Spoiled by Craft Beer and a Beer from Fidel Castro

Have you become spoiled by Craft Beer too?

Before I moved to Austin, I live in the NJ/NYC area where there were plenty of places to buy and drink excellent craft beer. Moving to Austin almost a year and a half ago didn’t really change this too much. Yes there were a few breweries that weren’t available at the time but most have come to Austin since then such as Firestone-Walker and Southern Tier. For the few breweries that were or are still missing , I now have access to so many great local breweries such as 512 Brewing, Adelbert’s, Jester King, Hops & Grain, and Rogness just to name a few. Now I actually have access to more great Craft Beer than ever, when you factor in my beer trades with my friends back in the NorthEast(Heady Topper anyone?)

On a recent ten day trip to Costa Rica (Bus Tour via Caravan), I realized I’ve become spoiled by Craft Beer. To be more specific I’ve become spoiled by the availability of Craft Beer.

This is mostly my fault because I only packed one bottle of beer to take with us on the trip. Sarah from Adelbert’s was nice enough to gift us with a bomber of Oaked Tripel B while doing the brewery tour a few weeks ago. After hearing the stories of Adel’s travels we thought this was an appropriate beer to take. But I shouldn’t have stopped there!

We had so many amazing days on this trip, seeing stuff like Spider Monkey, Sloths, Howler Monkeys, Macaws, Crocodiles, Volcanoes, Rainforests and more. But at the end of the day, something was missing.

Spoiled by Craft Beer - Craft Beer AustinSpoiled by Craft Beer - Craft Beer Austin

We wanted to celebrate these amazing days with a great Craft Beer but there was none to be found(except the one bottle we brought). The national beer, Imperial was fine as a thirst quencher when we were hot during the day but it didn’t cut it at night when I wanted something 8%+ abv!

Spoiled by Craft Beer - Craft Beer Austin

One day, we were fortunate enough to see baby Leatherback Sea Turtles hatch [Link to Youtube video] and crawl into the sea(in Tortuguero)…that night we decided to have the Adelbert’s Tripel B. We slept pretty good that night! Spoiled by Craft Beer - craft beer austin

Besides that, the only other beer “highlight” we had was finding a Cuban beer called Bucanero. It was nothing special but still cool to find something from the land of Fidel Castro!

Spoiled by Craft Beer - Craft Beer Austin

If you’re planning a trip to country where Craft Beer is not found a plenty, make sure to pack some of your own!

So yes, I’ve been spoiled by the availability of great Craft Beer, how about you? Do you feel we are living in the Golden Age of Craft Beer?

We also like to hear from you guys on some of exotic places you’ve brought craft beer…send pics if you have them!

Cheers!

Rich Plakas

Ever since I had a taste of a "Real-Stick-a-Fork-in-it" Guinness many years ago in Europe, I became a fan of great beer! My next "A-ha" Craft Beer moment was the first time I had Chimay Red about 12 years ago. This malty high ABV experience really accelerated my Craft Beer journey. When I'm not out hunting for the latest Craft Beers, I spend my time doing IT & Wordpress Consulting to pay the bills. Follow Rich Plakas on Untappd Twitter Google+

4 Comments

  1. Andrew S on December 5, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    I always seem to do the same thing when I travel – pack some local stuff with me if I am going to a place devoid of craft beer. In Thailand, I had a 6 pack of Fire Eagle just in case earlier this year. I have learned to do this mostly due to Central America as a lot of other regions in the world have started to slowly catch on to craft beer. It is funny the odd places you will run into craft beer now, though. South American cities always seem to have at least one or two local craft breweries. The challenge is finding a place that serves them (which I find fun anyways). It was actually quite easy to find some in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Colombia. Bolivia and Paraguay? Not so much. Hell, there are some good craft beer bars in Mexico City these days that get some of these small craft beers from all over Mexico (which I sorta wish we got in Austin).

    On to the Fuerte. That was my go-to beer in Cuba back in July. It had more flavor than the Cristal and cost the same. While not great, it was my beer of choice between Cuba Libres. I did, however, find one brewpub in Havana. It was on a nice square/plaza, it was a decently crowded place, and had a selection of 3 brews that they made. Granted, it was a Pilsner of some sort, a porter/stout (can’t remember which), and an Amber. While none of them were great, they were better than the macros.

    • Rich Plakas on December 8, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      Glad to hear there is a brewpub in Havana, maybe they will eventually catch on and do some rum barrel aged beers!

      I forgot to mention it in the original post but we did find Duvel and Leffe in one supermercado. We seem to find Duvel whenever we travel to the Caribbean.

      Would love to hear more about your trip to Cuba…over some Craft Beers of course!

  2. Hoptography on December 5, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    It’s certainly a great time to be a beer lover in the US. Anywhere you travel within the US, you can easily find a brewery to check out, or a beer bar with great things on tap you can’t normally get.

    Last time I was out of the country was in England. And even there I was displeased with the beers. Due to the variety alone, I would easily say the US is making the best beer in the world right now

    • Rich Plakas on December 8, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      The only time we were overwhelmed by the beer selection out of the US was when we went to Amsterdam & Belgium about 2.5 years ago…but that was to be expected! We even stayed at B&B on the Saint Bernardus premises…where they stocked the fridge full of their beer!

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