The rain pours over the Andes from the east on a dreary Bogotan Saturday; it’s a good day to try some local brews. Upon first arriving in Bogota I thought it was going to be easy. Driving to my apartment I saw Bogota Beer Company (“BBC”) and thought, ‘well that solved it.’ Little did I know BBC’s are about as common in Bogota as traffic jams in that city.
The search was on! While horseback riding in Zipacon it was recommended by our tour guide that we check out some real local spots. So, we ventured about 40 blocks south of our neighborhood, and went to Alejandro’s place. Renowned artist, Alejandro Torres started Statua Rota (Broken Statue) microbrewery after meeting a Belgian in the Colombian Amazon. He became fascinated with the brewing style and enlisting his brother, Misaac, he started the brewery a couple of years ago.
A couple of fun facts about the brewery and beer in Colombian:
Malts are imported from Belgium, the US and other parts of Europe
Microbreweries represent less than 1% of the beer consumption in all of Colombia
Colombians are not big drinkers relatively speaking; averaging only about 40 liters a year versus the Czech Republic at a whopping 160 liters per year (you better Czech yourself!)
Back to the beers. Alejandro and team offer a holy triumphant of delicious beers. Currently, Statua Rota offers three chief flavors: Lymantria, Mirla and Datura. Lymantria is defined by its fruity aromas which are derived from the lulo and the grapefruit peels. The flavor is an interesting combination of bold and simple and thus it is very easy to drink; like a beer sports drink. The Mirla, is named after a bird of the Bogota savannah. Like the eloquent bird, the beer is black and robust. The small sprinkles of blackberries and agrás balance the beer’s heartiness and offset its dark color to provide an easy drinking experience. Finally, the mighty Datura. Datura is a meal of a beer being fully defined by its 8.5% alcohol content. Though not overwhelming Datura slowly invades the palate and gets more refined on the way down. It’s a strong, American style Ale; almost holiday in style as there are elements of fig, ginger and caramel.
"The craft beers are not as they have been painted, where there is red, black and blonde. Within each of these colors there are hundreds of styles and variations, "says Misaac Torres, in charge of the commercial area and management of Statua Rota. Prior to going to Statua Rota I was disappointed in the generic nature of beers in Colombia. This experience changed that.
In the Chapinero section of Bogota, a hodge podge of historical, old retail, virgining business’ and main drags of local life define this area half way between posh Zona T (pronounced ‘tay’) and very old Candeleria. What first caught my eye was the floor to ceiling reclaimed wood. Even and perfectly stained it draws a feeling of the great mussel and beer bars on Whidbey Island 30 miles north of Seattle.
The beer and atmosphere remain a perfect complement to each other. Bold and understated; strong yet inviting. I was really impressed with how purposeful this up and coming microbrewery is; next time I’m in Bogota I’ll certainly be stopping by.
You should join me!
Be sure to give them a follow and stop by for a Bogota craft special on your visit to Colombia: