Friday, October 8, 2010

Costa Rican Functionaries, Get Your Ribbons and Stamps Ready for a Load of Malt.

Local update: Brewer George Lin of Volcano Brew, at Hotel Tilawa up near Tilarán, reports that things are still on track up north... The long-awaited malt delivery is finally and officially on the way. This is just a guess on my part, but figuring in local importation bureaucracy -- a true art form in Costa Rica -- and plain old fermentation and conditioning time, we might see some finished beer up there come December or January. Again, that's my guess, so don't blame them if I'm too optimistic. I'm learning, too slowly, that all the usual timetables are tossed out the window upon arrival in this country. Pura vida.

If you're keeping score, that makes three craft breweries trying to find their legs here: Costa Rica's Craft Brewing Company in Cartago, Perra Hermosa in Malpaís, and Volcano Brew on Lake Arenal.

The owners and brewers are more or less in touch with each other. They generally say they are rooting each other on, and I believe them. It's obvious, I think, that it would take more than one or two ambitious risk-takers to foster the beginnings of something resembling a craft beer culture -- a culture that would become their niche market.... their supporters and their customers.

Stay tuned.

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