Four Colombian beers and the worm burger conspiracy

Well, as Colombia’s 1-0 up against Greece, now is as a good a time as any to mention that while I was in Bogota last week and took the opportunity to try a few Colombian beers. 

The first night a few of us hit an Irish pub and ordered three beers by Cervecezeria Artesanal Colon: Roja, Rubia and Negra, all English ales as best we could tell. The Roja was probably the highlight for me, a fruity-hop forward ale with a nice malt backbone and generally just very well balanced. The Rubia was less malty and thus the bitterness came forward a bit more, okay if not outstanding. And then the Negra was a well executed porter/stout that was all coffee and chocolate–pretty appropriate for Colombia–with an undercurrent of roast and a hint of something savory. 

Now it’s 2-0 for the Cafeteros and I’m reminded that pretty much every block in Bogota had about two different street vendors selling piles upon piles of Colombian jersey. The stadium in Belo Horizonte is packed full of colombianos and I’d love to be there. I regret not buying one of those jerseys, especially given that I called Colombia to win it all on at least two different brackets. Oops. Back to the beer.

One day we took in lunch at El Corral, a chain of burger joints that have 40+ burger options on every menu, and it definitely lived up to its promise. A great burger can be a bit harder to come by in Bolivia. El Corral had 3 Cordilleras on the menu, a Medellin brewery recently featured in Draft magazine. For some reason I opted for the Rose beer described as “a wheat beer with lots of red fruit flavor.” I guess I’d thought it would be made with actual red fruits and didn’t see it for the obvious attempt to appeal to perceived “female tastes” and ended up with a 3.8% ABV wheat beer with artificial flavorings. Think a relatively neutral, soft wheat beer with strawberry perfume dumped into it. Not an experience I’d repeat nor recommend. It had a lovely head at least.

After we got back to the office, one on of our coworkers informed us that it’s popular (conspiratorial?) knowledge that El Corral cultivates worms that are included in their burgers. Apparently this is a pretty widespread notion. Still, though, it was a great burger and the idea of worms in it mostly just makes it more exotic. I’ll take it either way. 

Now, back to Greece desperately trying to claw their way back into this.

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