Ale & Hop Barcelona, Spain

My lady and I were really excited to check out Ale & Hop during our visit to Barcelona. It seemed like it would cover many of our wants by providing craft beer for me and vegetarian food for her in a relaxed atmosphere. Unfortunately it turned out to be the worst experience I've ever had in a beer bar in Europe or the US.

We arrived a bit after 19 hour on Monday the 22nd. There were a few people in the front enjoying some beers and making the best of the rainy day. I looked over the beer board and saw a couple of Edge brewing collaboration beers, and the rest were from around Europe. I ordered a Buxton Ace Edge and asked about ordering food. I was told by the bartender (taller man with glasses) the kitchen would open at 20 hour. There wasn't much seating open in the front, so my lady and I walked to the back and sat down at a table to wait.

About twenty minutes passed and a different man approached us. He was shorter with dark hair and wearing a black t shirt and jean shorts. He told us we would need to leave. After a moment of confusion I asked if the table was reserved and he told us it wasn't. I asked why we had to go, and he told us it was because the table was only for people eating food. We informed him we were planning on eating and were waiting for the kitchen to open. He said that was okay, but we would have to leave if we didn't order. My partner in crime was already pretty taken aback by his rude tone and insistence that we leave, but I figured it was possibly just due to him speaking in English and not his native language. I did agree that he came off quite rude though.

We waited until 20 hour for the kitchen to open, and when it came and passed and nothing happened, assumed the kitchen had been held up and service would start soon.

About 15 minutes past 20 hour he came back and asked what we wanted to eat. We asked him if we could see a menu before we ordered. He seemed very annoyed and told us again that if we didn't order food we would need to leave. He went and got a menu and gave it to us and told us again that we would need to order food or go.

At no point did he suggest we switch to a non-dining table or move to the bar. It became obvious to me that he was being rude, and it wasn't due to speaking in English. My lady became nervous that he'd actually try to force us to leave when he returned. I think a small part of me found this guy and his overblown ego attempting to exert his will upon us laughable, but ultimately I was tired of being treated like a vagrant.

It was after half past 20 hour and no one had come back. We saw food heading out of the kitchen to the bar area, so we knew there wasn't a problem with the kitchen, we were just being ignored.

I decided to head to the bar to talk to him. I stood there for several minutes, and he went out of his way to ignore me. It wasn't that busy, and he was obviously trying not to interact with me. I figured at this point I couldn't justify spending any more money here, since he didn't even have the decency to talk to me, so we decided to leave.

Every time my better half and I travel, I take time to look up craft beer bars where we will be going. Ale&Hop seemed like exactly the kind of place I would like to visit from everything I read online, especially since half of my party is vegetarian. I was really looking forward to getting some food and a couple of beers there. In all of my travels across Europe and the US this was by far the worst service and experience I've ever had in a beer bar.

I understand places can get busy and that can affect service, but that wasn't the case on the night we visited. I also understand that some of the tables in the back were only for people to eat food at, but we wanted to eat.

Considering only two other tables were occupied at the time, and only by other people having beer, we weren't keeping anyone from having food. However, after repeatedly being told that if we didn't order food we would have to leave and yet being refused service, it became clear that we were unwelcome.

I doubt the terrible experience I had is indicative of the service every patron will receive. The first bartender I interacted with was pleasant and helpful and that is all I really need when it comes to service. I'm sure many people have been there since I have and had a perfectly decent time. I reached out to Ale&Hop and received an initial reply through facebook, but when I went to email them with the details of what happened I never heard back. The person who responded on facebook asked that I call, but I was on vacation and didn't get a chance. Although I can't more strongly recommend against it, if you do happen to wander into Ale & Hop I hope you have a much better experience than we did.

Overall: 1/10

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About averageguysguidetobeer

Hi, I'm Colin, I love a good hoppy IPA, but I can find immense enjoyment in a solid session beer, imperial stout, quadrupel or a nostalgic beer from my past.


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