For many years, the craft beer boom has been growing slowly and steadily in the United States and Canada. If you have a heart for hops and a craving for craft, then we’ll bet you already have a favorite list of microbreweries from “back home.” Now, we’re putting 10 craft breweries in Costa Rica on draught for you to try.
From small micro-breweries to craft breweries that have grown and innovated robust menus, each offers a literal taste of Guanacaste – brew pubs, taprooms, and distributor breweries that pull from local traditions, fresh ingredients, and even our Blue Zone water to brew beer you could only taste in our region of Costa Rica.
All information is accurate, as of publication. In alphabetical order:
Phone: 2670-1982 (Coconutz)
Location: Playa Del Coco, In Coconutz Sports Bar, Sardinal de Carrillo, Guanacaste
First launched in 2015, Angry Goats was an instant hit, quickly expanding and sharing its beers with the Pacific Coast. To keep up with demand – and to innovate new brews and flavors – the brand recently upgraded their facilities and expanded next to its home beside Coconutz Bar & Grill.
So, now you’re asking, what is an Angry Goat and what does it have to do with craft breweries in Costa Rica? It’s the love child of great beer, good hockey, and a surly attitude – plus American expats, passionate about brews and Costa Rica. It all began in Colorado, with a league hockey team named Angry Goats; one move to paradise later, team captain become head brewer at Angry Goats Brewery, pooling knowledge from his famed home brews and American brewery training, to become a founding partner of this now-mainstay.
John and his brew partner, Eric, started with a humble half-barrel system located in the old Coconutz catacombs, where they brewed full-bodied beers with good hop profiles. Their five-beer lineup led to immediate success and then the above-referenced expansion, which has helped the microbrewery maintain its excellence while constantly innovating. Best of all, they combine this obsession with great beer with an American sports bar approach: watch the game, enjoy a cold one, and enjoy the beach!
The Beers: The microbrewery offers its Leafcutter Pale Ale (5.8%), a West Coast-inspired, American-style pale ale; the Golden Iguana (4.9%), a bright and light-bodied ale; the Howler IPA (6.7%), known for its big and bitter hoppy profile (and higher alcohol content); 46.9 Amber (5.4%), caramel not only in color but in flavor; Hefenweizen (4.5%), a light-colored wheat beer that’s easy to drink; Pura Vida Porter (5.8%), which is darker in color than most of the company’s brews; a Blond Ale (5.7%), both light in color and full of flavor; and the Angry Goats Lager (4.3%), lovingly and traditionally lager brewed.
Location: 500mts south of the Brasilito fire department, Huacas, Guanacaste
A new premier craft brewery located in Huacas, Guanacaste, BOA strives to bridge the two worlds of creativity and science to deliver passionately handcrafted brews.
What’s more, they work to make their mark on both Costa Rica and the world of craft breweries in Costa Rica, by ensuring sustainable practices and principles – tweaks as easy as partnering with local farms, where they send their spent grain to feed the animals, and re-using non-toxic brewery wastewater to add nutrients back into their gardens.
BOA welcomes visitors to its Brew Pub and Taproom, where you can sample and savor their full range of beers while relaxing on the newly built outdoor (and under cover) patio and tasting area. Offering fare from light to filling, from vegetarian-friendly to meat-loving, the restaurant pairs its good eats with live music and clubhouse specials.
The Beer: Try them all! BOA brews include a Dry Irish Stout (4.2%), midnight-black in color and featuring the bold flavors of cacao, dark chocolate, and coffee; English Pale Ale E.P.A. (4.5%), which playfully straddles the line between hoppy and malty; The Kiwi Brother (6.1%), a hybrid of fresh lager and crisp green apple cider; The Helles Brother (5.0%), pale and gold, with subtle hops aromatics; The RYEghteous Brother (6.0%), an altered IPA that focuses on the malt; Belgian Wit (5.0%), a straw-colored Belgian that boasts a light-yet-refreshing body and crisp mouthfeel; and The Belgian Brother (7.5%), a Belgian with a higher alcohol content.
Don’t miss our latest episode of Dream Catchers Costa Rica, where you’ll meet Alaks Thompson, the founder of BOA Brewery! Learn about his journey to Costa Rica and how he created one of the most popular microbreweries in Guanacaste!
