Friday, October 03, 2008

Houston, we have good beer. And soap.

Finally! AutoMercado has gotten some microbrews in, good news for those of us who enjoy a beer that does not smell (faintly or otherwise) of cat urine. At least, I am pretty sure they are microbrews. At least, they aren't Pilsens or Imperials! Reason for celebration, I think. I am guessing, though I haven't confirmed it, that this recent stocking of the brew may be due to friend Vicky, who gathers lists of things we ex-pats wish we could get down here* and passes them on to a buyer she knows who works for (or maybe even owns, I'm not sure) AutoMercado. For my part, I always request "good beer" and "eco-friendly cleaning products," and lo and behold, AutoMercado now carries both! I mean, hey, where else in Costa Rica can you get a pale ale and eco-dishwashing detergent?!?! Go, Vicky! Thanks!

So here's what we've got:

From left: Pranqster, Scrimshaw, Red Seal Ale, and Acme Pale Ale.

I haven't decided yet if my favorite is the Acme Pale Ale or the Pranqster, both just yummy as can be, both of which remind me of my California home (esposo says the Acme is "California in a bottle"). I also enjoyed the Red Seal Ale, but the Scrimshaw, not quite as much (though it's still better than anything the Cerveceria Costa Rica makes). I'd give you a better review (ala, "it has a bold, full-bodied hoppy flavor"), but they went far too quickly to take notes. Maybe next time. They are not exactly cheap (from about 1600 to 2000 colones a bottle, or around $3-$4 each), but for someone who can appreciate good beer, they're worth it. Try one out and tell me what you think.

And? You can now buy a whole bunch of Ecover cleaning products, from dishwashing liquid to fabric softener, but if you're tempted, forgo the "eco-friendly bleach" and just do a mix of hydrogen peroxide and water yourself (since that's all it is). Yesterday, I noticed they're carrying another brand of eco-friendly cleaning stuff as well! Does it get any better? Woo-hoo! I jest, but for people like me who have uber-ridiculous chemical sensitivities, being able to buy something that isn't loaded with chemicals and smells is like a dream come true. Just walking down the cleaning aisle in the store is enough to bring on a migraine. I think the last thing we have here in the house that still has nasty chemicals in it is a bucket of laundry detergent, but when that's gone, we'll have as close to a chem-free house as one can have here. So Vicky, if it is you I have to thank, thank you! (I do know it was Vicky who got us Ben & Jerry's.) You've made my life here so much easier.

P.S. I discovered that all the beer comes from North Coast Brewing Company in Mendocino, California. And they have lots more, hopefully some of which we will get to try down here soon. Hooray!

* Inevitably, someone always requests friggin' lima beans. What the hell is wrong with people? Of all the things you could get from the States... lima beans? Seriously? Bleh.

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