While Colombia hasn’t particularly been recognized for making great beer, the craft beer scene has steadily been changing that image over the last several years. As the scene continues to grow in popularity in Cartagena, you can now find bottled craft beers widely available in many restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. Better yet, there are several fantastic bars that offer local and national brews on tap. Check out these five bars in Cartagena where you can indulge your love of great craft beer.
Esquina Calle Gastelbondo y Calle Factoría
As the name implies, this pub is dedicated to serving up beer – and lots of it. Here you will find 18 taps, including at least 3 local costeño (coastal region) brews, like an Imperial IPA from Barranquilla. The walls are lined with shelves and refrigerators packed full of bottles from around the country, continent, and world. You’ll find a lot of Belgian Beers on these shelves, as well as a few bottled ciders.
Beer Lovers is located in the historic center, making it a convenient stop during your explorations of the walled city. You’ll appreciate their fast Wifi and strong AC. If you’re feeling hungry, Beer Lovers also offers classic pub far like bacon burgers and nachos.
Cartagena Craft Beer
Calle 29 #10-27
With up to 20 beers on tap at a time, Cartagena Craft Beer boasts a huge variety of beers to try. The chilled-out atmosphere of this bar matches Getsemaní, the trendy neighborhood it calls home. Live music, happy hour deals, and art-covered walls make this bar a fun, hip place to spend an evening. CCB also serves up an interesting combo of classic bar food and fresh sushi. Sushi and craft beer might not be a classic combination, but the prices are good and the quality is high. Give it a shot!
BBC Bodega Centro
Calle 35 # 6-26
Bogotá Beer Company is the most well-known (and prolific) maker of craft beer in Colombia. You can find their beers in most grocery stores, restaurants, and bars throughout the city. But to sample all of BBC’s brews, you’ll need to pay a visit to their taproom in the walled city. Here you'll find 7 of their beers on tap, which span a variety of styles. Whether you prefer blondes, IPAs, stouts, or porters, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your pallet. If you aren’t sure what to order, try their most popular beer – the Chapinero Porter. It’s a creamy malt beer with a robust flavor and 5% ABV.
BBC Beer Garden
Carrera 11 # 39-21
Yes, you read that right, BBC makes our list twice! Bogotá Beer Company now has two locations in Cartagena’s walled city and both are worth a visit. BBC opened a beer garden in the new mall and cultural center, La Serrezuela. This beautiful architectural monument is worth a visit of its own, but why not stop for a beer on the ground floor? BBC Beer Garden is small but packs a punch with its 7 taps and tasty food menu. After enjoying a pint or two, wander to the center of the mall to catch the fountain light show, or head up to the roof for a birds-eye view of the city.
Cra 14 # 35 - 32 - C.C. Mall Plaza
Like BBC, BEER is an artisanal brewpub chain that has several locations throughout Colombia. The Cartagena location is just a bit out of the city center, so you won’t find many tourists here. BEER is located in the upscale Mall Plaza commercial center, which is right next to the San Felipe Castle. You’ll find a variety of styles here, including amber, red, blonde, IPA imperial, and even Kolsch. They also serve up traditional bar food, but it is nothing to write home about. A better bet is to make the short walk back across the bridge to Getsemaní to find some grub after your thirst is satisfied.
Because of its growing popularity, you can now find bottled national craft beers like Bogotá’s BBC and Medellín’s Tres Cordilleras at many restaurants and bars throughout the city. When in doubt, just ask the bartender or server for “cerveza artesenal”.