Location: 50 meters West of Bar La Perla Puerto Potrero, Guanacaste
Cervecería Independiente, or the Independent Brewery, knows how to take life in stride. Legend has it – and by legend, we’re referring to a 100% legitimate, true story! – that a rogue howler monkey once broke into the brewery (literally; it had learned to open one of the windows!). Thirty minutes later – after the howler had swung by the lift cable, jumped through the rafters, and scaled the equipment – and much coaxing later, they were able to usher him out of the building.
So goes life and business in paradise. And, at Cervecería Independiente, it’s their way – their own way, and exactly how they like to do it. Because they like good beer. That’s how it all started, after all: They wanted to make beer because beer is good. And good beer is even better. Why not add great brews to the experience of paradise? Today, Cervecería Independiente relies on quality ingredients and carefully controlled processes, paired with inspiration from tropical fruits and regional flavors, to craft very special beers. And they’re proud to say they’re the first brewery of their kind in seaside Potrero.
The Beers: Find your favorite from among the Hazy Juicy IPA (8%), Cream Ale (5%), Tropical Lager (5%), American Wheat (5.2%), Watermelon Sour (5%), Session IPA (4.6%), BLK Lager (6%), and Hoppy Pale (7%). Flights available.
Location: Hojancha, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Born in 2012 from a passionate family hobby for brewing, Guanabeer proudly brews “La Cerveza de Guanacaste” – the “Beer of Guanacaste.” And, indeed, the company’s brews are rooted not only in top-quality ingredients but in the elements, the traditions, and the everything that makes us all Guanacastecos (people from Guanacaste).
To start: Guanabeer’s “special ingredient” is locally sourced Blue Zone water with no additives. More than an ingredient, this water is a defining element of the company’s brews, as the its characteristics ebb and flow throughout the year, keeping the brewery’s recipes “alive” and ever-changing in subtle ways, from batch to batch, while still maintaining their characteristic aromas and flavor profiles throughout the year.
You’ll also appreciate Guanabeer’s commitment to the environment: The company collects rainwater, operates an organic bio-garden, donates solid waste (ex. malt husk) to local farmers, and recirculates its water, among other practices that make this one of the most eco-friendly craft breweries in Costa Rica.
The Beers: Guanabeer currently offers two brews, each inspired by Guanacaste: The Guana Red IPA (5.5%), is a red-tinted IPA-style brew fermented with sugar cane; and Guanaca (4.6%), crafted with Blue Zone water and local honey, to produce an authentic and fresh-tasting brew unique to the region.
Location: 100 Las Lomas, 400 meters east of Ventanas, Playa Grande, Guanacaste
When you’re looking for a little bit of fun and a lot of great beer, Las Olas Brewing delivers unique craft beers and delicious food (specializing in burgers, spicy wings, and BBQ!), right here in downtown Playa Grande. What’s more, the brewery and its taproom, Las Olas BrewPub, promise a fun and inviting atmosphere – the perfect place for craft beer enthusiasts to meet, socialize, and sample some of our area’s best craft beer.
The Beer: Las Olas’ current roster features its Beach Beer (5%), Swell IPA (6.5%), El Hefeweizen (5.5%), the Slothy Stout (10%), and Good Vibes Berliner Wiesse Sour (3.5%). Also keep your eyes peeled for its Citra Session IPA, Grande West Coast IPA, Board Breaker Hazy IPA, and Patrol Breakfast Stout.
Location: 125 Norte del Rio Santa Ines, Barrio Guadalupe, Liberia, Guanacaste
A family-owned brewery just outside Liberia that also crafts house-made root beer, Maderos Brewery is everything you want in a brew pub experience.
While they’re just a bit of a drive (on the outskirts of Liberia), Maderos delivers a rustic outdoor rancho as the epicenter of their handcrafted beers, homemade root beer, and that beloved Costa Rican mainstay of chile guaro (hot pepper-infused firewater). Pair that with carne asada, chips and salsa, chorizo, bratwurst, and more, and you have the perfect reason for a trip to Liberia.
The Beer: Tap into Kölsch, Sun Kiss Ale, IPA, Hurricane Harvest Lager, and Dopplesticky.
Location: Playas del Coco
A pioneer in craft breweries in Costa Rica and the first-ever fully licensed microbrewery in Playas del Coco, Monkey Head Brewing is both a local mainstay and Guanacaste tradition. And, in fact, you’ll find their brews up and down the Pacific Coast, happily chilling in some of the best restaurants and local holes-in-wall. Drink it cold and drink it often! (Bonus: You can buy a growler and refill it whenever the craving arises!)
