When you come to Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, we want you to have life-changing experiences, make new friends, and enjoy every second in Tamarindo.
We know our service plays a big role in your adventure which is why, in a series of posts, we’ll introduce some of the individuals who make up the best staff in the world.
Today, we chat with Oscar Rojas, head brewer at Volcano Brewing Company whose desk is really a kettle filled with Costa Rica’s finest craft beer. Oscar started with the camp only a month ago but is already part of the WRSC family and winning over guests with his love of life and intoxicating charm.
What brought you to Witch’s Rock? This is a new job for you!
I’m from Costa Rica, near the coast, the biggest town in the south of the country. I was the head brewer of another craft brewery here in Costa Rica. I worked there for three years and then I moved to Volcano Brewing a month ago – the fifth of July. As of now, I’m the head brewer of VBC, working with Niki!
Do you love it? Is it the best job in the world?
It is because being a brewer is a dream for me. I used to surf about 6 years ago so I’m excited to be back at the beach in the water. I used to surf all the time, but I had to quit surfing because of my previous job … I started to work as a bartender in an Irish pub brewing craft beer and then I met a guy who used to be the head brewer at another Costa Rican company. He asked me about going to another brewery to start working with them – like an assistant brewer – and then I became a head brewer three years after.
Which do you love more, beer or the ocean?
Well … it’s a balance. I like my job. I really like to brew and everything about the beer and I really love to be able to wake up and drink my coffee in front of the ocean and just grab my board and surf! Right now, I’m a beginner surfer and it’s hard for me. Every day is like a new experience here. All the people in Tamarindo are awesome, good people and working with Volcano Brewing is a perfect fit for me.
Gotta hear about the beer! What’s your absolute favorite to brew?
Today we brewed the Gato Malo, it is a strong ale and it’s a totally new recipe. It’s one of my new recipes. I got with Niki and we talked about the beer, and the history, because that name, Gato Malo, is one of the biggest brands of beer at VBC. All the people around the craft movement here in Costa Rica know the name of the beer but nobody has tried the beer recently. They remember a beer from 2015 and it’s crazy because Niki was having problems with that recipe, so when I started I said, Can I try a recipe? And he said yes. Today we brewed it and whoa! So right now, I’m really happy to be brewing the Gato Malo.
What’s been your experience with the WRSC guests so far?
It’s been awesome because here we are brewing in front of Belgians and they’re going out to the water and out to surf and they come in, try the IPA and say, Well this is really refreshing, and they stumble a little. In Costa Rica, we brew in front of the ocean and we can drink it fresh so people love the beer. It’s also awesome because there’s a bunch of people brewing beer in the USA and they come here and know every part of the process. I’m brewing beer and they’re like, Hey man, I know what you are doing! And I say, Yeah, you know about beer? It’s like music. If you like music you can talk about music with anyone. Same with beer. Someone will know about beer, doesn’t matter where he is living or where he learned, but it’s magical because you can stay and talk with the people like, Hey man, this is our beer. Wanna try it? Hey man. I tasted one really, really similar, in like … Bali. Oh really? and, Yeah, in New Zealand I heard about a beer name, and just like this and something like that and it’s crazy! Yeah, it’s international, the beer.
Besides the beer, why should someone visit WRSC?
Well, because Witch’s Rock is a really prepared crew, they know how to treat all the guests and they make them feel comfortable and make them enjoy the travels. I see people every Friday watching their graduation surf videos and the progress they have made in the week! It’s awesome because it’s their first time and all of them are just trying to be on the board and then in four or five days they are really riding the big waves. It’s awesome to see them at their graduation! People have the chance to enjoy that experience here.
You can find Oscar, and all our cerveza artesanal, (craft beer) at Volcano Brewing – why not take a tour?! Eat @ Joe’s, guests can enjoy a family atmosphere, sports bar style menu and sushi with our Filipino chefs. El Vaquero Brewpub guests can enjoy live music every day.
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