This fall I had a few days to travel through Spain and visit the small town of Córdoba which is home to more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other city in the world. When you think of Spain it’s all olive oil, wine, tappas, and dancing. And ham, please, please don’t forget the ham! One thing you don’t think of is craft beer.
That was my experience throughout my stay in Seville and the beginning of my visit to Córdoba. But just as I was about to order another “Cerveza por favor,” a bottle on the back counter caught my eye. I asked if there were any cold bottles around and the bartender pulled out not one, but two local IPAs. Craft beer trip victory!
I honestly wasn’t expecting much as many glasses of slightly sweet Cruzcampo and Mahou had blurred together into a malty hop-less haze in my mind. My greatest hope was just for something slightly dry with any kind of hop flavor…and those hopes were more then met!
The Califa IPA reminded me of an American Pale Ale that was dry but still had body and Columbus hop flavor. (I later found out the hops are a blend of Columbus, Citra, mosaic and Simcoe.) I was ready to track down more!
The bartender meant it when he said the IPA was local, Califa was just up the street (Juan Valera 3 (con Santa Victoria) 14003 Córdoba). It’s set up like an American craft beer bar complete with a large chalkboard listing beers ranging from barleywine to stout and even lambic. The beer isn’t brewed onsite, but instead very close by.
There were free very salty, very crunchy kettle chips which were a heavenly pair with the cold IPAs from the fridge. (After time in London and Seville the pleasure of cold IPA is hard to describe, like totally relaxing when you didn’t realize you were tense.)
We tried a few of the offerings but by far the best beers on draft were Califa’s own the IPA and the blond were the stand outs. There were beers to go so we were able to stock our hotel fridge for the rest of our stay, goodbye Mahou! The packaged beers from Califa are bottle conditioned and there is a noticeable difference when compared to draft (I liked the bottles better!) but that isn’t too much of a concern because it seems that the only place with Califa on tap is the taproom itself.
If you’re in this small town in Andalusia it is worth going out of your way to make a visit, or to keep an eye out at all the tapas bars. A nice refreshing beer is exactly what you need after a day of walking through all those World Heritage sites.