Showing posts with label Panama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Panama. Show all posts

May 16, 2013

Two Years of Beer Blogging: Check

Yours truly, hard at work at the
Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ
Festival in Atlanta.
I introduced myself to the world of beer blogging on May 16, 2011, with my first real post (a review of Yazoo's Dos Perros) coming a couple days later. I remember sitting in those Nashville coffee shops, embarking on this journey, having no idea where it would lead. Spending last weekend in Nashville, the city told me, "That's right, you don't live here anymore." There were new businesses and new buildings all over the place. It's true -- time really flies.

A year ago today I was living in Panama and I wrote a post similar to this one. I reflected on some of the ridiculously cool things I had done over the past year, including a class at the Siebel Institute in Chicago and the first ever Costa Rica Craft Beer Festival. I asked the question, "Where do we go from here?" Little did I know that my upcoming trip back in the US would take me through the town where I live today. A short twenty-four hours in Asheville planted a seed that would grow during my remaining time in Panama and convince me to move here just four months later.

March 6, 2013

First Ever Micro Brew Fest Rocks Panama

Brewdog in Panama
Scotland's BrewDog was one of the
international craft breweries
served at the festival.
Photo credit: James Bloomfield
This weekend, the Republic of Panama enjoyed its first annual Panama Micro Brew Fest. 

Casa Bruja, one of Panama's newest craft breweries, was instrumental in organizing the craft beer festival. Richo Fernandez, Casa Bruja's Creative Director, reports that 900 tickets were sold for the event.

I asked a friend, James Bloomfield, to share a few words and some photos from the festival.

-----

Panama isn't exactly known for its good beer festivals.

At least, not til now.

So what happened? Well, the first Panama Micro Brew Fest happened, throwing open its taps to serve Panama a decent pinta. With more than twenty different styles of craft beer, the brew fest hosted some of Panama’s best up and coming breweries. Alongside international craft breweries such as Scotland's Brewdog and Oregon's Rogue, local legends Istmo Brew Pub and La Rana Dorada served their best, while craft beer newcomers Casa Bruja and Cervecería Legítima introduced themselves to the Panamanian crowd.

February 20, 2013

Panama Gets Its First Micro Brew Fest

Craft beer and homebrewing are far from strictly American phenomena. The contagion has spread south and it can't be stopped.

On March 2nd, Funky Brewster and N Producciones will present the first ever Panama Micro Brew Fest in Panama City, Panama. The event will feature craft beer from local producers and heavy hitters from abroad.

Breweries slated for festival include:

Check back after the fest for an exclusive review from a local blogger!

October 8, 2012

Gracias Panama, Hello Asheville

It's time to announce a big transition for me and the Local Beer Blog. Over the past few weeks, I've departed Panama and moved back to the US. Until further notice, the Local Beer Blog will be based out of BeerCity USA: Asheville, NC! Makes sense, right?

September 12, 2012

First Panama Homebrew Meeting - Thursday Sept. 13

Panama will have its first meeting of homebrewers and cerveceros caseros Thursday, September 13th at 9pm, at La Rana Dorada in Casco Viejo.

This will be an opportunity for homebrewers in Panama City to meet each other and begin to discuss the challenges facing homebrewers in Panama:

  • Where do we find equipment?
  • How can we purchase ingredients?
  • What about brewing in this tropical climate?
Homebrewers and anyone interested in the craft of beer-making is welcome to attend the event. Please RSVP via the Facebook event page.

September 4, 2012

Panama Homebrew #2: Riverbend Summer Ale

On my most recent trip to Asheville, NC, I was lucky enough to secure 12 pounds of 6-Row Pale Ale Malt from the artisanal maltsters at Riverbend Malt House. The bag of malt accompanied me throughout the rest of my trip -- to Nashville, Atlanta, and on up to Norfolk (by way of a Chicago layover). It was in my luggage for the flight down to Ft. Lauderdale, where I'd pick up my connection back to Panama. It was a little nerve-wracking going through customs with malt, hops, and various brewing chemicals in my suitcase, but luckily I made it through without a hassle.

August 21, 2012

How to Make Your Own Ginger Beer

Ginger Libation, a Panama hat, and an iron
bottle opener from BMW Ironworks.
At my family reunion this past June, my cousin Ben, a blacksmith, showed up with a couple bottles of Green River Ambrosia's Ginger Libation. It rocked my palate and sparked my curiosity. At a potent 8.5% ABV, the Libation will kick your ass if you're not careful.

I was intrigued by the list of ingredients: pineapple juice, lemon juice, lime juice, ginger, cane sugar. Hey, these are all easy to find in Panama. Why not give it a shot?

