4 Best Costa Rica Beer Brands

By Tim Kroeger May 29, 2020 Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is known for its local beers. Which of these Costa Rica beer favorites should you try on your visit?

Bars and restaurants will have a variety of all the local beers. Most have been popular with visitors as well and have made their way as export goods.

Recently, Costa Rica is seeing a boom in craft beers, with drinkers looking for more exciting variants to try. 

Aside from beer, Costa Rica is also known for its guaro or liquor derived from sugarcane.

Its taste is comparable to rum. Cacique Guaro is the most popular brand for this type of alcohol and is sold at an inexpensive price.

Costa Rica Beer

Costa Rica Beer - Imperial beer bottles on ice

Most of the popular Costa Rica beer brands are produced and distributed by one brewing company namely Cervecería Costa Rica.

It is part of a big corporation which is the Florida and Ice Farm Company or FIFCO.

What beer is sold in Costa Rica?

There are four beer brands that are sold in Costa Rica which has gained a constant following. These are:

1. Imperial

It is safe to say that Imperial Costa Rica is the local’s go-to brand when it comes to beer.

This local brand infuses Costa Rican and German influences together.

It prides itself to be the first “water positive beer” which means water conservation and sustainability are in effect in the way they brew their beer.  

Imperial has been in the market since 1924. Many regard it as the “beer of Costa Rica.”

Imperial comes in the following varieties:

Imperial

Style: American Lager

Alcohol by volume: 4.5%

Imperial Light

Style: American Light Lager

Alcohol by volume: 3.7%

Imperial Silver

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume: 4.5%

2. Pilsen

Pilsen has been around Costa Rica for more than 100 years. To be specific, it has been in the market since 1888.

It remains to be the second most popular beer in the country. Pilsen is the drink of choice of those who would like a bolder flavor compared to Imperial.

Pilsen Costa Rica is light in color and bitter in taste. It is easily one of the beers in the country with high alcohol content. 

Pilsen

Style: Bohemian Pilsner

Alcohol by volume: 5.1%

3. Bavaria

Bavaria Costa Rica Beer is among the premium line of beers in the country.

Its first variant was introduced to the local market in 1932, and its most recent offering hit the market in 2015.

Bavaria offers a lot of varieties compared to the other Costa Rica beer brands:

Bavaria Dark

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume: 5%

Bavaria Light

Style: American Light Lager

Alcohol by volume: 3.4%

Bavaria Gold

Style: German Pilsner

Alcohol by volume: 5%

Bavaria Red

Style: American Light Lager

Alcohol by volume: 4.5%

Bavaria Chill

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume: 4%

4. Rock Ice

Rock Ice is relatively new in the beer scene, having only started to produce in 1995.

It differentiates itself through its unique process of ice brewing wherein the brewed beer is chilled to form ice crystals.

With flavors that are fruity to the taste, Rock Ice is not afraid to experiment when it comes to varieties:

Rock Ice

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume: 4.7%

Rock Ice Limon

Style: Fruit and Field Beer

Alcohol by volume: 5.2%

Rock Ice Golden Monkey

Style: Fruit and Field Beer

Alcohol by volume: 5%

Artisan beer and craft beer in Costa Rica

There are small local breweries in Costa Rica that have started making exceptional beers, paving the way for what they call a “beer revolution.”

These artisan and craft beers are usually sold and served in the same areas where they are made.

They are gaining more and more following as many locals and tourists alike are looking to experience something out of the usual and commercial.

Costa Rica’s Craft Brewing Co. is one of the numerous microbreweries that have successfully joined the local beer market. Some of their notable beer products are:

Segua Red Ale

Alcohol by volume: 5%

Libertas Tropical Golden Ale

Alcohol by volume: 7%

Malacrianza Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume: 6%

How much is a beer in Costa Rica?

costa rica beer Imperial served in a beach bar

If you are buying Costa Rica beer in a grocery store or a supermarket, one bottle will cost you about 700 to 900 colones. 

If you are drinking in a bar, the cost for a bottle of beer starts at 1000 colones. 

Is it safe to drink beer in Costa Rica?

Yes, it is safe to drink beer in Costa Rica; however, you must be mindful of bootleg alcohol which has made its way to consumers.

It will not hurt to be extra careful. Be mindful of where you purchase your beer and look out for any signs of tampering on the package. 

This tip is handy not only in Costa Rica but at other travel destinations as well.

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