Craft beer is one of my most favorite things. I’ve been fascinated by beer ever since my first internship at a beer company and brewery in college. The different flavor concoctions that can be created and enjoyed from a pint glass are endless.
In the US, I’ve visited many breweries and love a good craft beer festival any time of the year, but unfortunately, craft beer is harder to find in Spain. As I was planning my weekend trip to Córdoba, I was pleasantly surprised to hear about Cervezas Califa. It is the first craft brewery in the city, and my first chance to taste the sweet nectar of a good beer since I moved to Spain.
I had plans of a weekend of outdoor sightseeing, but Mother Nature had other ideas in store for me. After one day spent entirely in the pouring rain, I was ready for an indoor outlet. Cervezas Califa was exactly that. Seeing the history of Córdoba is interesting, but tasting its unique flavors is even better.
As I stepped up to the bar and bought my first caña (small sized beer), I told the bartender my plan to sample every single Califa beer they had, six in total at the time. He was a little skeptical that I’d be able to master my challenge, but I knew I was going to pull through with a win.
The friendly vibe and the casual ambience of the bar made Cervezas Califa the perfect place. I was transported back to Saturday afternoons at craft beer bars in the East Village and Brooklyn. It didn’t hurt that everyone working at the bar/brewery was nice to the foreign girl sampling all the beers alone! It’s not considered drinking alone if it’s “research”, right?
Taking my first sip of the Califa Morena beer, the wise words of Frank the Tank in Old School came to mind, “Once it hits your lips, it’s so good!”
Finally, good beer in Spain! It really made me feel nostalgic for home.
In order, my favorites were:
- Califa Morena – Amber Ale
- Califa Sultana – Stout
- Califa Trigo Limpio – Wheat
- Califa Rubia – Blonde Ale
- Califa Espigo Dorada – Golden Dry Ale
- Califa IPA – India Pale Ale
Though I’m not enough of a beer connoisseur to explain in detail the different hints and nodes of each beer, I can tell you that they were all fantastic and worth a taste.
The best part about spending the afternoon at Cervezas Califa was meeting the bartenders and brewers. There’s nothing better than chatting with kind, friendly guys who share a common love for a good beer. They knew what I had already drank and what to serve me next so that I would accomplish my goal. I even got to sneak a peek at the brewery! You’d never guess that beer this good would come from such a small operation. I’ve seen huge breweries make crappy beer; it’s so much more impressive to see small breweries make quality beer.
I walked in to the brewery alone, but I walked out feeling like I had made some new beer buddies on a perfect rainy day in Córdoba.