Another exotic beer I have been fortunate to obtain for The Brew Club is the limited edition ‘Rojo’ (Spanish for ‘Red’) Columbia Ale from the Bavaria Club Brewery.
Bavaria is the largest brewery in Colombia, its brews are the most popular in that country and since 2006 it has been as subsidiary of SAB Miller, responsible for brewing and marketing local versions of Peroni and MGD.
Bavaria’s history dates back to 1889, when the brewery was founded, as its name suggests – by an ex-pat Bavarian named Leo S Kopp. He called his brewery “Kopp’s Deutsche Brauerei Bavaria” Its main brand is Aquila (a pilsner style beer introduced 1913), and Club Colombia is its premium brand.
Club Colombia Rojo (or Red) was a seasonal beer created at the end of 2010, the brewery waxes lyrical about adding toasted malts and caramel to give “special colour… shine… creamy consistent froth and refreshing bubbles.”
Well I confess that I found that ‘creamy consistent froth’ to be very bashful, with very few of those ‘refreshing bubbles’ in evidence.
The colour is a bright copper, a classic ‘red’ ale, and yes there are possible hints of caramel and malt in the nose, but those too are, to say the least, shy. And certainly no sign of the mocha or chocolate that the brewery promise – maybe they’ve been reading too many craft beer reviews!
The flavour? Well it’s a crisp lager flavour, the sort of taste you’d expect from any of your run of the mill high street brews. Yes, there is a slight hint of caramel mellowness, but I didn’t find myself thinking “Wow! This is a mellow flavour!” That it comes from the same brewery as MGD isn’t a surprise.
If I were to find myself in Bogota and in need of a refreshing beer then yes, this would hit the spot, and yes I’d probably turn to this limited edition ‘red’ over a regular lager, but I can think of at least a dozen beers I would turn to first… maybe the locally brewed Peroni – assuming they’ve kept true to the original.
On reflection – 2½ stars (just).
Bob the Brit