Tico Birra. Costa Rica’s first home brew shop.

On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2012, Tico Birra opened its doors to the public.

Tico Birra is a full blown home brew shop that is has everything from Glass Carboys, Bottle Cappers, Bottle Caps, Instruments, Munstons Beer kits to, grains, yeast, hops, water and bottles.

It was the brain child of Luis Arce Sanchez who was sent to Newcastle, England for a two year HP assignment. Luis developed the taste for great beers while in the UK and on returning to Costa Rica he found that he could not find any of his favorite brews in Costa Rica.

So Luis tried brewing his own, however he was constantly being stopped by the Costa Rican customs when he ordered the ingredients he purchased on Amazon.

Luis decided he would start his own homebrew shop and do all the paper work necessary in his spare time. That process started in Feb 2011. In September 2011 Luis was introduced to David Lockshin, a former Peace Corps volunteer (Parque Nacional Tapanti) who served in the early 1980’s in Luis’s home town of Orosi, Cartago.

Luis’s aunt Rosaura Arce was a life time friend of David’s. Rosaura knew that when David left the Peace Corps, he moved back to Ohio and joined the family business Fame Beverage, a Beer, Wine and non-alcoholic drink distributor.

(Fame Beverage was a leader in the N.E. for creating the demand of craft and imported beers, they distributed since the late 80’s Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Great Lakes, Blue Moon, Corona, Molson, Fosters, Boulder Beer, Guinness, Stella, Dos XX, Tecate, Becks, Bass, Warsteiner, Pilsner Urquell, and Samuel Smith, to name a few).

David sold his Fame Beverage company in 2007 to his major competitor and was hanging out doing small real estate projects, and selling his Hippie Coffee on the Caribbean slope town Guapiles.

When Luis and David met it was of course over a Segua from Costa Rican Craft Brewing. They immediately knew that each other had a fond passion for beer.

Luis knew how to brew and had patience of the Costa Rican bureaucracy to get the products registered. David had time to do the running around and an expertise in distribution and developing fine beers.

Luis and David decided from the demographics of San Jose they wanted to be on the west side of town. Finally in mid-February they located a small space diagonal from La Artistica furniture store in Pavas, right off the highway.

Tico Birra! Costa Rica’s first home brew shop.

Tico Birra is open Monday to Saturday 1pm to 8 pm and Saturday from 9am to 4pm, closed holidays. On Saturday they give basic beer making courses for $10 each. (You need to pre-register for the class by calling 2296 3486).

Tico Birra also rents their kitchen for $20 this includes use of all the instruments the water, ice for cooling and the pots and pans — a great deal so you do not have to make a mess in your house.

The address is Tico Birra, diagonal La Artistica o 100 mts de AYA central calle Pavas. Tel 2296 3486

You can reach us on them on the web www.TicoBirra.com, or on Facebook at TicoBirra.

They are also forming a Costa Rican Brew Club for all you home brewers out there. Cheers! Happy Brewing!

Written by VIP Member David A. Lockshin, the man, at The Hippie Coffee Company, and the chief cook and bottle washer at Tico Birra. You can reach me at 330 268 5414, or 970 372-0697.

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