Cervecería Feroz will be open soon to the public with its taproom with around 70 seats. The idea is that people can come and have a fresh beer right where it’s made, at building 215 in front of La Plaza.

Craft vs Industrial

Now that I have the palate to enjoy a good beer I took the opportunity to speak with the Founding Partner and head brewer of Cervecería Feroz, Antonio González Ruíz, who explained that a craft beer is usually made with traditional ingredients, using 100% malt without additives such as sugars, and corn or rice and enzymes to be able to transform the sugars. It is produced in small quantities (less than 2.5% of liters sold in the country according to the Panama Craft Brewing Association, ACAP) and encourages innovation with a sense of adventure, seeking to make distinctive beers or in some cases trying to recreate old styles.

“Mass produced beers generally use between 30% and 50% of corn or rice as an additive in the ingredients of the macerate and 6-row barley malt in order to reduce production costs, in addition to having a totally aggressive and combative attitude towards the competition. Craft beer seeks to use barley malts of 2 rows, without using these additives,” he explained.

Antonio and his team started making beers at home, trying out styles that were not available in Panama while they experimented. With the passing of the years, the passion for beer grew more and more and they started gaining invaluable learning through courses and trainings, collaborating with other brewers, participating in international festivals and getting awars for their beer.

Cervecería Feroz has that name because they were looking for something that would convey that wild, indomitable and adventurous spirit that is complemented by being close to the jungle and the Canal. “We want our beers to be an adventure. We want to make experimental, but easy to drink, beers” he added.

How do you make a craft beer?

Crafting a craft beer starts with deciding what style we want to make. There are more than 30 styles and sub-styles to choose from among the families of lagers, ales and sours. Once we determine the style, we start to work the recipe choosing the malts, hops, yeast and adapting the water for the beer we want. The process is relatively simple: it begins with the maceration of the malts, where hot water is added to the ground grains to transform the starches of these into fermentable sugars. From there it is passed to the pot where it boils and the hops are added. Once the cooking process is finished, it cools quickly, lowering the fermentation temperature and then passing the must to the fermenter, where the yeast is added. Once fermentation is over, the temperature is lowered and left to mature for a while and then transferred to bottles, cans or barrels and served.

Why City of Knowledge Antonio?

The location is phenomenal! It has a history and an incredible mystique, having been a military base that has now become a center of learning and culture. There are more than 5,000 people working or studying at CdS, which also represents a great advantage for us, to have a community that can become part of our fierce family. Nor can we leave behind the fact that we are between the Canal and the jungle. The atmosphere of the area was one of the things that we fell in love with.

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As Antonio puts it: one of the things I like most about the independent industry in Panama – and in much of the world – is the sense of collaboration and camaraderie among all brewers.

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