There aren’t a large number of craft beer bars in Valletta, or indeed in Malta, so it wasn’t too onerous a challenge to try and visit them all in an evening. Liam and I were certainly brave and courageous in our endeavours. The first one of the evening was the Beer Cave, located under the Castille Hotel in the heart of the city.
The entrance takes you straight down into the cellar, or cave, and it feels like a welcoming place. With one exception, which was the ridiculous volume of the music. I assume they thought it would attract people, but I can’t think of one single craft beer bar I’ve been to where they play music at high levels when there’s no-one in there. Personally, I like those bars who generate their own atmosphere without needing the crutch of music, but if they’re going for that (and this venue is big on live music and bands, which they seemingly do well), it’s probably best set against how many people are actually in the bar. So, we were always destined to make this a quick visit.
The staff member was friendly enough, I’m not sure that he was entirely familiar with the options, but since he couldn’t clearly hear what I was saying and I couldn’t clearly hear what he was saying, it’s a hard one to call. Which is another issue really, this type of bar can surely only benefit from lots of engagement between customers and the bar staff, or just between customers. I’m perhaps just too old to be doing lots of yelling. The beer choices were also pretty well curated in terms of beer types, it seemed to cater to most needs. I had my delicious stout and Liam got his grapefruit pale ale.
Downstairs, in an atmospheric location at least. I’d say that this is a music venue which happens to sell craft beer as opposed to a craft beer bar, but it’s well reviewed and so is clearly meeting a need. The bar remained empty all the time that we were in there, other than for two people who came down the steps and then went back up them again. Anyway, I’m glad it’s there, craft beer should be for the many, not the few.