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San Juan del Sur Cervecería: Hopps Trail Blazing

San Juan del Sur Cervecería, Craft beer and music in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua | Photo Credit : Mathyas Kurmann

Photo Credit | Mathyas Kurmann

Nicaragua is not known for its innovative brews and you won’t find many craft brewmasters in this part of the world.  In fact until recently, you’d be hard pressed to get your hands on anything other than a Toña or Victoria. Occasionally a seasonal variety would find its way to San Juan’s popular bars, but really Nicaragua is ‘rum country’ and Flor de Caña pretty much has the monopoly. 

But we’ve got good news for beers lovers.  All that’s changing.   The craft beer scene is slowly, very slowly, finding its way down to our beloved beach town.  And San Juan del Sur Cervecería owners Brendan DeBlois, Matt Greenberg and Bobby Hottensen are leading the way.

San Juan del Sur Cervecería, Craft beer and music in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua | Photo Credit : Mathyas Kurmann

Photo Credit | Mathyas Kurmann

History & Backstory

Brendan & Matt are old college friends who share a passion for surf, adventure and of course, good beer. Like so many others, it was the surf that originally attracted them to Central America. While chasing waves through Costa Rica they noticed a new trend of micro-breweries popping up around the country. 

But once they crossed the border into Nicaragua, these options all but disappeared.  Inspired by this opportunity and the unique natural beauty of ‘the land of lakes and volcanoes’, they put together a business plan to transform Jerry’s age-old pizza parlor into a hip new brewpub.  The plan included bringing Bobby in as a third partner and pulling wisdom from their friends at Cisco Brewers in Nantucket. 

On Thanksgiving Day, 2014 they poured their first home brew to a packed house at the “official” opening party.  

San Juan del Sur Cervecería, Craft beer and music in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua | Photo Credit : Mathyas Kurmann

Photo Credit | Mathyas Kurmann

Sips & Bites

Unlike any other bar in town, they serve their own constantly changing collection of micro-brews. All their beers are made by hand on a 3bbl brewing system using traditional brewing methods.  The flavors are inspired by local ingredients unique to the region.

In their own words…

We try to make beers that fit the San Juan del Sur beach lifestyle: beers that taste good after a day on the water. That’s why we like to serve them in 10oz glasses, ice cold.  We want our beers to be refreshing enough to be able to cut through the heat without compromising flavor.

San Juan del Sur Cervecería, Craft beer and music in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua | Photo Credit : San Juan del Sur Cervecería

Photo Credit | San Juan del Sur Cervecería

Signature Beverages

Varieties include “La Chocolata” (ABV 5.8%) flavored with locally sourced cacao, coffee beans and a hint of Flor de Caña.  For something fruity, try the “Popoyo” a golden passion fruit pale ale with a hop bitterness and dry malt finish (ABV 6.5%).   If it’s hops you’re after, try the flagship “Panga Sessions” pale ale (ABV 5.5%), with its light bodied and earthy flavor. 

What’s On

You can kick off the week with live acoustic music from Giovanni & Co on Mondays from 7- 10pm. Every Thursday night James hosts live swing and blues music starting at 7pm.   It’s worth keeping an eye out for their once a month Blues, Brews and BBQ extravaganza where they fire up the grill and serve tasty pulled pork sandwiches with a side of mac & cheese, baked beans and coleslaw on a homemade impossible-to-miss wagon wheeled street grill.

Regular Opening Hours: Regular hours are 12pm to midnight every day except for Tuesdays.   On weekends, brunch specials are on tap from 10am to 5pm.

Happy Hour: Daily happy hour runs from 4pm to 6pm every day, offering 20% off all craft beers and 10 cordoba off all tacos.

Get the Discount Coupon: Click here to download the coupon.

Video Interview: What you need to know before you build a home in Nicaragua


You want to design your dream home in Nicaragua, and take advantage of the lower construction costs. But you live in the US and can’t just hop on a flight every time you want to see how the building is progressing.

You want to feel confident in the builder, confident in the construction supervisor and confident of the construction methods.  Fortunately there are ways to navigate the home building process and we’ve asked Will Pattison from GroupoMax, for his best advice to ensure a smooth experience.

GroupoMax has built over 50 projects in the area from custom homes (like these lovely ocean view casitas) to multi-level commercial buildings and hotels, so he’s the perfect person to get your questions answered.

Will ends the interview with some great insights on starting a business here.  So make sure you watch until the end.
[Read more…]

Día de Los Donuts: Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Graphic Design by Bryan Clark Design in Nicaragua

Graphic Design by Bryan Clark Design in Nicaragua

There’s a sweet new aroma in town that’s difficult to resist.

Día De Los Donuts, San Juan del Sur’s first ever donut shop, opened it’s doors on March 15, 2015.  Artfully decorated with brightly colored walls and a beautifully hand painted Day of the Dead themed mural, the cozy storefront entices locals and travelers alike.
[Read more…]

How much is a Nicaragua property worth in this market?

appraisal-report-cover-outlineIf you’re looking to buy a property in Nicaragua, market comparables (or “comps”) will help you determine will help you determine what’s good value (and what’s not) to ensure you get a good deal.

