Virtually every modern entertainment option that North America offers its citizens can be found somewhere in the crevasses and corridors of Panama. Discotheques, theatres, and of course, places to get a drink.
Located in the middle of the “La Rana Derada”, aka “The Golden Frog” is a popular local pub in Casca Villejo, the first city in Panama, where the military compound that protected the original Panama City was located. Our three Canadian adventurists go on an excursion to visit the local brewery to observe and experience some South American hospitality like never before.
(Sidenote: the hotel these Canadian travellers are staying at sounds magnificent. Dance music still plays underwater when one dives in the pool, and the picturesque, skyscraper-speckled cityline looked no different than any other global supercity. Panama seems amazing!)
A mix of all of the cultures that have occupied and thrived in Panama seem to simultaneously co-exist in the modern era. Vastly lucious natural environments with exotic flora and fauna crawled into the technologically-connected metropolis, providing a backdrop of old vs new.
“You have the old city, and then like five feet away, you have the new city. It’s like two different worlds… in one.” states Addie.
The visitors reach La Rana Derada, and introduce themselves to Brad Kraus, the Master Brewer, who explains the intentions behind the watering hole, an expansive and “comfortable pub”. All beer is made in-house, and each of them has a special formula, or “art” as Brad likes to refer to it as. One in particular explores a citrus peel and coriander addition to a drink.
He breaks down the four main ingredients in a bottle of brew: water, malt, hops, yeast, and takes them on a trip into the belly of the manufacturing beast, where humongous metal containers with all manners of tubes and gauges and thermometers to concoct Homer Simpson’s magic potion, the brown-bottled bubbly beverage affectionately known as “beer”. Brad even allows the Canadians to drink some “raw” beer, before it got artfully enhanced by whatever process the brewmaster prefers to apply to the particular drink. Taste-Tester One said: “it kinda tastes the same…?” as she shrugged her little sip into her curious lips.
That being said, there are flavours of beers in Panama that were found on the trip that aren’t available anywhere else but there, such as the ‘Coconut Porter’. Brad also trained the novice hops enthusiast how to observe quality in a drink: “One, take a look at the appearance, it’s richness and. Then, notice the aromatics next. Then you taste. Then the most important step: enjoy it!”
Cheers to good advice!
Check out Travel Basecamp’s website to watch more of their adventures off the beaten path.