Fuego Brew Co., fire from the river
By Trevor Brown
With Costa Rica’s rapidly growing craft beer market, and a small bohemian beach town on the rise becoming Costa Rica’s next “hot spot”, timing couldn’t be better for Playa Dominical’s very own brewery. Dainen McDaniel, owner of Fuego Brew Co., is beyond excited to finally be supplying Costa Ballena with his variety of home brewed beers. However, getting to this point was no easy task.
After visiting and falling in love with Costa Rica, McDaniel purchased a small piece of land in 2010, with big dreams of creating the Southern Pacific's first brewery.
At the time, Costa Rica was experiencing the backlash of a nasty global recession, local tourism was ﬂoundering, businesses were closing, and the future seemed uncertain for Playa Dominical. Always optimistic, his vision remained clear with confidence that Dominical would again thrive with the personality and liveliness he fell in love with. After 6 years of permitting, shipping machinery, and sourcing materials, Fuego Brew Co. is serving homemade beers and tasty dishes, adding complement to Dominical's variety of eateries and local hangouts.
Constructed of mostly hardwoods surrounding an exposed 7-barrel brewing system with accents of industrial, steam-punk style finishing, there is no lack of style nor attention to detail. While the upstairs pumps out delicious locally sourced foods, zesty cocktails and an ever changing assortment of national craft beers, the downstairs area offers a brewery tour and a tasting room manned by brew master Alan Struck. Alan, previously brewing at Maui Brew Co. and Anchor Brew Co. in San Francisco, has moved down to Dominical to join the all-star cast of characters that operate.
Fuego. According to Alan, brewing in Costa Rica has its own set of difficulties not previously considered, but his years of expertise speaks for itself and is shown in his ﬂavorful beers.
If you haven’t visited Fuego Brew Co. yet, make sure you put it on your list.