Brasil de Mora, Territorio Independiente, Costa Rica
Twenty minutes from the Santamaría airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica we found ourselves in a wonderful enclave of hand crafted beer. The bags of Weyermann malt from Germany on one side and the pallet of Delerium Tremins from Belgium on the other side tell all - we were at the right place, we are at treintaycinco - Fabricas de Cervecas.
Esteban, our enthusiastic and knowledgeable host takes us around in their new brewing facility, a well designed brewery with space to grow and, even more important: clean, very clean, a clear reminder that we are in a brewery in the tropics. It feels a bit like the late nineties in the U.S., excitement – a touch of flying blind - and energy, lots of it, wonderful. I have always wondered how it is to brew in a climate where a petri dish left open for a few minutes becomes a jungle too, there is more candida in the air then oxygen. Trying the beers made it obvious, the brewery team is able to manage healthy yeast here, no simple task. Congrats.
Time to taste some beers. Esteban is ready and helps us drink through a stellar line-up. The highlights, in no specific order, are all worthy of first place. He starts with a somewhat mystic story about the first beer - without sharing any ingredients- called: TUMBACALZONES. The beer is made with Flores de Jamaica (Hibiscus or Sorrel), a classic and common but somewhat outdated fruit you find almost anywhere here in Central America. A classy thirst quencher, well balanced, this sure will do well in this tropic climate. Next is MAMA CANDELLA, a tropical stout well worth it’s name. A touch syrupy for me but with a rich sweetness from the honey, very floral. It surprises me every time that a stout brewed in the 6-7 (%) ABV range is a wonderful beer to have in these climates. Last, we drink La PELONA, an IPA with a hint of it's U.S. West Coast siblings but more citrusy, without being too much. The idea that IPA’s here are having a following – generations have been drinking German inspired lagers in this region - is testament to this global interest in new flavours and tastes, it makes me proud.
Esteban and team, keep up the good work, I know it is not easy but sure worthy, great inspiration and well executed beers! Everybody else, look for the little stubby bottles when you are in a supermarket in Costa Rica or even better visit the brewery, no need to worry, you won’t be disappointed rather have an experience you won’t forget tasting some of these wonders.
Bebe Local, Bebe Artisanal, Bebe Independiente!
proost: [noun] “cheers!” in Flemish; usually said when drinking.