Searching for Catalan Craft Beers

The typical lager style beer that every bar or restaurant has to offer is all well and good, but for some of us from countries where we are used to more variety, the lack of choice can sometimes be a little frustrating. Thankfully things are changing in this respect with more and more craft breweries popping up all over the country, and nowhere more so than in Catalunya.

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Tap Water

A question often asked by foreigners coming to Spain is “Can I drink the tap water?” The simple answer is yes, you can! Between 1986 and 2008 Spain received €21 billion in EU funding for water infrastructure. Today they have some of the most advanced public water filtrations and wastewater management solutions in the world. Tap water in Spain complies with international water quality standards, but there may be issues such as taste, chlorine by-products, microplastics and local pipe contaminants. If you are concerned about any of these you could buy yourself a water filter, and this has the added advantage of saving you money in the long run compared to buying bottled water – and of course, it will help reduce the amount of plastic waste you produce too.

The chiringuitos are back!

Did you know, the word chiringuito (xiringuito in Catalan) originated from sugar-cane plantations in Cuba the 19th century?

When the workers stopped for a break, they would have a coffee drink they called a chiringo, the diminutive of which is chiringuito. They would erect a basic structure using the long sugar canes and leaves to provide shelter from the baking sun and over time the word chiringuito came to mean a basic outdoor bar.

The first chiringuito “beach bar” in Spain opened in 1913 in Sitges, Catalunya and nowadays they can be found on almost every beach during the summer months. They are licensed to operate from around March or April (depending on Easter) until the end of October. Some open earlier or shut down later than others, but when the season is done, they are dismantled until the next year. So, you can once again enjoy drinks on the beach, and don’t forget the seafood!

Some, like L’Onada on the main beach in Palamós occasionally even have entertainment. They have a piano on-site and a local character comes along, usually on Sundays, to bang out a few tunes!