Inspired by Costa Rica
With the creation of our Papaya and Habanero Chilli IPA, El Fuego, we’ve really brought the heat! During the creation of this feisty new beer conversation fell on our adventures to the regions of the world which are scattered with the beautiful and simultaneously terrifying natural wonders; Volcanoes.
Arenal Volcano. Photo credit: Justin Jensen (Flickr)
If you ever find yourself in Costa Rica you’ll find yourself slap bang in the middle of a chain of volcanoes, nearly a thousand miles long, stretching from Guatemala to northern Panama. Along this stretch, many of the volcanoes remain active, but that doesn’t stop them being travel destinations for thrill-seeking adventurers. Fancy yourself an adventurer? Grab yourself a flight to San Jose, then you land, make a bee-line for the town of La Fortuna. Driving into town you’ll be in the shadow of the looming yet picturesque duo that is the Arenal and Cerro Chato Volcanoes. Close your eyes and imagine a volcano and you will likely see something not too dissimilar to Arenal. Steep and perfectly symmetrical, its vegetated slopes climb almost five and a half thousand metres above sea level, with the deep greens belying the volcanoes true destructive nature. Up until 2010, Arenal was Costa Rica’s most active volcano, regularly gurgling out lava and putting on the most impressive show on Earth for those in nearby towns. Cerro Chato, the lazy half of the duo, has been inactive for 3,500 years, but its appeal is not in the terrifying explosions of its neighbour; this volcano has something a little different, with a dazzling emerald green crater lake at the top.
Fourpure brewer and keen-explorer, Sara, shared with us over a few beers at taproom the time she and two friends hiked Cerro Chato to see this one-of-a-kind lake for themselves. “It’s more of a climb than a hike. At certain stages you literally have to pull yourself up as the ascent becomes almost vertical.” The dense jungle and slippery mud demands a cautious calculation every step of the way with a misstep meaning a none too pleasant tumble. Cerro Chato is a literal jungle gym as you endure a full body workout to make it to the lip of the volcano. Don’t celebrate too early though, the ascent is half the battle, as heading back down to the lake is just as muddy and just as steep as the climb to the top. Once Sara finally approached the lake, she was unimpressed by the icy reception and freaked out by the fish that nibbled her feet. “How the hell did fish get in a volcano lake?!” The peaceful silence of the lake whilst encircled by fog and jungle was just reward, however, as they sat down, took it in and made their way back to town.
Since Sara’s climb, hikers have now been banned from tackling Cerro Chato with the ascent deemed too risky and dangerous. However, the sight of these grand structures are worth the trip in itself and the surrounding beauty of Costa Rica still makes the country a favourite for travellers, including Sara.