 9€ you can taste every type of beer available. Oh and it’s totally acceptable to drink before noon because the tour starts at 11:30am.

Beer & Travels (Carrer dels Serrans, 19, 46003 València) 10AM – 2PM, 5PM – 9PM
Found in the heart of the old town, just down the road from the Serrano towers, is Beer & Travels. Starting as a travel agency for beercations, the three founding brothers have converted their shop into a craft brew haven and tasting room. Current customer favorites include Zeta Hop and Valencia’s own La Socarrada with notes of rosemary, the typical spice found in paella, from the brewery of the same name in Xativa. If you want to try a bit of everything, the owners will be happy to set up a tasting flight with four different styles of microbrew so you don’t have to tease your taste buds with just one flavor.

Bartender at Olhops, a craft beer bar in Valencia, Spain

Chalkboard offerings and friendly service at Olhops Craft Beer House

Olhöps Craft Beer House (Carrer de Sueca, 21, 46004 València)
Beer enthusiasts unite at Olhöps Craft Beer House. With a chalkboard of selections continually changing, and a very knowledgeable staff, you’re bound to find a few birras to wet your craft brew appetite. Prices are very reasonable considering the quality of the beer but if you’re hoping to spend 1€ on a caña, take your Amstel drinking ass elsewhere. The space itself is very open and bright but lacks the warm and cozy space I normally associate with beer taverns. They host a variety of cool events throughout the year like jazz nights, and beer pong championships (be still my college heart) so follow them on Facebook to stay updated on what´s up each week. Try the Imperial Red IPA Redankulous from Founders Brewing for a bit of a change from the standard lager or the dark Beer Geek Big Blend that features coffee. Check out their website to create your own mix and match packs and order directly to your front door.

Beershooter (Avinguda del Cardenal Benlloch, 104, 46021 València), Valencia (Gran Via del Marqués del Túria, 14 Valencia)
Although it seems like a bit of an oxymoron to have a large franchise selling micro-brews, that´s exactly what this is. A new chain of Craft Beer “Bar Shops,” that has popped up all over Spain and Portugal with a total of 12 shops in 8 cities. The shops invite craft beer aficionados to step inside and taste a flight of microbrews or buy by the bottle and take home a six-pack. The fluorescent white lighting typical for stores in Spain doesn’t necessarily instill a warm feeling for customers to sit back and enjoy one of their purchases but the shops do setup tasting flights with nibbles for folks who want to pop in for a drink. Again, craft brew pricing in Spain is not the most economical but hey, you´re paying for quality and your taste buds will thank you for it.

Ubik Café (Carrer del Literat Azorín, 13, 46003 València)
If drinking beer in a library is your thing then you should check out Ubik Café. Actually it’s a book store and café but there´s something about the little wooden (study) tables, comfy reading nooks, and surrounding bookshelves that is reminiscent of the all-nighters back in college. Offering a distinct menu for lunch Wednesday-Saturday and dinner Thursday-Saturday with fresh products from the Ruzafa market, the artsy Ubik Café sticks with the trendy vibe of supporting local business and eating and drinking “small.” On any given day you´ll find plenty of groups of friends hanging out with a couple beers and discussing European art and literature. On tap you´ll find the toasted Dougalls´ Leyenda or their blonde 942 and by the bottle they offer all of the Tyris favorites. Ubik is also known for having plenty of events for people of all ages including activities for kids so if you want to stay updated you can follow them on Facebook.

While the craft brew scene is still somewhat of a novelty in Valencia and Spain in general, the microbreweries are slowly gaining fame, and are beginning to sway hardcore winos like myself away from the typical Spanish tintos. The many variations and styles of craft beer have something for rookies and connoisseurs alike, so go out and give ’em a try.

 

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