Imperial | Cerveceria Costa Rica

194 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Cerveceria Costa Rica
Costa Rica

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2002

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Reviews: 194 | Ratings: 537
Photo of Carlton1964
1.54/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

There is a reason Costa Rica is NOT known for there fine brews...this is the reason. Looks like a basic pilsner, smells lke a basic pilsner, tastes like a stale pilsner, and leaves a dry feel in mouth after the first swallow. Over all, I'd say if let with this as your option for beer, choose anything else or just go thirsty.

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Photo of mikeg67
1.54/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. Pours pale straw with tall, long lasting, fluffy, white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of grassy hops and pale malt. Body is light and crisp. Pale malt and some hops combine on the palate. Finish is short, barely noticeable. Standard macro crap.

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Photo of Portertime
1.59/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: using my trusty Kirin glass for this one. Wow, this is one of the thinnest beers I have ever poured. It is only a yellow tinged watery color with minimal bubbling action and no head. I bet it has just about the same amount of calories as a light beer but they don’t specify it on the label. I actually read that the FDA wants to put nutritional content labels on beer soon. I have witnessed this on a bottle of wine named Quady Electra.
Smell: faint, husky, musty hops and cooked vegetables.
Taste: very light bodied. Almost no malt sweetness nor hop bitterness. Somehow it is all balanced and very smooth drinking as a consequence. This is fine to sip on a hot day, no need to pair with anything. I’m a little curious what the calorie content is.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
1.68/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Found this in Costa Rica while on vacation. You're likely to see it available or see some of their advertising within 10 minutes of being here. Imperial dominates the market. Every bar I've been to serves it and half of the bar signs have the giant logo on them. It's the standard macro brew lager. Nothing suprising. If you've had one, you've had them all.

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Photo of bzainthemd
1.72/5  rDev -39%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Poured from a can in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, this is about the only beer you can get there, unless you can find a specialty liquor store, which has about 3 "microbrews". The look is the best part... It looks pale yellow like every fizzy yellow American beer. The smell and taste are of dirty bath water. The feel almost makes you wonder why you are drinking this nectar from the sewer anyway. If I ever go back to Costa Rica, I will make sure I stay by a liquor store that has something else.

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Photo of utahgiebs
1.72/5  rDev -39%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Its shit, really just awful by any standards but youre in a tropical paradise, shut up and drink up your awful swill, honestly, life is pretty grand with an imperial in hand.

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Photo of yaegerje
1.72/5  rDev -39%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Unfortunately I didn't even get to drink this beer. I've had this before and wanted to try it again and when I poured this it was a nice straw color, and it also looked like someone dumped cottage cheese into it. It had little floating globules of (who knows) what could possibly be yeast? I've seen yeast in a glass before, but this is ridiculous, I don't even trust it to be drank. Straight drain pour, but it smelled good at least.

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Photo of BWED
1.73/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75

350 ml can poured into tumbler

A- Light straw, probably the lightest you can get on SRM. Fizzy white head retains surprising okay, but with no lacing.

S- Straw, grain, hop is just faintly floral.

T- Slight straw, floral, and a little earthy.

M- Clean and wet. Easy drinker.

O- Sex in a canoe. As tasteless and least offending as a beer can get. But chugging this on a hot summer day in Costa Rica is a great decision.

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Photo of thewhitecosbykid
1.75/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance: 1.5 finger head that dissipated completely in less than one minute. Steady carbonation. Very pale yellow color with almost no trailing on the glass.

Smell: Light ephemeral aroma. Strong malt smell, lending a sweet quality yet absolutely lacking a hop presence.

Taste: No real bitterness and the sweet smell is faintly sour to taste. Pretty weak flavor overall, bit of an initial bite but quick fade to stale aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Super watery with weak carbonation. Felt very very light.

Drinkability: No bueno. A cheap beer for the masses. I'd drink one for free (& did) but would always buy something else.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
1.75/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear pale with a small almost non existent head. Smells of tons of corn and not much malt. First sip is corn and more corn with a not much hop presence. Very light bodied and typical of beers from Latin America. Pretty bad stuff...hardly worth boiling hot dogs in.

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Photo of OldSwampy
1.76/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

From a can with bottom date of 28FEB2017 (presumably a best-by date). Strong taste at first sip of corn and cooked veggies. Did not improve from there. A bit watery also. Pale yellow, white head, some lacing left on glass.

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Photo of Weizenmensch
1.79/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

God damn it, the last beer I reviewed was a heavenly German 'sner, and I've followed it up with this mesoamerican crap! Still, it's always fun to have a beer from a new country, and the label is undeniably cool (although if you didn't know better, you might think the black eagle and the red and yellow background might refer to Germany (or Belgium at a stretch).

