It’s known as “viking beer” because it is one of the first alcoholic beverages recorded in the annals of history. In reality, however, it’s honey wine.
In Guanacaste’s canton number nine, Nandayure, a Guanacastecan produces this wine and is looking to sell it in Costa Rica. He even wants to sell it outside of our borders.
The correct name for this type of wine is mead. It’s obtained from the fermentation of a mixture of water and honey.
Juan Carlos Piña, executive director of Agro Plus Management & Consulting S.A., is heading up the undertaking. He says that in order to differentiate themselves from other products on the market, he added an additional detail: pitahaya flavor. Pitahaya is also known as dragon fruit.
Piña said that his love for beer and beekeeping brought him to try different blends until he came to mead. He also took advantage of the hectare of pitahaya that he has planted in the canton to give it a special touch.
The dragon fruit improved the product’s aroma and gave it a unique color.
“We currently produce around 400 bottles every fruit harvest, which is from June to October. We have some alliances with hotels and restaurants… this is an artisanal project,” said Piña.
Working with the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (in Spanish, PROCOMER), the company aims to formalize the product, starting with acquiring permits that will allow for its industrialization. They also want to have a commercial brand and are looking for financing to increase production.
Piña also wants to export the fruit he products, and he plans to do so soon: he set a goal of within one year. He especially wants to take it to the European market.
During this time period he also wants to start giving tours of his plantation to foreign and local tourists. One can also see beekeeping activities at his hives.
Piña’s vision goes hand in hand with PROCOMER’s, which said in their study on “Opportunities for Commercialization of Emerging Agricultural Products” says that pitahaya is one of the agricultural products that has possibilities for production and expansion at both national and international levels. Currently, exports of the fruit are very low.
According to the document, only the Chortega region reports pitahaya crops in Costa Rica on just six hectares. These crops are not exported.
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