Looking for the best Costa Rica beer brands to try? You’re in the right place. Costa Rica has a thriving beer industry, and several different brands to try out; all of different flavours.
Wherever I go, one of my favourite things to do when I travel is to try the local beers. In recent years, there has been an explosion of local breweries popping up almost everywhere and Costa Rica is no exception.
Since I’m not a big beer drinker myself, I asked my husband Eric from Retro Handheld Guides to weigh in on the best Costa Rican Beers. As a beer lover, he has tried many Costa Rica beers from his numerous trips to Costa Rica
Every country has their own unique take on beer and I feel like it is one of the best ways to become immersed in the local culture. Having a nice cold, tall glass of a local craft beer infused with the minerals of the local waters makes each brewery different in its own way.
So, when I traveled to Costa Rica with my family and drove around the country with our kids in tow, I had the perfect opportunity to try a bunch of local beers (and domestic ones) with each new town and area we stopped in. Here are a few of my favourite brands.
11 Best Costa Rica Beer Brands
Costa Rica has 4 large domestic brands which are available in almost every supermarket and bar. Each of these domestic brands come in a few different styles so it isn’t hard to find one that suits your taste buds.
In addition to the large domestic brands, the country has also seen a bit of a renaissance in beer with microbreweries popping up everywhere. These local breweries often only distribute to local bars in the area where they are made and so trying these beers means traveling the country to find them.
Here are a few of my favorite beers that I tried while in Costa Rica
1. Monteverde Brewing Co
One of my favorite beers from one of my favorite regions in Costa Rica. Monteverde Brewing Co has a number of different varieties of beers brewed from the local mineral rich waters of the Monteverde region.
I personally tried the Sirena Dorada golden ale at a local restaurant after spending the day exploring the region and it was a delicious, refreshing way to unwind with our meal.
If you’re heading to the Monteverde region, you should consider visit the Monteverde Brewing Co., to try their beers and take a tour. However, the beers can be found in local restaurants too.
Imperial is the most popular beer brand in Costa Rica. Known as the “cerveza of Costa Rica”, It can be found in almost every supermarket or bar and is relatively inexpensive.
This brand has a number of different styles including light, silver, ultra, and even a non alcoholic variety.
Imperial light is a pale lager and I found it to be a pretty basic beer that tastes like any of the popular brands you’d find on tap in a bar or restaurant in the US or Canada.
The second largest brand in Costa Rica, Pilsen was one of my go to brands. Another beer that can be found pretty much anywhere that you can buy beer, it has a number of varieties to suit your tastes.
As a pilsner, I tended to prefer this brand over Imperial as it had a richer, darker flavour without being too heavy. If you like your beer with a bit of a bolder flavour, you can’t go wrong with a Pilsen.
Bavaria is another domestic brand that can be found pretty much anywhere that you can buy beer in Costa Rica. It comes in a couple of different flavours ranging from light to dark.
I tried the Bavaria Gold variety and it was serviceable. A standard lager style beer that is refreshing but I didn’t find it to be anything special.
5. Rock Ice
Rock Ice is a bit more experimental in their flavors. They have many varieties that are infused with different fruits and tend to be more carbonated.
Not my favourite type of beer as I tend not to like the fruity type, but if you like Corona or other light fruity beers, you will like Rock Ice.
6. Manada Coyote Cerveceria
Manada Coyote is a brewery out of the San Ramon area. They offer a number of different beer varieties each with a unique, colourful label featuring a stylized coyote.
I had the opportunity to try this beer at a local restaurant in the area when we stopped for lunch after a morning tour exploring one of the hanging bridge parks in Monteverde.
The beer I tried was the Furia, an American style IPA. More full bodied than the usual lagers I tend to prefer, it was a refreshing complement to the Arroz con Pollo I had for lunch.
7. Costa Rica Beer Factory
Despite its generic sounding name, the Costa Rica Beer factory makes a number of different beers each with their own unique style.
