No. 2 in our Craft Beer Guide series is all about the brewers. So step up your beer game and educate yourself in Costa Rican Cerveza Artesanal!
Now that you know where to go for craft beer from Part I in this series, it’s time to learn what brand of beer you’ll be ordering.
Artisanal Beers of Costa Rica
What makes a beer artisanal or craft? Is it the flavor? It is the quality of ingredients used? Is it the fact that it was brewed under the careful supervision of a micro- or home brewery? According to the experts over at Craft Beer.com:
[quote_center]”When trying to define craft beer, each beer lover has a unique interpretation and story of discovery to share. To make a true craft beer definition even more difficult, each individual beer brand is one of a kind.”[/quote_center]
If a beer’s beauty is in the eyes of the beer-holder, then it’s time to get some of these uniquely Costa Rican beers into your hands.
While hard to find, the beer authority Untappd calls Adamá their “biggest pleasant surprise.” The Monteverde company brews their craft according to simple, traditional methods and distributes bottles to sodas around the area. Word on the street is that Adamá will soon be expanding with flavors such as Coffee and Chocolate.[/td_text_with_title]
With fully Costa Rican flavors such as coffee, coconut and fruit, Bri Bri Springs Brewery produces a beer to enjoy anywhere in pura vida land. They produce a variety of kinds ranging from APAs to Porters, Meads and Barley Wine.[/td_text_with_title]
Despite its name, CABA is actually a company with origins in Cartago, Costa Rica. The name comes as a tribute to a bar once owned by one of the partners’ grandfather. CABA claims to be a brewery dedicated to “high quality, flavor, identity and something else.”
The Caldero Brewing Co. — not to be confused with Oregon’s Caldera Brewing Company — are makers of IPA, milk stout and flavored beers like pear, chocolate and hazelnut. Based out of Heredia, they just opened this past January.[/td_text_with_title]
Calle Cimarrona is the artesanal beer for enthusiasts who want to keep it local. No other homebrewing company is under 100% tico ownership. With fun brews that infuse Costa Rican flavors into classic European recipes—not to mention wild ales and sours—you’re sure to find a beer of theirs you like![/td_text_with_title]
In true artisanal spirit, ChiCheMel is rumored to produce delicious braggot according to a Pre-Colombian recipe. What’s more, all their ingredients come from local sources: yellow corn from the Nicoya peninsula, honey from Dijagual de Turrubares, and organic mangoes from behind their meadery in Alajuela. Oh, and while braggots are typical off-limits for people gluten-intolerance and celiac disease, ChiCheMel Lalajuela claims to be gluten-free![/td_text_with_title]
Started in 2010, Costa Rica’s Craft is said to have laid the foundation for artisanal beer in the Country. Today the company is one of the most recognized microbrewed beers. Tour their brewery in Ciudad Colon and taste more than seven kinds of beer Wednesday through Friday from 4pm – 6pm (for more information call 2249-0919).
Whether Domingo 7 can actually be considered an artisanal beer is up for debate. While their fun, illustrated bottles give the appearance of a genuine craft beer, the company is actually part of the Cerveceria De Costa Rica mega corporation.
If you’re looking for a truly immersive experience, Lake Arenal Brewery doubles as a hotel. The location claims to be Costa Rica’s first microbrewery and is situated on top of a 15-acre organic farm.
The heart-filled business is run by three families. After the barley is soaked and has served its purpose, Perro Vida donates it to local farmers to feed their cattle. Their brewery is located about 20 minutes into the mountains above Quepos. While they make many kinds of beer, Autumn enthusiasts can rejoice over their pumpkin-spice IPA called El Cadejo.
These crazy brewers get their name from the police code for intercepting a lunatic. Their logo is just as odd and comes from a local saying, “You’re as crazy as a goat.” Strange as they may be, they’ve got a good goal: “to locally-grown, organic ingredients in their beers as much as possible.”
Know of a Costa Rican artisanal beer that’s not on the list? Comment below to let us know!