If you are a lover of that frothy stuff that comes in shades from something resembling muddy water through multiple variations of gold to near jet black, you are going to enjoy this weekend, Jan 18-19.
It’s that favored beverage that connoisseurs claim can slake your thirst like no other. It’s a brew that has been around for thousands of years and has adherents all over the world who claim that the best vintage on the planet comes from their home town or, with the age of micro-breweries, from their own “local” (pub). I’m talking of course of BEER.
If you are one of the happy band of warriors who believe that there’s nothing to beat a good pinta , then you will almost certainly be heading for Atlapa for Panama’s second International Beerfest ,where you will get the chance to sample 50 different brews from countries from as close as Cuba and as far away as Germany and the UK. Ironically Panama’s two major supplier of beer declined to participate. “Not up to the challenge” said one wag at Tuesday’s Press conference at the Riu hotel. But Panama’s micro brewery La Rana Dorada, which has two locations in town and already offers clients four beer samples before making a decision will be there. A wise move, and sure to attract more customers to its locations in Casco Viejo and just across from the Einstein bust off Via Argentina.
At the festival, after each of your 50 tastings, if you are standing, you can point a finger in the direction of a newly discovered frothy friend and, for a small donation, take a bottle home.
I discovered one at the press conference, a Cuban offering called Bucanero. Those pirates must have had strong legs, as this flavorsome offering has a higher than usual alcohol content and its likely that some new adherents will not stray far from the Cuban stand. But for the rest there are other matching delights in store. Talks on brewing, and what food goes down best with your favorite tipple, and you will be able to add that sampling experience to your night or day out.
There’s music too with a selection of bands including the Pacora Bombero band that has warmed up proceedings at Oktoberfest gatherings at Rincon Aleman.
What does all this schmoosing and b---zing cost? From 5 pm to midnight on Friday, it’s just $8. (Get your ticket at Rincon Aleman on 51st and it’s just $5 with a free beer (figuratively) thrown in) Same price Saturday from 3-10 pm. If you are in survival mode, a two day pass costs $12. So drop by, and knock back a cool one. You'll be sure to meet many old friends, and maybe meet some new ones.