Posted on 1/14/2020

A Guide to Costa Rican Microbrews, Craft Beers & Artisan Alcohol

In the land of sun and fun, you'll likely to crave an ice-cold one. That's our motto, at least. It's true – if you're like many of your fellow travelers, you'll often be on the hunt for some chilly refreshment. Luckily, craft beer and Costa Rican microbrews are readily available and pairs perfectly with Costa Rican fare and the warm tropical sun. You'll quickly discover that there's one MAJOR player in Costa Rican beer: the Florida Ice & Farm Company (FIFCO), which produces all of Costa Rica's more mainstream, standard brews, including those that maraud under the brand names of Imperial, Pilsen, and Bavaria. Since you can find those everywhere and on every menu, we thought we'd highlight a few of the harder-to-find, you-may-have-to-ask-for-them Costa Rican microbrews, craft beers, and artisan lagers that we've grown to know and love.

Volcano Brewing Company

Tamarindo | +506.2653.1262

Let's start with our own local superstar, the Volcano Brewing Company, which is headquartered right here, in Tamarindo! The hoppy brainchild of Witch's Rock Surf Camp, the Volcano Brewing Company has been serving up Guanacaste's finest since 2011. Their offerings vary but you can always rely on an ice-cold Witch's Rock Pale Ale or Gato Malo Brown Ale; be sure to ask about seasonal or limited-run brews.

Maderos Brewery

Liberia | +506.2666.4243

An unsung star in our region, Maderos Brewery is located in our provincial capital of Liberia. In addition to a great ambiance and delicious food, the brewery's tap promises a direct connection to its 100% local Sun Kiss Ale, Kölsch, IPA, Hurricane Harvest Lager, and Dopplesticky. You're going to want to try every one, if only for their creative names.

Lake Arenal Brewery

Lake Arenal | +506.2695.5050

We know, we know – we're stretching our Guanacaste pride, but Lake Arenal is comfortably within our provincial borders! We claim it. And, even if it weren't, you'd still want to get your hands on the brewery's sustainable and environmentally-friendly brews, which rely on fresh mountain springs and solar power to produce its 10+ craft beers, which include delightful choices like Black Ash Nitro Stout, Piña Blonde, Chilli Beer, Mango Beer, and Paradise Pale Ale.

Costa Rica's Craft Brewing Company

San José | +506.2249.4277

One of the bigger names in Costa Rica microbrews and craft beer is Costa Rica Craft Brewing Company, which produces two of the more widely distributed craft brews in Costa Rica: Libertas Tropical Golden Ale and La Segua Red Ale, named for one of Costa Rica's most prevailing urban legends. We also love their seasonal offerings, which includes the fruit-infused Passion Fruit Maracuyá Pale Ale and Mar Bella, a tropical seasonal ale.

Costa Rica Meadery

Heredia | +506.8718.4094

Okay, while technically not a Costa Rican beer, we can't NOT mention the Costa Rica Meadery. Recipient of several international awards – the Copa Cervezas America, the Copa Pura Vida Indie, and the Mazer Cup International Commercial Mead Competition, among them – the meadery produces some pretty incredible libations, including its year-round Amapola (hibiscus) and Passiflora (passion flower) honey wineand braggot-style meads, including Caribeño (ginger and Guanaste yellow corn malt) and the Guanacaste-inspired Nicoyano, rooted in Pujagua purple corn malt. And with that, we think there's nothing more to say – well, nothing but bottoms up! And, do let us know if you find a favorite craft beer or microbrew that we didn't mention here!
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