A group of Costa Rican craft beer (cerveza artesanal) producers has been working on creating a cluster, in conjunction with the Foreign Trade Promoter, the Promotora de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica (Procomer), to export their proudcts to new markets.
Initially aimed at the United States, the initiative is much more ambitious and hope to bring their craft beers to Central America, South America and Europe.
The cluster was formed two months ago. Ignacio Castro, president of the Asociación de Cerveceros Artesanales de Costa Rica (ACACR) -Association of Craft Brewers of Costa Rica, explained that the cluster is just in a formative stage, but they expect to officially present it in February of 2018.
The cluster must first meet the requirements for export.
“We have more than 100 associates that are dedicated to the production of craft beer in the country, but we are grouped into chapters. In this cluster, 39 producers in the microbrewery category may participate, although they must first meet the requirements for export, so we believe that we will start with about 10 or 12 producers, ” said Castro.
The craft beer market in Costa Rica reached a level of maturity that allows it to cross the border with quality products at competitive prices in other countries.
Johanna Davila, promoter of food sector exports at Procomer, who works closely with the country’s craft brewers, ensures that they have a high level of quality in the production processes of their drinks. “At the moment the cluster has not been developed, we are working on the creation of a strategy and the selection of companies that will be part of this group of exporters that want to take their beers to other countries,” said Davila.
“… According to Procomer, craft brewing companies that want to be part of the cluster must meet a series of requirements, such as having an established production capacity, having all the necessary export permits and economic solvency,” added Davila.
Castro said that those interested in joining this group of exporters should also have all the permits required in Costa Rica, have packing processes to export and be independent breweries.
When I speak of independents, we refer to companies that produce their own beer without the support of large conglomerates in the industry, so brewers must prove that they work in that way,” Castro said.