August 2, 2012

It's IPA Day: 5 Favorites from the Local Beer Blog

Fuller's IPA, in the English style.
Today is International IPA Day, a celebration of what is probably America's most popular style of craft beer, the India Pale Ale.

But the style was not invented in the US. I'll quickly relate its origins:

IPAs emerged way back when, during the height of the British Empire. To satiate her troops abroad, Britain would ship beer to its colonies, most notably India. Utilizing the natural antimicrobial properties of the hop flower, the ale was aggressively hopped with as much as four or five pounds of hops per barrel so that it may survive the long voyage. The style gained popularity in the mid-1800s, then faded away until fairly recently.

May 27, 2012

Panama: La Rana Dorada

The craft beer scene in Panama remains small, but one of the major players right now is without a doubt La Rana Dorada. Run by the same people behind Colombia's hugely successful Bogota Beer Company, "The Golden Frog" has two locations that feature their four "cervezas artesanales con personalidad." That's "craft beer with personality" for all my gringo friends.

May 26, 2012

Panama: Istmo Brew Pub

Last night I visited Panama City's very first craft brewery: Istmo Brew Pub.  Established in 2005, they've got four cervezas de la casa, each named for a province in Panama: Colón, Coclé, Chiriquí, Veraguas.  I'll translate the best I can from the Istmo website:

  • Colón: Golden color with an excellent malt flavor, agreeable aroma, and a big hop flavor; traditional, but with body
  • Coclé: Dark color provided by caramel and black malts; thick body with a light coffee flavor, and balanced bitterness
  • Chiriquí: Deep golden color, refreshing, with a touch of caramel malt and a light smoky flavor
  • Veraguas: Copper in color, with a great body.  Its refined caramel and well-balanced flavor is obtained through a variety of malts and the use of fine hops.

April 12, 2012

Finally: Homebrewing in Panama!

At long last -- after a good ten weeks of buying, importing, and smuggling equipment and ingredients, I am officially homebrewing in Panama!

This also marks my first exploit into all-grain brewing. Instead of using a combination of malt extract and grains, all-grain brewing obtains fermentable sugars exclusively from malted grains. I used the "Brew in a Bag" (BIAB) method for this first attempt, eliminating the need for a big pieces of equipment: a mash tun. Instead of mashing the grain in one container and boiling the wort with another, the Brew in a Bag method allows you to do everything in one vessel.


First, let me introduce you to a few of my new toys:

April 8, 2012

Panama Brews Part 3: Una Noche de Cerveza

Last week, I teamed up with a couple other expats (Katie Garstin & Blayne Ladner) to present Una Noche de Cerveza. The mission: to jump-start craft beer culture in Panama City with an exclusive beer pairing dinner. Blayne generously opened up the Super Gourmet for the evening while Katie and I put together a menu consisting of four courses and five, 6-ounce beers to accompany each course:

March 6, 2012

Panama Brews Part 2: The Imports (or Are They?)

Panama City, located on the Southern access of the Panama Canal, is considered by many to be the economic hub of Latin America. Each year, roughly 14,000 ships pass through the Canal, which in 2011 generated some $1.7 billion in revenue for this developing country. These numbers will surely increase with the ongoing Canal Expansion Project. Not surprisingly, economic activity like this attracts international attention -- which translates directly to the selection on the beer aisle.

February 8, 2012

Panama Brews Part 1: The Macros

To make a longer story short, there are two large breweries here in Panama: Cervecería Nacional and Cervecería Barú Panamá. Just like in the United States, there are three main macro beers here (all light lagers) that just about everyone drinks.

January 30, 2012

The Local Beer Blog Heads South!

Until further notice, the Local Beer Blog will be based out of Panama City, Panama.  This means two things:

1) I'll be welcoming contributions from anyone interested in writing about their local beer scene.  Though I will be located in Central America, I would like to continue to feature beer news and reviews from around the United States and elsewhere.  It's the paradox of my blog -- it's local, yet international.  Please send me an email if you would like to contribute.

La Cinta Costera (the Coastal Beltway) runs
alongside la Bahia de Panama. Photo: David Ackley
2) Many of my future posts will be about the beer scene down here in Panama and elsewhere in Latin America.  For example, what is the local selection like in terms of domestics and imports?  What is the homebrewing scene like in Latin America?  Is there one?  What kinds of local ingredients might I be able to incorporare into my future homebrews?  Which of these could I grow myself?

It's very exciting to relocate to another part of the world.  I hope you continue to follow along in my beer-related adventures!