Beers of the World: Costa Rica – Volume 7

Costa Rica isn’t a country that elicits the idea of glorious pints of beer.  It will never be Germany, Ireland, or Belgium in that regard.  However, as a hot Central American country with a fair amount of coastline, it absolutely conjures the desire to sit in a beach chair with your feet in the sand and a cold one in hand.

 Costa Rica’s Craft Brewing Co. Iztarú

I love wheat beers.  I love smoked beers.  So, using the transitive property of equality (I sort of remember it from junior high math and it may not actually apply here, but I want to sound smart so just assume it’s correctly applied) I should absolutely love this smoked wheat beer.

The Basics

  • Country: Costa Rica
  • Type: Smoked Belgian Witbier
  • ABV: 4.6%

 The Bottle & Branding

All of the Costa Rica Craft Brewing beers that I tasted were on draft and I wasn’t able to see the taps.  Therefore, I’m not able to review their bottling & branding.  Since I’m trying to be consistent, I’m going to come up with some completely random ideas for what I imagine they look like!

I have no idea what Iztarú means, so we’re going to give it a solid gold bottle…just because it sounds tough.  On this gold bottle is a is a badass Tico wearing a cowboy hat, dark sunglasses, and combat boots while smoking a hand-rolled cigar.  His Burt Reynolds-esque mustache indicates he’s not a man to be trifled with.  He’s holding a stone that has Iztarú carved into it.  We can only assume that he’s the one that did the carving…with his bare hands, no tools.

 The Beer

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Unlike the badass fake bottle that I just imagined, the beer doesn’t invoke the idea of “badass” in terms of taste.  It’s a smoked wheat beer that lacks smoke.  If it was branded as just a wheat beer, I would have rated it higher.  But when you tease me with one of my favorite characteristics of a beer (smoked) and don’t deliver, I get a bit frustrated.  As a wheat beer, it tastes exactly as it should: light, smooth, with a hint of fruit (specifically banana).  I’d absolutely drink this whenever offered, but they need to step up their smoke game!  Beer Rating Score: 6

The Beer And a Backpack Beer Rating Scale:

10: This stuff is made of unicorn smiles and the best song in the world. There is nothing superior in any galaxy.

9: Did I just become Batman? Because drinking this will LITERALLY make you Batman.

8: When you’re a kid and it’s Christmas morning and you actually get exactly what you want, that’s this beer.

7: I could drink a paycheck’s worth of these beauties and still not get a hangover.

6: It tastes pretty good. I’d buy this beer for home consumption.

5: This is beer. That’s it, it’s just beer.

4: Something isn’t quite right here. Is somebody watching me?  Do I have lettuce in my teeth?

3: Awesome, yeah, I wanted to spend the next 12 hours with my face in a toilet reviewing the contents of my stomach.

2: This “beer” is the equivalent peeing your pants while giving an important work presentation and finding out your significant other is sleeping with your best friend…at the same time.

1: Falling into a nest of Bullet Ants would be preferable right now.

0: Kill me. Now.

Best For

Pissing off your friends who are expecting a smoky beer…kidding, sort of.  Really, this is a great beer for drinking in warm climates when you need something light but with more taste than boring light beers.  The hint of banana comes through more in smell than taste, but you can still use it as a substitute for your daily fruit requirements on the food pyramid.

 Regret Level

*Calculated out of 100% based on how bad I think I will feel after a night of drinking only this beer.

15% low level of regret

Similar to other wheat beers, this is not a beverage that is going to leave you with an over-abundance of regret in the morning.  It’s much lighter than many wheats that tend to feel like you just drank a loaf of bread.


Disclaimer: Don’t be stupid.  Follow all local laws and don’t act like a drunken idiot.  Drink responsibly!