As for the beer: Pours crap, head doesn't stay around, just another dark yellow macro. Smell, while unpleasant, is intriguing - I'm not sure if I'm smelling bubble gum or some other kind of chewy candy. Well, it's not beer in any case.

How does it taste: bordering on unforgivable. Tourists in Costa Rica probably love it because it reminds them they're on holiday; beer connoisseurs in Costa Rica are drinking it, pretending it's one of the microbrewed delights of Boston, Munich, Plzen or some abbey somewhere.

Why am I bothering to review this beer? It tastes like lollies, not like beer, even though it kinda looks like beer... Well, I'd drink it if it were free, and there were nothing else, but only then.

I'm a fan of the label only.

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Photo of kots84
1.79/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Appearance - Pile gold yellow color with a white head.

Smell - Malt present with sweet corn.

Taste - Still getting the malt. A little of the corn with some hop. The taste is very weak.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is good. A little thin.

Overall - Was not impress with this beer at all. The weakest lager I have had outside a light beer.

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Photo of shirfan
1.95/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

99 cent bin single.

Straw gold with no head whatsoever.

DMS and cooked corn on the nose.

Taste is dry, husky DMS with mostly maize and a little malt. A finish that is somehow both metallic and chalky.

There might be some rough bittering hops in the finish, but this brew is too ghastly for it to matter. High carbonation as well.

There are some tropical lagers that have their place, slightly better than american swill on a hot, humid day. This is not one of those beers.

An absolute failure on all counts.

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Photo of n00tz
1.99/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A - Golden Transparent body, turbo-charged carbonation, thin white head.

S - Citrus and yeast.

T - Bread (yeasty), water and slight citrus. Very generic beer flavor.

M - doughy and acidic.

D - The only thing this beer proved is that there exists a beer to create an average with all the fantastic beers out there.

 317 characters

Photo of Cavanaghty
2/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Light yellow almost clear with a thin white head.

Smell: Light grains and grassy notes, almost no smell.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth light bodied. Taste of corn, wheat, and very light hops.

Overall: Not very good, will not bother with this one again.

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Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
2/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cerveza Imperial was my beer of choice while visiting Costa Rica, it was quite refreshing and hit the spot when exploring the various areas of the countryside and myriad of beaches. Pours watery, with a light yellow sparkling appearance, and usually had a small frothy head that dissipated relatively fast. It was easy to drink, had hints of grains, cereals, and grasses, and it did have a mild aftertaste. Light filling, easy to palate, average alc. content.

The most available Central American produced beer in the United States. I have procured it in Chicago (IL), Berwyn (IL), Oak Park (IL), Champaign (IL), Edinburg (TX), and McAllen (TX). I also consumed it all over Costa Rica....

Costa Rica August 2010

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Photo of laituegonflable
2.01/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice golden colour with a bit of head at first, disappears abruptly leaving a ring (at best) of white foam. The ring produces and leaves some excellent thick, sticky lacing, and there is a minimal bead up the glass. Thank god for this lacing, it's otherwise shite.

Nose is fairly standard lagery, with malt being dominant. Quite biscuity with a slight hint of a raspberry tartness, and maybe a very, very faint aroma of some piney hop. Very little on that nose though, very weak and simple.

Taste is again fairly standard and in fact, amazingly simple. Slight hint of grain on the front palate, middle has practically nothing, then there is a cereal sweetness on the back combined with a very slight citrusy character. Maybe a slight carbolic character as well, gosh I don't really know what to say. I don't recall drinking a beer that is so thoroughly characterless. There is no detail to the flavour, it's a whisper on the front and a slight bitter tickle at the back, with a remarkably full body for how thin the flavour is, but yeah.

It's not out and out offensive like other beers can be, but what an incredibly pissweak effort. If this weren't from Costa Rica it would not be worth it, even for a try. Costa Ricans should just stick to.... what is it Costa Ricans do?

 1,284 characters

Photo of Samp01
2.03/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle pours a pale yellow with a thin short lived white head. Aroma and Taste of grassy grain, some fruity notes. Palate is a light body with low carbonation. Finish is grassy, grainy with a somewhat funky aftertaste. Not much else. Overall aroma and taste quickcly fades and is quite bland, would not drink this again.

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Photo of teamizm
2.05/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

It's your typical Latin American beer - light, watery, lacks flavor. Although, I have to admit, after trekking through the forests of Manual Antonio for 5 hours, the Imperial was quite refreshing (much more so, then say, an Abyss). I do like it better than Corona though, so I give it that.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.06/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle (this is going to be the first of a long list of rating for some pale lager form Costa Rica). Poured a bright golden color lager with a small bubbly head with minimal retention. Aroma of of lightly sweet adjunct and not much else is bland. Taste is also quite bland with balanced sweetness originating form adjunct. Body is medium for style with OK carbonation. Not gross in any way and I guess it is just what it intended to be.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.08/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

It's a warm night, which makes it an ideal time to drink a lager born in the tropics. On to the beer:

Pale straw yellow in appearance with a clean body and display of bubbles. The head forms high, and very bubbly, which then drops to a thin lace. The aroma seems a bit processed. Processed hop aroma with sweet cereal grains. Tastewise, it is...meh. It's unbalanced. Soaked cheap grain sweetness is the dominant flavor in this beer. I can feel the alcohol in this one, which hints gum with most of the flavor sucked out of it. Faded cereals linger into the aftertaste with its sweetness.

