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Monthly Archives: December 2008

Due to an (apparent) rising problem in crime, there is no more money available from ATMs in San Jose, Costa Rica after 10pm. Due to police information there was an increasing number of robberies that followed the same pattern. People were mugged on the street, but not only the money was taken away that they had on them. They were forced to do an involuntary city tour, passing as many ATM as possible. They would then be forced at gun- or, (more often) knife-point to withdraw all the money they could from their bank account and with their credit card. Particularly now during Christmas time, when Costa Ricans receive their 13th month’s salary, this would provide for an easy prey.

Therefore it was decided to close down all ATM cashiers after 10 o clock at night. I do not know if it was a municipal decision or one made by the banks, but it is definitely good to know that measures are being taken (in Venezuela this has been an ongoing problem for years).

However, it is also good to know that you can no longer withdraw money at night. Take care of such financial matters during daytime if you happen to be in San José!

The only beer brewing house of Costa Rica, the Cerveceria de Costa Rica is celebrating its 100th birthday. Funny how time passes when you are enjoying yourself… I know it’s a little late to write about this, but I just noticed the label on my beer bottle a short while ago. The brewery is now also producing beer for Heineken and distributing less tasty stuff like Smirnoff Ice (arrrgh, groce). By the way, the cerveceria de Costa Rica was the first Latin American brewery to receive a license from Heineken to brew its tasty liquid.

However, after all those years “Pilsen” is still the right beer to go with. It gives you less of a headache than some other products, the worst being “Rock Ice“: if you really plan on waking up with a bad hangover, then enjoy this cerveze de chicas…

Interestingly, the brewery is also promoting the Nicaraguan Toña beer as well as the formidable Cerveza Gallo from Guatemala. To be honest, I have not yet encountered any of those products in Costa Rica (although I could kill somebody for a Gallo right now). But maybe this will happen before the next 100 years are over. Anyways, what with all developments and expansions here in Costa Rica, the variety of many things (not only beer) is growing. The “Bavaria” beer brand is living proof of how quality is advancing here. But don’t forget that it is not easy to brew European style beer in the tropics: with high temperature variations (from over 30 degrees Celsius to a cold fridge and back) and transport in this “beer unfriendly” environment, it is almost impossible to have a standard beer that keeps its quality. This is why many tropical beers have rather low alcohol levels and taste like water…

But in the temperate Central Valley and around San Jose nothing can come in between me an enjoying my beer…

Appendix: Not being American I was unaware, that Imperial beer is appearently also sold in the states. I found an interesting blog entry about Imperial’s advertising campaign, for once “without fake tits” ;). Interstingly, the cerveceria has stopped the famous Pirellli style- calendar with the “Chicas Pilsen”… even though I am not a big fan of advertising everything with breasts I have to admit: I will miss the calendar…