Located in the capital city of San Jose, the Costa Rica Beer Factory is a hot spot for both locals and tourists. They offer tours of the brewery and have a restaurant on site.
While in San Jose, definitely check this one out.
8. Butterfly Brewing Co
Located near the town of Montezuma and right near the entrance to the trailhead leading to the waterfalls, the Butterfly Brewing Co offers a craft brew inspired by local ingredients.
This restaurant and gastro pub offers a number of different beer varieties as well as great food and even craft sodas.
9. Lake Arenal Brewery
Located near the volcanic soils around Lake Arenal, this brewing company offers an interesting variety of beers all made with the local mineral rich waters of Lake Arenal.
While I loved the Paradise Pale Ale, they also offer a variety of fruit infused ale and even one infused with Campana Chilis to give it a nice spicy kick!
A craft brewery in the San Jose area, Trientaycino offers a number of delicious beers from lagers and IPAs to Stouts. Personally, I loved the goat inspired art on the labels.
This brewery offers tours and lots of merch and even a home delivery service.
11. Fuego Brewing Co
Located in the small Pacific coast town of Domincal, Fuego brewing company has a large brewery that you can tour and offers a variety of tasty beers.
I love the fantasy inspired art style of the labels and the brewery restaurant offers a beautiful atmosphere to relax and enjoy your beverage over a nice meal.
Age Range: 18+
Duration: 6 hours
The Official Craft Beer Tour of Costa Rica is a 6-hour tour that takes you in an air-conditioned vehicle to some of the best breweries in Guanacaste.
Your tour includes transportation between breweries, 12 different beer tastings, snacks, brewery tour tickets, soda and bottled water.
Book your Costa Rica Craft Beer Tour here
Costa Rica Beer FAQs
Here are the most commonly asked questions about beer in Costa Rica
What is the most popular beer in Costa Rica?
Imperial is the most popular beer brand in Costa Rica. It is a Pale Lager but the brand offers a variety of spinoffs in different styles from light to dark and even non alcoholic and is widely available in every supermarket and restaurant.
Do they sell American beer in Costa Rica?
Many American beers are available in Costa Rica. You can easily find Bud Lite, Milwaukee, Coors Lite or Corona in Costa Rica. Additionally, many local breweries in Costa Rica also make “American style” beers which are typically lagers or IPAs
Does Costa Rica have good beer?
eer in Costa Rica is part of the culture and you can expect to find many good beers there. In addition to large domestic brands, Costa Rica has also seen a surge in microbreweries in the last decade which offer a large assortment of great local brews.
Is beer expensive in Costa Rica?
Beer is not expensive in Costa Rica. Its a little bit cheaper than the average price in North America. A typical pint of draught beer can be found in Costa Rica between $5-9 USD. A bottle from the supermarket is between $1.75 – $5.00
What alcohol is Costa Rica known for?
Costa Rica is most known for Guaro, a clear alcohol made from sugar cane. This rum has a neutral taste so it has a similar taste profile to vodka. You will generally find guaro in many of the most popular cocktails or mixed drinks available in Costa Rica. One of the most popular brands of Guaro is Cacique Guaro which can be found in almost any supermarket or liquor store.
Conclusion: Best Costa Rica Beer Brands
Whatever your favourite style of beer, you can expect to find it in Costa Rica. In addition to the large domestic brands that offer a simple pale lager that will appeal to pretty much everyone, you can also find a huge variety of small local breweries in many of the regions that you visit. Whether you visit Costa Rica during high season or low, you’ll be able to experience the beer culture and if you want; the breweries.
Costa Rican beers are enjoyed by adults from groups of friends, couples, or even families travelling to Costa Rica.
If you enjoy trying new beers and love to travel, you’ll enjoy exploring Costa Rica with its diverse geography, exotic flora and fauna and be surprised by the assortment of great beers while you are at it!