There is only one major player in the Costa Rican beer industry and that is Florida Ice & Farm Co. It produces a total of 10 beers and also distributes several foreign brews. Most of the selection is light and the difference between choices is subtle, but consumers go through them at a rate of 4.2 billion a year.
So if you are planning to visit Costa Rica in the near future, and beer is on your mind, here is the list of Costa Rica beers you should consider trying.
1. Imperial, Imperial Light and Imperial Silver
Invented in 1924 with the intention of combining German traditions with Costa Rican tastes, Imperial is the indisputable beer of choice for Costa Ricans. In 2007, it earned a gold medal in the Monde Selection beer contest held in Belgium. The flavor is balanced and makes for a refreshing choice for the tropical weather of Costa Rica. Imperial Light and Imperial Silver are relatively new brews, both are lighter than the traditional Imperial and have lower alcohol contents.
Created in 1888, Pilsen is the brew with the longest history in Costa Rica. It has 5.1 percent alcohol content, making it among the highest of Florida’s beers. The flavor could be characterized as bitter and pairs well with any meal.
3. Rock Ice, Rock Ice Limon and Rock Ice Golden Monkey
Brewed for the first time in 1995, these beers are the babies of the bunch. They are “ice beers,” which means after brewing in the usual manner, they are chilled so that some of the water in the brew turns to ice crystals. After the beer ages, Florida filters out the ice and what is left is 5.2 percent alcohol content and a smoother flavor. Rock Ice Limón has a strong citric flavor and Rock Ice Golden Monkey leans more towards the fruity side.
4. Bavaria, Bavaria Dark, Bavaria Light
Originating in 1932, Bavaria is Costa Rica’s premium line. It won awards in the Monde Selection contest in 2006 and 2007 in Belgium. It is characterized as a “Dotmunder” beer, meaning it is a full-bodied, moderately hopped beer with at least a 5 percent alcoholic content. Bavaria Dark is the only dark beer option out of all of Florida’s brews.