Colombia is a big beer drinking country. In some places, particularly in more rural areas, you are likely to see a group of people sitting around a table with dozens of empty beer bottles. I guess it’s the best way to add up your total when you are ready to stumble home.
A few years ago (several now, I guess), pub culture started to become a very popular thing in Bogotá. There are a lot of pubs: London Calling, The Irish Pub, Beer Station, The Rock Garden, and probably a lot more that I’ve never even heard of. One of the most popular by far is Bogotá Beer Company, or the BBC as local english-speakers call it.
This past holiday season the company where I teach english (BSR Idiomas) was organizing the annual end-of-year gathering. It was a “secret” so, all the while I thought it was going to a be a Chiva, the “epitome of cheese”. The once traditional form of transportation around Colombia are now colorful buses fated to roll through the city pumping loud music and full of drunk people trying to dance while in a moving vehicle. It’s an amazingly popular activity here but I have to admit I have never stepped foot in one – not yet, anyways.
Finally, it was time for our gathering and the boss came through with an event that had me and all the fellow teachers rather pleased (and a little relieved): a Bogotá Beer Company Tour. We all got picked up in an adorable VW Westphalia which took us to the brewery for a guided tour of the brewery and a sampling of beer straight from a giant stainless steel vat. Then, with the “passport” they give you there, you get shuttled to 2-3 of the most popular BBCs to sample their excellent beers and some large snacks. It was a very fun night indeed.
Aside from the Beer Tour, the chain of BBC pubs is a great hang out with cozy ambience and attentive service. The beers are all European-inspired brews with seasonal beers as well – lager, porter, wheat, stout, etc. I’m getting thirsty….
The food is pretty good too. In the past I have had a club sandwich with a fried egg on top – a little messy but I’d order it again. Fried pub food in a basket, mini burgers, ginormous nachos, empanadas, calamari, and well, yeah a lot of good stuff with beer-matching suggestions to boot.
So, find your local and have a cold one!
Bogotá Beer Company
Several locations (Andino, Usaquén, Calle 85, Zona G, Parque 93, Airport, Cedritos, Pepe Sierra, etc.)