Bartender serving one of the best beer in Barcelona, Spain


October is the month of the Barcelona Beer Festival, so there’s no better time to explore the local beer scene than now. In this post you’ll find everything you need to know about the most popular domestic beer brands (in supermarkets as well as bars), how to order a beer and what are the top craft beer bars and breweries. 

Did you know that beer is the most popular drink in Spain, even before wine? That’s because wine is seen as a drink that enhances a meal, but not so much as an easy drink to socialize. And Spaniards love to socialize! A beer goes well with some tapas, for any informal lunch or dinner, during vermut time, when watching a soccer match or when you go out for some drinks with your friends. Discover the Barcelona beer world with us!

Waitress at one of the best beer bars in Barcelona, Spain

How to order beer in Barcelona

Many tourists arrive to Barcelona with part of the lesson learnt: “Una cerveza, por favor” (in Spanish: “A beer, please”). But then either the waiter will shrug and give you whatever beer he or she wants, or you’ll be asked to be more precise and you won’t know how to continue. Let’s fix that! Here are the most common ways to order a beer in Barcelona:


  • Un quinto. That’s a small bottle of beer: 200ml / 0.42 US pints. It’s the smallest bottle you’ll see, a fifth of a liter (quinto actually meaning “fifth”). In other places of Spain this is known as a “botellín” (small bottle).
  • Una mediana (or una mitjana, in Catalan). That’s the largest bottle a bar can serve: 333ml / 0.70 US pints. In other places of Spain it is called a tercio or a medio.
  • Una caña (or una canya, in Catalan). This is a draft beer served in a long glass. Although the exact amount can vary a lot from bar to bar, and even more from one region of Spain to the other.
  • Una clara. That’s a shandy in Barcelona: beer with lemon soda. But careful: in other areas of Spain they use sparkling water instead of lemon soda in a clara, so there you’ll have to be specific and order una clara de limón.
  • Una litrona or una Xibeca. This is something you won’t order at a bar, but mostly buy in a supermarket to share with your friends. It’s a bottle of one liter of beer (from litro – liter, litrona). Xibeca is actually the most common brand of large beer bottles in Barcelona, and often people uses it to refer to any large bottle no matter the brand.
  • Una birra. Sorry, that just means “one beer”. It’s an informal word for beer that you can use with friends, or in beer bars, but it’s worth knowing.

And of course, you can always order directly by the name of the brand “Una Heineken”, for instance. And then you’ll be served whatever size they have of that particular brand.

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