For years, Costa Rica was the land of Imperial and Pilsen, but in the past few years, new microbreweries have been popping up all over the country. Craft-beer culture has taken over in Costa Rica, especially in San Jose. There are dozens of small home and local breweries producing a wide assortment of different beers. Some are even incorporating ingredients such as pineapple, mango, coconut, and cacao, all native to Costa Rica. Trying a traditional Costa Rican beer during your visit is a must, but we highly recommend that you give some of the craft beers a go too!
Costa Rica Craft Brewing Company
Costa Rica Craft Brewing Company was one of the first legal microbreweries in Costa Rica and in Central America. Prior to the introduction of craft brews, the beer market was almost entirely dominated by Imperial and Pilsen and a few Costa Rican brands. The Costa Rica Craft Brewing Company wanted to bring a bit more variety, flavor, and sophistication to the beer market. The company takes great pride in their creations and in managing every single step of the process. Libertas Tropical Golden Ale and Red Ale Segua are their two permanent beers, and they also make seasonal beers such as Wheat Beer with Cas and Shout Avena. You can make a reservation with the brewery and take a tour, or you can find their beers at their BrewPub Plant or in multiple bars throughout the country.
The Lake Arenal Brewery is part of the sustainable and environmentally friendly Lake Arenal Hotel. The brewery and the hotel are powered by photovoltaic solar array, and use water that comes from the fresh mountain springs nearby. The produced beer of the Lake Arenal Brewery, produced on site, has been highly revered by countless visitors. Some say it is the best beer in Costa Rica. The brewery is part of the hotel restaurant, La Huerta, which serves up farm-fresh dishes that perfectly accompany the beer. The brewery produces 12 different craft beers, including Lake Arenal Chili Birra, Lake Arenal IPA, Lake Arenal Pina Blonde, Lake Arenal Surf Saison, and Lake Arenal Paradise Pale Ale.
The Monteverde Beer House is a small brewery located in Monteverde. The company makes some very tasty beers using traditional and simple brewing methods. They make an Amber Ale, Cafe Stout, an IPA, and a Pilsener. All of their brews are over 5%, with the Cafe Stout being 7.5%. You can find these brews up in Monteverde, but sometimes you can find them elsewhere in the country, too, and in the most unexpected of places. You can visit the Beer House, take a tour of the brewery, and learn all about how they make their beers. The Monteverde Beer House is also a Middle Eastern restaurant that serves up some delicious and healthy food to go with your beer.
The BriBri Springs Brewery is owned by former Vermont resident J.T. Ficociello, who brought his love for craft beer down with him to Puerto Viejo. He is the mastermind behind this brewery’s unique and delicious beers. He used ingredients such as pineapple, mango, organic and locally grown cacoa, and raw sugar cane in some of his recipes. Some of the beers have a pretty high alcohol content; they all have a superb flavor. The brewery is located behind Kaya’s Place, which is where you can purchase BriBri Springs Brewery beers as you overlook beautiful Playa Negra.
Trenintaycinco was born from the simple desire to have some different beer choices in Costa Rica. The company was formed in 2011 and they now have six different brews: Maja Dera, Tumbacalzones, Pelona, Lora, Damn Life, and Mamacandela. They also produce a barley wine called Maldita Vino, which is very good and quite strong. You can find a lot of their beers at the Stiefel Pub in San Jose.
The Volcano Brewing Company is the brainchild of Witch’s Rock Surf Camp in Tamarindo. The brewery launched in 2011 as a solution to their not having any craft beers, especially pale ales, to serve their guests and locals in Tamarindo. Nikki Hurren is the brewmaster of the Volcano Brewing Company. There are three different beers to choose from: Witch’s Rock Pale Ale, Gato Malo Brown Ale, and Hasselhopp IPA. Hurren plans to add a hefeweizen (wheat beer) and a saison in the future. You can enjoy these brews at Witch’s Rock’s restaurant; Eat At Joes, their new street-front bar; or El Vaquero, right next door. You can take home a growler, or have a simple draft beer set up installed at your house or for a special event such as a wedding.