And if you’re going to sell your Nicaragua property quickly the first thing you’ll need to know is how much your property is worth compared to other properties in today’s market.

It’s obvious really… Reliable market comps help both sellers and buyers make better decisions and move forward with confidence.

Trouble is, in Nicaragua official market data is not available. So savvy buyers and sellers need to find different ways to plug the data gap.

If you’re interested, we’ll show you how to do just that.

How to plug the real estate market data gap in Nicaragua.

Take a look and you’ll see what we mean.

Why Natural Building Techniques Matter In Nicaragua

A multitude of factors are converging to make natural building techniques the right choice for construction in Nicaragua.

But are these techniques right for your dream home?

In this video, Austin Drill of Casa de Tierra explains the reasons why natural building is taking off in Nicaragua and walks you through some of the specific techniques that he has used with great success in San Juan del Sur. [Read more…]

Moving to San Juan del Sur with school-age kids? You’re in luck.

When you’re a parent with school-age kids, moving to San Juan del Sur as an expat has an added challenge: How do you ensure that your kids get a good education?

In fact the list of things you want your child to learn at school is a long one. So long that you may be worried that you might not find the right fit for your family’s needs.

If this is something you’re anxious about, spend a few minutes watching the video below because it will help put your fears to rest.

In the video Brooke talks with Julie Speier, founder and director of San Juan Day School about the kind of experiences and education that kids have at the school. [Read more…]

6 Reasons to Choose Nicaragua for your Destination Wedding

Photographed by the talented Two Of You Photography team, Nicaragua provides stunning natural backdrops and charming antique architecture for the perfect destination wedding.  Click to view 6 Reasons to Choose Nicaragua for your Destination Wedding. #SanJuanLive

Two Of You Photography

Getting married?

Why not consider tying the knot in an exotic locale away from your hometown?

Nicaragua’s got my vote and here are 6 great reasons why:

1. Do the Math

You can’t ignore the low price tag of a destination wedding in Nicaragua.  Run the numbers and you’ll probably find that traveling to Nicaragua with your partner and close loved ones will cost much less than the typical 150 guest wedding on your home turf.  Many resorts in Nicaragua offer attractive all-inclusive wedding packages combining lodging, dining, wellness services and a memorable celebration. Even after you add the cost of air-fare for friends and family, the expenses could easily be less than saying “I do” in the US.  For example, check out this unbelievable wedding deal from Villas de Palermo starting at just $1,000.

[Read more…]

Escuela Adelante: A New Kind of International School

Free smiles.  Giving time and money to making a difference in the world.  Check out this A New Kind of International School :  [Awesome photo by Jessica Gildersleeve]

Photo Credit : Jessica Gildersleeve

Escuela Adelante developed organically from free English classes based out of the Biblioteca Mobile. Co-founding director Carrie Valladares, an attorney for Microsoft in Seattle, envisioned bringing international education standards to San Juan del Sur in the form of a new type of international school. With program guidance from co-founding director Jamie Hunter, an American teacher and San Juan del Sur resident with a masters degree in education and child development, and the support of a dedicated teaching staff, the program has blossomed into the vibrant bilingual language learning center that it is today.

Free Bonus: Are you interested in volunteering at a non-profit like Escuela Adelante? Don’t forget to grab our list of charitable organizations active in San Juan del Sur so that you can volunteer on your next visit.

The program is a 2 year English language course taught in congruence with the ESL course at UPOLI (Universidad Politecnica de Nicaragua) with books sourced from the Oxford University Press.  The school is accessible and has a locally tailored fee structure to establish a sense of worth to the program but without prohibiting attendance from any eager local student. [Read more…]

The Art is in the Streets

San Juan del Sur isn’t exactly known for its booming art scene.  But what it lacks in art galleries it makes up for in brightly painted homes, wall murals and creatively decorated storefronts.  Walk through the streets and you’ll see signs of artistic expression on just about every block.

So keep your eyes peeled and mind open.  This is one creative town.  Here are a few of our favorites…

Gato Negro

El Gato Negro

[Read more…]

The Essential Guide to the Best Neighborhoods on Nicaragua’s Southern Pacific Coast

neighborhood-guide-coverLocation! Location! Location!

It’s perhaps the most commonly recited real estate tenet. The mantra is repeated three times because it’s a crucial factor in defining the value of a property.

And so if you’re considering living and investing in Nicaragua it’s essential that you spend some time researching the different locations and neighborhoods.

To help you with this, we’ve created a free guide to the most sought after neighborhoods on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast.

The guide gives you:

  • Insight into which locations offer the optimum combination of value and amenity.
  • An up-to-date snapshot of median prices for lots and houses to help you understand the market.
  • Better understanding of where you should focus your attention.
  • A sample of real estate listings for each neighborhood.
  • A path to clearer decision making about where to live and invest in Nicaragua.
Click Here For Your Neighborhood Guide

Whether you’re just getting out of the gate with your interest in Nicaragua or you’re a regular visitor, you’ll find it an invaluable guide.

In fact, you should go ahead and grab it even if you’ve already bought a property here – it’s a fantastic primer on the real estate market and will give you insight into your own property value.