Craft Beer in Colombia: 3 Cordilleras Brewery in Medellin

by Ekua on January 8, 2014 in Colombia,eats and drinks

3 Cordilleras Brewery in Medellin, Colombia

It’s the last Thursday of the month and we’ve successfully made our way through Medellin’s rush hour traffic to the city’s craft beer oasis, 3 Cordilleras Brewery. It’s only an hour into the weekly event and it’s already packed inside. The crowd is mainly 20- and 30-somethings who look like they recently got off work and are joining friends or coworkers for happy hour.

We each pay a 20,000 Colombian Pesos ($10) cover charge for five beer tickets and an optional tour. We head upstairs to make our first choices from the six beers on tap and find space at a table where a group of local guys allow us to squeeze in. Aside from our trio, there are only two other foreigners, a couple I met earlier on the cable car. The atmosphere is vibrant and warm and it feels more like a friendly neighborhood hangout spot than a tasting room.

The room clears out when they announce a tour, but as some of us have taken brewery tours before and none of us are all that great at Spanish, we decide to skip it, try more beers, and watch the local team’s soccer match on TV while having animated disjointed conversation with our table mates. Not long after the tour is over, a two man band starts to perform. Live music is special to the last Thursday of the month, and there are concerts every Friday. I don’t recognize the music the band plays, but some of the songs must be popular Colombian tunes and almost everyone in the room sings along when they play them.

3 Cordilleras Brewery in Medellin, Colombia

The beers at 3 Cordilleras are named by color and I like all of them except for the Rosé, which tastes more like fruit soda than beer. My favorite is the Mestiza, an American Pale Ale. While I don’t find a beer at 3 Cordilleras that tops Bogota Beer Company‘s Chapinero Porter (IMHO, the best Colombian craft brew), overall, I find that the 3 Cordilleras flavors are more robust and enticing.

The five glasses of beer at the tasting are not full pints, but nevertheless, it’s a lot of beer and we make some entertaining observations. A few formerly buttoned up people get pretty wild with their dancing at the end of the night, and as we leave, I spot a few regulars pouring the beer they can’t finish into to-go cups so they can take it with them.

Needless to say, by the end of this event, there’s a special camaraderie in the air which is partially reflective of the beer consumption, and partially just because this place has good vibes and the effervescent spirit of Medellin.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Quyen January 9, 2014 at 9:36 am

I love finding craft beer while I’m abroad and supporting small businesses. The beers are so much more creative than the large brands. Looks like a fun place!


Ekua January 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

More creative and tastier!


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