Sunday, 17 April 2022

Cartagena Beer (part two)

My first encounter with Club Colombia Negra was accidental. When we were in the cavernous – and wonderfully good value – Espiritu Santo

Mikey had eaten there before I arrived, though had trouble finding it again. Which isn’t as surprising as it might sound, the exterior being virtually unsigned and giving little indication of the large beerhall-like space inside.

I’m not sure why they brought us the dark version when we ordered two Club Colombias. But I’m glad they did. I was expecting something like the pale version just coloured up with sugar. The faint, but definite, flavour of roast suggested that there was dark malt of some kind in the recipe.

In some ways, it’s not a million miles away from a Dark Mild. Especially the light hopping. Good enough, at least, to switch me over to it for the remainder of our stay in Columbia.

After my first encounter with craft beer in Columbia, Mikey quickly hurries us on to our local – Restaurant Estrella. Unlike most other places, it wasn’t closed up and air-conditioned. Instead, it relied on big open windows and ceiling fans for cooling. It worked well enough. And it was popular with both locals and tourists. And – importantly for Mikey – it was cheap. Around €2.50 for breakfast and €3.50 for lunch.

The booze was decently-priced, too: €1.50 for a Club Colombia and €2.50 for a 3-year Medellin rum.

This particular day, we settled in for a long lunchtime session. 

With both rum and beer. Mikey didn’t stay on the Negra long. I was in for the long haul.

The pub was quite odd in some ways. It operated sometimes like a shop. OK, people buying water to carry out wasn’t so strange. But some of its other offerings were more unusual. Like toothpaste, soap, razor blades and batteries. Never seen those in a pub before. Oh, and marijuana paraphernalia.

All the dedicated craft beer bars were “temporarily closed”. Which meant my opportunities to drink anything other than Club Colombia were pretty limited. My next chance was on our last day.

Much of the morning we spent hanging the hotel around waiting for a Covid test. Which pissed Mikey right off. Leaving me to figure out how to spend the last of my Columbian pesetas.

Craft beer. That seemed a good use. I trundled down to the 3 Cordilleras place. And sat outside in the shade of a big umbrella.  Looking at the menu, I had just enough for a beer and a rum. As long as I drank the pale one. Which is what I got. Along with a 3-year Medellin rum.

The beer was pretty decent. The rum as excellent as always. A fitting full stop to the trip. Though I did have a few more rums in the airport lounge. 12-year Medellin, that was. Really lovely stuff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You haven't been to an old fashioned Irish grocery then, were you (really the wife) can do a good shop and drink a beer too