Just like in any other country, in Costa Rica options are a good thing. Options are a symbol of freedom and most of Costa Rica is rich with options. Visitors will find hundreds of restaurants and bars to choose from, a range of boutique hotels and luxury resorts to stay at, an overwhelming number of gorgeous beaches to enjoy, and a wide variety of daily activities to engage in. However, look at the beer menu and your choices are drastically limited. It seems the one thing this beautiful country is missing is a variety of beers. But wait! On closer examination it seems craft beers are slowly beginning to make an appearance.
The craft beer movement has finally grabbed hold of Costa Rica. Ticos have begun to discover there is a beer for every moment, and are finding joy in the creativity that goes into producing different flavors. Some pioneers of this craft beer movement discovered their love for different flavored beers while traveling abroad and brought their passion back to Costa Rica with them.
Luis Arce is one such pioneer. After returning from abroad he joined forces with David Lockshin. As beer lovers they wanted to brew their own beer at home, but found it exceedingly difficult to get supplies to do so in Costa Rica. They solved this problem in March of 2012 by opening up TiccoBirra, which offers everything a home brewer could want; from classes on the history of beer to courses on ingredients and equipment. Since opening, sales have been 250 times higher than expected, indicative of how well it’s being received.
However, the craft beer movement is still in its infancy, and in all of Costa Rica only one microbrewery exists. Costa Rica’s Craft Brewing Company is the one and only microbrewery. It can be found nestled in the mountains of Cartago and has been laying the foundation for the craft beer movement in Costa Rica since August 2010.
TreinteyCinco is an up and coming microbrewery and isn’t too far behind Costa Rica’s Craft Brewing Company. Just recently they received the green light from the Health Ministry to start brewing and selling beer. Ignacio Castro is one of the four owners of this up and coming brewery, and says it is part of a revolution.
“There isn’t a beer revolution in the country. There is a beer revolution in the world. It simply arrived a lot later in Costa Rica.” –Ignacio Castro
These pioneers are helping to pave the way in Costa Rica for many Ticos who are interested in the craft beer movement. Unfortunately, they have a bumpy road ahead of them because the Costa Rica’s government does not yet have the infrastructure to deal with home breweries or microbreweries. However, the movement continues to grow, and more and more Ticos are turned onto craft brewing. And as Costa Rica is already such a beautiful country, the arrival of craft brewing will only increase its allure.