Getting Craft Beers into the Hands of Colombians: BBC Bodega

Bogota Beer Company’s new concept in craft beers could be summed up by saying: Relax. Chill out. We’re not going to charge you much for this one.

Bodega store from Bogota Beer Company

This famous beer company is known for their top of the line pubs scattered around Bogota’s best dining areas. Buying a pint at 11,900 pesos can be a little out of range when we want just a simple beer after work, so now they’ve pared things down to the basics for their Bodega concept.

Craft beers, of course, are what BBC is about. And now they’re about bringing those beers to a more accessible level.

The décor is simple. Spare. For seating, you have the option of plain wood benches or small stools that do not guarantee more than a few minutes of comfort. Granite floor, a metal ceiling lamp hangs over each table, just a step up from a bare lightbulb.

Stenciled messages about how to taste beer. Step 1. Observe. Smell. Taste Enjoy. Not exactly news for connoisseurs, but could be novelty advice for people who aren’t used to craft beers.

Bogota Beer Company on tap

Just how much cheaper is a beer here? A pint costs COP$4,900 and a pitcher COP$13,900 – that’s a 60% savings from their pubs. You’ll find on tap: Monserrate Rojo, Cajicá Miel, Bacata Blanca, Chapinero, Lager. Bottled seasonal beers are in the fridge. You can pick up one bottle (COP$3,900), a six pack, or a box (24 beers).

Those metal kegs stacked against the walls aren’t just decoration; if you’re serious about your beer needs, try a keg. A 30 liter keg of lager or ale will set you back COP$179,000 or $217,000. A 58 liter keg is available for domicilio delivery for 300,000. They also require a deposit of $300,000 that gets you a valve to serve it and a tub to put ice in and keep your keg cold. That’ll keep guests happy with about 100 pints.

Bogota Beer Company kegs

The goal of BBC is to fill the city with these bodegas: 38 have opened up so far in Bogota, and the goal is to have 50 open by the end of the year.

Many of these places don’t sell food, but at some you can order food in at no extra charge.  One of the bodegas I was at posted flyers from all the nearby fast food joints on a bulletin board: hamburgers, pizza, Middle Eastern, chicken, burritos, kabobs or even a corrientazo lunch.

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