La Candelaria is a wonderful colonial neighborhood in Bogota to try craft beer.
Looking for the best craft beer in Colombia can be a tricky undertaking. The beer industry in the country has been evolving for over 100 years.
The market offers a wide variety of beer for locals and foreigners to enjoy over meals, friend gatherings, family reunions, and barbecues. However, the local craft beer industry has been developing for a decade now and there are more than 150 microbreweries in the country, with about 400 craft beer styles brewing up a whole new culture.
The philosophy behind this local craft beer industry is all about the experience. In the same way, as a craft that requires passion, patience and dedication, many master brewers are opening their local breweries so that people can discover the magic behind the best craft beers in the country.
Best craft beer in the capital: Bogota Craft Beer Tour
It all started when Aussie friends Tommy Dutton and Simon Treiber came to Bogota and wanted to try local craft beer from the best breweries near the city. Indeed, they found so many that they decided to start their own tour, so locals and foreigners could enjoy the best craft beer experience, as well.
Today, the tour is managed by Travis Crockett and his business partner Paddy Smallwood, who are good friends of the tour’s founders.
What the Bogotá Craft Beer Tour includes
The tour starts at 5:00 p.m. from one of the best breweries near the city. The group chooses which breweries they want to visit from the wide variety that the Bogota Craft Beer Tour offers. The tour finishes around 9:00 p.m. Guests can book this tour any day in different time blocks and customize the journey to their preference.
Some of the local craft beer breweries they offer for tour visits are:
Madriguera, Cervecería Gigante, Sudaca, Melas, Statua Rota, Cervecistas, Slow Beer, Tierra Santa, Dos Carreras, Vistalegre, Tomahawk.
The tour can be booked for just one person or up to 20 people, as the best breweries near the city are small. Guests can even choose the language of the tour; the craft beer tour guide speaks English, French, and Spanish. The Bogota Craft Beer tour includes transportation in a van or private car, and each local craft beer brewery offer snacks or light food to have with each craft beer tasting.
The cost of the Bogota Craft Beer tour varies depending on how many people in the same group book it. It starts from US $40.00 for singles and couples, and decreases from there with a group discount.
Bogota Craft Beer tour is all about the experience
When guests visit the first brewery and try its best craft beer, the tour guide begins by telling the history of beer in Colombia, which includes describing the Indigenous communities that first lived in the country and developed corn-fermented drinks such as chicha.
Each brewery’s brewmaster explains the process of making craft beer, its ingredients, history and what makes each style special. The Bogotá craft beer tour takes from 4 to 5 hours and guests will visit 3 to 4 breweries, learning the industry secrets of each one and the varying expertise of each brewmaster.
The group will try about 4 different types of beer at each brewery to finally choose which local craft beer they want to enjoy a pint of. Overall, each guest will try approximately 12 beer samples and 4 pints of the best craft beer. Last but not least, there are surprise souvenirs for each guest at the end of the tour.
Parque de la 93 is another great spot to try craft beer in Bogota.
Two more reasons to come to Bogota and try the best craft beer
Colombia grows some of the most delicious and exotic fruits in the world, so the craft beer industry decided to experiment with some of them in their recipes. The result is craft beer with lulo (an orange, round citrus-like fruit with a green seedy jelly flesh) and passion fruit flavors.
Lulo flavored craft beer at Mela’s
Mela’s is a small brewery that offers different types of craft beer, including one they designed specifically for breakfast made with organic coffee from Sierra Nevada!
They also have a beer on their menu named “lulada” after the famous lulo-based drink from the Valle del Cauca region.
Inspired by the same region the brewmaster hails from, the Lulada is an acidic German-type beer. This refreshing beverage is made with 160 pounds of lulo pulp for every 1000 liters of beer, along with a touch of pink salt from the Himalayas. With a 5% ABV (alcohol by volume), this craft beer was created for people who can’t drink just one.
You can try it at Mela’s Beer House at the following address: Cra. 11 #70a-17.
Bruder, people who are passionate about different craft beer flavors
Bruder, which means “brother” in German is a small craft beer brewery from the Boyacá region, with a local pub house in the famous “Zona T” in Bogota.
The most awarded Bruder beer is the Maracuyá (passion fruit in Spanish), a Belgian Ale with barley malt and American hops. Its passion fruit extract accentuates its aroma and acidity. This beer also has a 5% ABV.
Want to do more?
The tour with the best craft beer in Medellín, Cervecería Apostol
Discover Medellín while tasting great craft beer.
Cervecería Apostol is one of the most famous craft beer producers in Colombia. With over ten years in the local craft beer industry, they have developed six types of beers. Five of them are inspired by german beer culture and one Belgian style.
Their tour begins every Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the brewery. It is open up to a maximum of 70 people. The cost is about US $8.00 for each person. Although the tour only lasts about an hour, people can hang out in their small pub at the end of the tour until 9:30 p.m. Overall, the experience lasts about three hours.
The best craft beer is served during the tour
The first stop is at the grinding station, where people learn all about this part of the process while tasting the first local craft beer: The Helles, which means luminous, is a blonde type of craft beer with Lager-type yeast. It is their lightest with a 4.6% ABV. It is paired with a ham and cheese sandwich made with artisanal bread.
The second and third part of this craft beer tour has to do with the maceration, filtration, and boiling processes of the beer. While this is explained, the second local craft beer is served for tasting. The Weizen, meaning wheat, uses an Ale-type yeast and features a cloudy appearance. It has a 5.3% ABV and it is paired with fresh fruits such as mango.
The fourth and fifth stages of the craft beer tour are all about the fermentation and maturation of the beer. To accompany the description of this procedure, the group tries a third local craft beer: The Marzen. It is a lager-type of beer with amber tones, featuring a nutty semi-roasted barley, and a medium-bitter flavor. The Marzen has a 5.3% ABV and is served with kabanos, a smoked pork cold beef sausage.
How to end a local craft beer tour with the very best
The sixth part of the tour is about the process of filtering the craft beer. At this stage, people will try the Bock, which stands for ram or bighorn sheep. It is their darkest local beer with a creamy foam, nutty and caramel aromas, and smoked chocolate notes due to the malts used. The ABV is 6.0% and it is paired with double cream cheese.
To finish this craft beer tour, the final step is bottling, where the last local beer is served: The Dubbel, which name means “double” and is the famous Belgian style craft beer. It is an Ale, with a slightly cloudy reddish-brown color, a spicy aroma and semi-sweet taste. For this reason, it is served with a semi-bitter chocolate truffle. As such, it is the strongest beer with a 6.3% ABV index.
The Cervecería Apostol craft beer tour is a multi-sensory experience where you can enjoy a diverse portfolio of five of the craft beers made in Medellín.
Want to do more in the city?
Medellín is a wonderful destination to enjoy all kind of activities.
So, if you are a craft beer lover and want to enjoy the best craft beers in Colombia, we hope you enjoy these tour suggestions which include visits to some of the best breweries in the country.
Also, check out some of the best craft beers in Colombia here.