Our intention was to pop into BeerLab for a beer and a quick bite before doing some shopping at a couple of bottle shops. That plan failed miserably the moment we stepped foot inside, as Manu was convinced we should try every Galician craft beer that night. I don't think we were successful, but I'm sure we made a dent. Checking our Untappd stats, we had at least a dozen beers. I say at least, because at some point, we lost the drive to keep checking in. Sounds like a repeat visit is required.
BeerLab looks and feels like any other craft beer bar and restaurant you'd stumble across in Denver, Portland, or even Phoenix. Four of the six tap handles rotate through mostly Galician craft beer. I say mostly because distribution and production of cervexa artesá is somewhat limited. When they don't have a local keg, the put in another great craft beer. Magic Rock from London was on when we were there. And their bottle selection is top notch, with a few dozen options to choose from. Many are local, but many are from other spots. I even saw a few U.S. based beers back there, too.
The food is outstanding. Santi, the chef, makes some outstanding tapas, keeping me well fed through the evening. Galician chorizo, amazing Spanish olives, a quirky combo of peanuts, corn nuts and itty-bitty funyuns, and some amazing chili con carne made with honey and booze kept showing up in front of me all night long. Sheila ordered the fish & chips, which were quite a delight. Instead of the normal tarter sauce, they were accompanied by some great dill-yogurt dipping sauce that I wanted to eat by the spoonful.
And the patrons couldn't have been nicer to a couple of Americans not on the Camino who get a little loud when they drink... and attract a crowd. But hey, that's what we do.
Thanks, Manu and Jose, for your amazing hospitality. I think there were a few beers we didn't try, so we'll be back this weekend!