The Beers: Monkey Head’s The Garden Beer is a delicious, light blonde ale that’s been aggressively dry-hopped with Strada hops to encourage the strong aromas you’d expect of an IPA, without the traditional bitterness. The theme continues in the company’s Easy IPA, with bit hoppy aromas thanks to Citrus, Mosaic, and Galaxy dry hops, which make for a happy, citrusy, and fruity finish. Take it a little tart with Dry-Hopped Sour, a tart and refreshing dry-hopped kettle sour, again heavy on the citrus and fruity aromas. Finally, try something completely different (and absolutely Costa Rican) in Monkey Head’s Cas Cider, which massages the best characteristics from cas (a sour guava fruit) to create a mouthwatering cider with a delightfully acidic twist.
Location: Parque Solarium, Bodega 19F, Liberia, Guanacaste
Located in Liberia and serving throughout Guanacaste, Numu Brewing Company is on a mission to unite cultures and share experiences through great beers. We’re happy to oblige, if that means we get to try them all!
Inspired by Guanacaste’s climate, places, and gastronomy, Numu Brewing Co. does the region right with seasonal brews and year-round choices inspired by tropical fruits. The results are clean and refreshing beers, presented on draught and in cans, plus a few experimental, seasonal, and collaborative beers that every brew aficionado should try.
The Beer: Tap into Numu’s Chorotega IPA (6%), an American India pale ale known for its intense golden color, medium body, and complex citrusy aromas; Liberiana Golden (4%), a kölsch with a light golden color, soft and subtle malt, and a welcome addition of noble German hops; and Sabanero Saison (5%), a golden with a deliciously spicy aroma, infused with fresh fruits and herby flavors to create a light and dry body.
Location: Parque Solarium, Bodega 8F, just across the highway from the Liberia Airport, Liberia, Guanacaste
Located near the Liberia airport, the Papaya Brewing Company produces craft beers proudly “hechas en Guanacaste” (made in Guanacaste) and inspired by our local culture and climate.
With the strong belief that quality craft beer should be as refreshing as it is flavorful, Papagayo Brewing Co. is the beer you take from brewery to beach – that is, on a hot day and with your toes in the sand, this is one you’ll want to crack open. They also have a taproom and offer private group tours (not all craft breweries in Costa Rica do), should the whim strike.
The Beer: Get a taste of their Beach Lager (5%), an easy-drinking traditional lager; Tropical IPA (6.2%), known for its intense flavor of tropical fruits and juicy hops; Sour Gose (4.5%), a German-style sour beer; and the Passion Fruit Ale (5.5%), a light, golden pale ale with local passion fruit.
Location: Downtown Tamarindo, next to the Night Market and 100 metros from Gimnas
Tamarindo’s pioneer craft brewery and one of the most well known craft breweries in Costa Rica, Volcano Brewing Company was first established in 2011. Rooted in unique recipes and great ingredients, they also prioritize that other thing that matters most: The brewery is located right on the beachfront, so you can enjoy the incredible views as much as the cold brews.
Because the next-best thing after surfing is great beer, Volcano Brewing Company, which is located at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, launched with the goal of serving high quality craft beer to its surf camp guests (and the Tamarindo community, at large). Today, you can enjoy their craft beers at their still-favorite beachfront tasting room, as well as at their restaurants, Eat at Joe’s and El Vaquero; there are a whopping 45 taps located throughout the camp (serving both Volcano Brewing Co. and other local Costa Rican craft beers).
The Beers: Fall in love with their signature Witch’s Rock Pale Ale (4.5%), a medium-bodied and well-balanced brew with tropical, floral, and citrus undertones; Gato Malo (5%), a traditional southern brown ale with a classic malty taste of toasted malt, chocolate, and caramel; and the Volcano IPA (6%), similar to the pale ale – tropical and citrusy – but kicked up a notch and balanced with hops.
Get in Touch
We hope we’ve tempted your palate! Now that you’ve perused our list and marked down your favorites, we hope you won’t be shy.
Get in touch and we’ll be happy to point you in just the right direction of whatever it is you’re looking for. Or, we can just make a recommendation for a must-try seasonal brew or brew pub with live music. Because we’re brew-lovers, too.
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