Tropical Home Brewing and Fermentation

  • Rancho Mastatal Rancho Mastatal
  • 100 metros del Centro de Acopio, Mastatal, Puriscal, San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Jun 3 - 6, 2019 (4 days)
  • $350 USD Includes all food, lodging and instruction.

About This Event

An intensive training (and tasting) in home brewing and fermentation in the tropics. During this course we will cover a range of brewing styles, including traditional wild ferments (e.g. Chicha) as well as contemporary Ales and Ciders. We will then apply these techniques within a tropical context and cover ways to experiment with local ingredients to create unique and delicious brews that will have your friends and family begging for more.

This place is beyond incredible. Such a tight knit group of people doing such amazing things. Rancho Mastatal is nestled deep in the Jungle of Costa Rica, I ended up there with a group of Wilderness EMT students and has no idea what to expect but within the three weeks I spent there is quickly became a second home for me. ~ Clara Murray

Event Highlights

  • Overview of Fermentation in the Tropics
  • Different sources of Yeast
  • Brewing Styles (Beer, Wine, Cider)
  • Traditional Ferments (Hooch, Chicha)
  • Transferring and Bottling Alcohol
  • Brewing Ales in the Tropics
  • Combining Techniques through Experimentation
  • Tropical Infusions & Fantastical Combinations
  • Nightly Home-brew Tastings
  • Educational Resource Packet
  • SCOBY’s & other Yeast sources to take home


Tentative Schedule
Evening Arrival: Monday, June 3rd
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM Cena
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM Brief Introductions & Home-brew Tasting

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Day 1: Tuesday, June 4th
8:00 AM - 9:00 Desayuno
9:00 AM-10:00 AM Ranch and Orchard Tour
10:00 AM-11:30 AM Fermentation in the Tropics
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Sources of Yeast
1:00 PM- 2:30 PM Almuerzo & Siesta
2:30 PM- 4:00 PM Traditional Brews (Hooch & Chicha)
4:00 - 6:00 PM Free time or continue practice
6:00 - 8: 00 PM Home-brew Tasting and Dinner

Day 2: Wednesday, June 5th
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Desayuno
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Brewing Styles (Beer, Wine & Cider)
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM Ales in the Tropics
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Almuerzo & Siesta
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Transferring and Bottling Alcohol
4:00 - 6:00 PM Free time or continue practice
6:00 - 8: 00 PM Home-brew Tasting and Dinner

Day 3: Thursday, June 6th
8:00 AM - 10:00 Optional Trip to Waterfall
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Sunday Brunch
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Combining Techniques w/ Experimentation
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Tropical Infusions & Fantastical Combinations
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Course Wrap Up & Final Questions
4:00 - 6:00 PM Final Home-brew tasting and Fiesta
6:00 - 7: 30 PM Cena

Venue Highlights

Swimming in the many waterfalls and rivers within walking distance.
Getting involved with the local community at the futbol field, library, or soda.
Taking a tour of one of the other eco-tourism projects in town.
Becoming friends with the hard-working Ranch core team and apprentice team.
Visiting our neighbors at Parque Nacional La Cangreja.
Learning about our sustainability practices during a Day Workshop.
Devouring local chocolate treats from La Iguana Chocolate.
Exploring the 14 kilometers of trails throughout our Private Wildlife Refuge.
Touring the Ranch's extensive campus and permaculture farm and systems.
Feasting on the buffet style meals cooked with care.
Resting in a hammock with one of the thousands of books from our library.
Taking a morning stroll on the quite streets to bird-watch.
Getting involved in a dinner time clean up dance party.
Learning about medicinal plants from leaders of the nearby indigenous reserve of Zapaton.
Helping to harvest ingredients for the days meals.


We build our living structures using contemporary and traditional natural building methods and locally sourced materials. We construct with bamboo, cob, wattle and daub, light clay, natural plasters and wood and stone found in the area's surrounding forests and rivers and design/build all of our own edifices. We have various options to choose from and will do our utmost to match you with the alternative that best meets your desires, budget and needs. Our lodging rates include all meals except for dinners on Sundays when we support the local restaurant. The price for children over 3 and up to 12 years is $30 per night. Costa Rican Nationals get a 15% discount on lodging.


The kitchen is the heart of the Ranch. It is the place we gather, the place we celebrate, and the place that sustains us day by day.

Our food is sourced from our local and regional foodshed, and each meal is prepared by hand from whole foods. We do not own a can opener. We do not own a microwave. We minimize our use of fossil fuels by cooking on fire, with solar energy, or with methane gas from our biodigestor. We value traditional methods of food preparation as well as innovation and culinary fusion from many practices. Each meal is served with something fresh and something fermented, and most include local or exotic delicacies like pejibaye, ojoche, jackfruit, breadnut, zorillo, starfruit, tropical greens, taro, and many more.

Our kitchen philosophy is grounded in the understanding that every part of food production--from farm to harvest to storage to preparation and preservation—are inherently linked in a food system that we have the power to continuously design and implement. We believe that communities everywhere can create sustainable, regenerative solutions that render the predominant global, fossil-fuel-based food system obsolete.

Meals at the Ranch are cooked from scratch, delicious, and plentiful with the majority of ingredients coming from the Ranch and a variety of local farms. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements prior to arriving.


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Tags: brewing fermentation whole foods

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