3 Cordilleras

Colombian Beer and Me

Bungas is back for a review of the beers of Colombia. Thank you to the three fans who made this post possible - you know who you are. Our time in South America is coming to a sad end, but the beers have certainly kept us going; providing the fuel to endure the hot, the cold and everything in between.

Colombia has been a special country for us. Entering this continent for the first time, it was not on our original agenda. We are not alone in this when travelling to South America; Colombia’s past sometimes makes it invisible to the common person. We only had to hear one or two stories about its fabulousness until we uttered “Sold!” and made our plans to come here.

Beer. Sweet, sweet beer. It started with the Bogota Beer Company (or BBC as they call themselves). Yes they are a chain, but yes they have good beer. The Candelaria Clasica (rubia - blonde), Monserrate Roja (red), Chapinero Porter (negra - black) and Cajica Miel (honey) were the tap varieties. But the seasonal one I tried was the best - the Septimazo India Pale Ale! Weighing in at a hefty 6%, it’s served in a tulip-shaped glass. And it hit the proverbial spot, particularly on a warm summer’s day.

Next it was time for Beer Station. Similar varieties were on offer again, this time the roja being my favourite. Truth be told, I didn’t try the negra. This was purely because I usually delve into dark beers a few drinks into a session or mid-evening after an early dinner. So because of the hot, humid and cloudy conditions, we mostly drank in the afternoon. An outstanding burger was also consumed along with the beer.

Medellin brought a new city and perhaps the finest beer Colombia has to offer: 3 Cordilleras. We tried four types: Blanca, Mulata, Mestiza and 6.47% Especial (which was strangely only 6.41%…those crazy Colombians!) Needless to say the latter was strong and tasty, but the Mestiza was an American Pale Ale that enveloped the senses. This time, the best chicken wings on the planet were the perfect accompaniment. Apostol is another craft beer with different European styles. I had the Belgian-influenced Dubbel which was potent and delicious.

Colombian beer is wicked, however, all national beer in South America was pleasantly good. Here are honourable mentions from each country we visited, in chronological order:

3 CordillerasEscudo (Chile)
Quilmes Bock (Argentina)
Pilsen (Uruguay)
Huari (Bolivia)
Cusquena Malta (Peru) So good!
Club Colombia (Colombia)

It should be noted that craft beer was particularly great in Patagonia (Chile and Argentina.) Bungas may return for parts of Europe, because we all know beer there can knock your socks off. For now, hasta luego and buen viaje!

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12 years ago

I’m a little upset that I didn’t try any of these beers when I was last in South America!

That’s OK Roy. I drank enough for you!

12 years ago

Welcome Back, Bungas!  What was the beer you’re drinking at La Cevicheria in Cartegena?  That and the mojitos sure look good!  Haven’t tried much at all in the way of South American beers…a few from Brazil only I think…I think I’m missing out!

Reply to  metsbwd

Thanks Brett! You’re a true fan. That beer was Club Colombia, a nice malty drop you can get everywhere there. I think we drank more of that than anything else. I’m not usually a mojito drinker, but that one was awesome! We tried Brahma a few times in Argentina, that’s from Brazil I think. I liked it, but it didn’t make the cut because we didn’t make it to the country.

Turkey's For Life
12 years ago

I always love to read about your beer experiences. I do worry what you’ll have to write about if you ever made it to Turkey. Efes Pilsen all the way…the rest are not worth bothering with. 🙂

Thanks Julia. Ah Efes, I do remember it fondly. Clean, crisp and refreshing!

12 years ago

Oh man, so many beers I haven’t yet tasted! But sampling around the world is one of my favorite parts of travel, so you have me eager now for what’s awaiting me when I finally do South America 🙂 

I suspected the national beers would be good, but craft beers are always a pleasure to indulge in!

12 years ago

Must agree that Quilmes Bock is delicious.  I never got to try anything by the BBC, but I bet I would like it 😉

Reply to  Peter Heck

I would’ve loved to try the porter, but you can’t have them all!

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