On a warm night like tonight, this isn't going to cut it. But in Costa Rica, that's every night. There must be better national brands from there to enjoy, right?

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.11/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: A rather eye catching yellow, black and red label attracts me to a very standard looking 12 ounce brown glass bottle. Sealed with a yellow crown cap which simply has the word ‘Imperial” below a black silhouette of a spread eagle. The neck label sports a similar presence. The main label enlarges all the designs previously described, and adds some red to the black & yellow colors….Hmmm….in fact I have to say that my initial thoughts were that this was German. But it’s Costa Rican!? OK. Even so, the main label has incredibly strong Teutonic parallels, sort of a mix between the German Eagle Cross WWI Black & White Flag Banner of the Kaiser Army & Navy and also that of the current German Military. It’s an eerie looking Eagle I have to say, are there many ex-Nazis in Costa Rica I wonder!??! Listed at 4.6% Alc./Vol., the neck has an inkjet printed date of ‘30JUN06-09 FRDM 14F’….guess its fresh then!!? LOL. Imported by the Fourth Reich.

Appearance: Hmmmm……..which of the generic descriptions should I use for this Review….pale yellow, sun faded straw, diluted gold…..pale stale piss……yeah I’ll go with the latter. Nice bleached white head rises from the body on the pour. Fizzle stick head, springs big, but pops small, and sinks faster than a Californian Surfer with both his legs munched off by a Great White….come on I’m trying to describe things in a new light, its hard after a 1000 or so reviews.

Nose: Nothing to smell here, move along….or you’ll be shot.

Taste: I think if I dig a tunnel North I could escape the sour faded hops, the feint sweet malts and lingering sweet corn. Stinky lingering sweaty Fish n’ Chips done Greek style in clean vegetable oil, Bloody Hell….the fucking worst way, do ‘em in Lard or fuck off home Zorba….geez this one is not good…..

Mouthfeel: Fizzy UK brewed pseudo-lager…..Carling Black Label, Fosters, XXXX, dare I go on….Holsten…..follow the bear…..not.

Drinkability: Crisp, clean, unfettered and a quarter-decent enough offering but ultimately watery-yawny-borey. If I ever go to visit Costa Rica, surely by accident, but hey just in case I do, then I guess I will enjoy a few of these, most probably because I have no other choice.

Overall: Imperial!!?! Black, Yellow and Red colored label. A Spread Eagle main design that would do the Kaiser proud. I’m trying not to think of World domination here, really I am….but I keep looking at the bottle….I cannot help but think that is a rather nasty-Nazi Costa-Rican Bud, oh I’m sorry I mean it’s rather generic and mass processed….for Costa Rica that is…..hey, Anheuser Busch….well the name does have a Germanic ring to it though…..the red, yellow & black label….the Teutonic Eagle……it’s all too much……it must be the rerun of the Odessa File Movie this afternoon; Nicht Gut…oh I mean, erm not bad….but not good either…did all the Germans go to Milwaukee I wonder!??! Scary….

Probably OK for those Ex-SS members avoiding Simon Wiesenthal but not recommended for the rest of us. Says “La Cerveza Pura Vida” on the neck label…..oh yeah; Vhell veee haz Vayyz uv mayhking u dtrinken……but not this crap I hope……

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.13/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very faint but contains adjuncts, light malts and a even less hops than most beers in the style.

T: The taste starts out with mildly bready flavors of grain and adjuncts. Then some sweetness comes in from a light malt character. The hops presence is weak even for the style and as a result there isn't much balance. The after-taste slightly bready.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Not very flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, even considering the style it's a bit subpar, I've certainly had much worse but this still isn't a beer I would choose unless my choices were severely limited.

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Photo of DV8HARD
2.16/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I live in Costa Rica and this is, by far, the beer people drink most. I usually drink Pilsen, which comes from the same brewery. This beer reminds me of Bud light, which doesn't say much.

I poured it in a Pilsener glass which gave a two finger head that quickly dissipated. It has very light golden color. The most prominent taste is that of malt. It is a very thin beer. After, one or two bottles, it starts to taste like water.

I don't recommend this beer.

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Imperial from Cerveceria Costa Rica
2.82 out of 5 based on 537 ratings.
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