Beer lover’s delight at Colombia’s PolaFest

Beer, one of the most perfect companions in human history. We gather in bars, pubs and clubs, chat away, and use it as the first option for a social lubricant. With the rise of craft breweries in almost every country, it does not come as a surprise that the appreciation for craft beers has increased over the years. In Colombia, there has been an exponential growth in small breweries, and this Saturday, a gathering will occur to taste some good brews with a charity cause in PolaFest at Casa Rosada.

Nothing goes down more smoothly than a good beer. It goes well with conversations, with a good book or with a good party. It suits almost every music genre, at any location, almost at any time. For good times or bad times, a good beer can be the perfect companion, to enjoy alone or in groups. Personally, I enjoy beer more than any other drink, it soothes my mind from time to time, so it is only logical that I find every gathering a good opportunity to drink a brew. This weekend we all have the chance at the PolaFest.

The first gathering of its kind, PolaFest aims to gather different small to microbreweries in one place so they can show beer enthusiasts what they are up to in terms of flavour. In total, seventeen breweries will be presenting up to sixty different kinds of beer to those of us willing to go to Casa Rosada. For those of you that are looking for something other than beer worry not, for you will have the chance to taste fruity ciders made in Colombia or in England.

There are other activities going on at PolaFest. The event is the closing party of a week-long championship of beer pong that has been taking place over a network of different bars where you can find any of the seventeen breweries. After five days of competition, the grand final for the first beer pong championship will be at the festival in the best American frat house style possible.

Besides crowning the king or queen of beer-pong, you can also enjoy the brewing process as there will be a demonstration on how each brewery makes their beer as a collaborative process. It will give you the opportunity to talk with the master brewers and to participate actively in the brew. This will start at 1 p.m. as the process will take some time and some of the master brewers prefer their beer more “aged”.

As one may expect in an event that gathers different kinds of beers for you to taste, you will be given the opportunity to choose the best beer or cider in your taste. The decision will be tough as breweries like Huitaca, who tend to make a particular brew for each event they participate; Cervezeria Manigua that has a strong, yet smooth at taste beer called Mohan; Cerveceria Rustica that has a female master brewer and their Belgian style beer; and thirteen other breweries that I have not had the pleasure to taste yet, so your taste buds will be put to the challenge.

However, tasting beers is a not an easy challenge for your tongue nor your stomach. The good people at the PolaFest have that covered, with a variety of food trucks providing a serious amount of protein and starchy food to make sure all that beers doesn’t go straight to your head, or stomach.. Among the selection, you will find the FoodTruck Club of Bogotá, which gathers different food trucks that operate around Bogotá. The cuisine on offer is as diverse as the kinds of beer you will find at the PolaFest, so you can get your stomach ready for drinking.

As with any festival, there will be music to go along with the endless chatting one may expect in a Festival with booze. The bands and DJ invited will provide enough smooth background music to enjoy the atmosphere.  13 bands, a place to exchange vinyls with other collectors  and the musical banter that come with it and Birradio covering the event, the music will be playing until early in the morning, 3 a.m. to be exact.

Also, you will be able to find other attractions there such as theatre performances, tattoo artists (rule of thumb: think before you ink), and a design and shopping fair.  Everything that will keep you rolling until the night fades away. The PolaFest will show you all there is to know about the culture behind a good pint.

Entry into the PolaFest is a very interesting thing. It does not involve money, but donating non-perishable food or school supplies that will be used by Colores de Vida, a Colombian foundation that aims to promote health and well-being among the vulnerable population at risk of exclusion as well as education to children and teenagers.  Doors will be open at 1 p.m. at Casa Rosada, a place located in the northern outskirts of Bogotá. The place can be reached by bus, car or bike, however, as a safety precaution, if you are going to arrive by car or by bike, it is advisable to consume alcohol in moderation; even so Casa Rosada will be open until 10 a.m. on Sunday, giving you time to sober up before you hit the road.

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