Colombia has never really been famous for its beer – let’s face it, it’s no Germany or Belgium! However, there are some really delicious craft beers to sample on a visit to Colombia, as well as some stone-cold (hopefully) Colombian classics that you can’t not drink when you visit! So here are 7 delicious Colombian beers to try on your next trip.
Bogota Beer Company
The Bogota Beer Company, or BBC for short, is one of the pioneers of craft beer in Bogota. They are also like the Starbucks of pubs in the Colombian capital, in that there seems to be one on every street corner! They produce several different varieties of beer, so it depends on your taste, but the Chapinero Porter and Monserrate Red Beer are the best of the bunch.
A product of the small craft brewery Nevada Cerveceria, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains near Minca, Happy Jaguar is a delicious Pils-style beer brewed with fresh mountain spring water. It’s refreshing and delicious, and only available at a few places in the Santa Marta area. They also brew Happy Tucan, which is an Irish Red Ale. Their labels are also arguably the coolest in Colombia.
Poker and Aguila
Beer-connoisseurs will probably crucify us for saying this, but you can’t travel to Colombia and not enjoy a bottle of Colombia’s most widely consumed beer! They might not be the best beers in the world, but a few cold Pokers in a tienda bar in the Andes or during a rousing game of tejo, or an Aguila (or three) on a Caribbean beach is a quintessentially Colombian experience. Plus, they’re way cheaper!
Cerveceria Gigante Cloudkicker Porter
The small nano-brewery of Cerveceria Gigante in Bogota might not produce huge batches of beer, but what they produce is pretty darn delicious! Their regular beers are a Citra, an IPA, and a Porter, all of which are excellent beers, but it’s the porter that really stands out from the crowd. With a strong, malty flavour, and a strong, flavourful body, it’s a really excellent beer, perhaps one of the best pints in Bogota. And at less than US$3 a pint, you can’t go wrong!
Club Colombia is the luxury beer of Bavaria Brewery – who also produce Aguila and Poker – and is definitely a cut above those two when it comes to flavour. There are three options of Club Colombia – a classic lager, a red beer, and a porter-style black beer – but the best of them is probably the red beer, which has a full-bodied flavour setting it apart from other bottled Colombian beers.
3 Cordilleras Mestiza
3 Cordilleras was established in Medellin in 2008 and was the first brewery in the city to really go beyond the traditional monopoly of Bavaria beers. They have five different craft beers to sample, but the best of the lot is surely their Mestiza American Pale Ale; a strong and hoppy beer with distinctly tasty caramel notes. 3 Cordilleras beers are easily some of the best craft beers in Colombia.
Manigua Mohan Strong Ale
Named after a mysterious Colombian folktale of a strange figure living in the depths of caves in the jungle, Manigua Brewery’s Mohan Strong Ale comes in at an eye-watering 8% alcohol content, but don’t let the strength fool you – there’s a lot more to this beer than just getting drunk fast! With a complex, bitter and fruity aroma, and a delicious, balanced body, Mohan Strong Ale is one of the most outstanding beers in Colombia.