Greetings Talkbeerers. I recently spent about 6 weeks in Panama City, Panama (Not the Florida one, and that one sucks because it screws up all your google results when you're looking for places) Anywhoooo, thought I'd post a trip report here since I am no longer willing to contribute any useful content to my former beer site of choice but I still want to share my findings. It may not be useful to most of you, but there's a lot of business being done in Panama and where there's money to be made, I figure there's 'muricans. Firstly, it is basically a craft beer wasteland. Don't get your hopes up. There are three major brands of lager that dominate: Panama, Atlas, and Balboa. They all suck, although I found Balboa to be the most tolerable. Don't expect anything decent to be served at any restaurant or hotel. That being said, there is a tiny budding brewpub scene there. During my visit I attended the second annual microbrew fest, which I just happened to be in town for, but "second annual" should give you some indication as to the infancy of the scene there. It was some good timing though because Ballast Point, Mission, and Lost Coast were all there with some actual hops for me to taste. Breweries/Brewpubs: La Rana Dorada (2 Locations) This is clearly the most successful one of the three in Panama City and the one most worth visiting, imho. Their best beer was just above mediocre and some of the offerings were below mediocre but they have some drinkable offerings. I had every beer they are currently brewing: IPA (Limited rotation, no joke) - Their best beer. This would not be the best IPA at most homebrew club meetings but it had actual hop aroma and flavor. Blanche - Their most popular offering. Light, with yeast character, and sessionable at 4%. I can see why it's popular. Porter - I had a few of these and it grew on me. It was unadventurous. Pale - Not worth drinking imho. Underhopped and boring. Premium Pils - Nothing particularly of note. It didn't offend me but I didn't order another. There are two locations - One in Casco Viejo and another in El Cangrejo (Via Argentina). I preferred the Casco Viejo location for the setting, service, and the fact that it's the actual brewery, but El Cangrejo is also a fun area of the city. Both locations have decent pub fare. They had signs saying they are opening a third location soon in Costa Del Este (Nicer, but boring burb closer to the airport). Istmo Brew Pub (Also in El Cangrejo) Istmo is more like a bar that happens to have some old brewing equipment. Their beer smacks of poor temperature control in my estimation. I sampled two - Chiriqui (at the brewfest) & Colon (at the pub) both listed as pale ales. They had nothing besides Colon on tap at the brewpub, this was a common thing between Istmo and La Rana Dorada, not having all their beer available. Istmo also has food, it was edible. They have a nice outdoor seating area, pool tables, and live music occasionally. Even if you aren't a huge fan of the beer, it's a nice little spot. Casa Bruja (I don't think they have a pub, but maybe they do) Not sure what their deal is. They are listed everywhere as a home brewery but were on tap at two places I visited. I Sampled three of their beers whose names I forget - an IPA, A passion fruited hoppyish beer, and a Lager. The passion fruit one was the best but again, I thought that they aren't quite up to par on temp or yeast management with their beers. Stores: Brew Stop - https://www.facebook.com/pages/BREW-STOP/724664284212190 This place just opened in January and I would never have found it if not for the owner (James) being a former co-worker of a companion I met in Panama. They are trying their best to get good craft beer down there. Almost all the beer they had was Rogue, North Coast, and Lost Coast with a few other offerings. They also had Casa Bruja on tap and some snack type food. To be honest, their selection would be dwarfed by most gas stations on the I-5 corridor but, after chatting with the owner, I'm reasonably confident that will improve. Give them your business if you're there because they're doing God's work. Felipe Motta (Multiple Locations) This is like the Panama equivalent of Total Wine. The wine & Liquor selection is top notch. The beer selection is limited but there are some British, European, and US imports to be had. Lost Coast being the only craft of the latter I saw. One of the stores was basically behind my hotel so I ended up stocking up mostly on London Pride, London Porter, Chimay Red, and Leffe Brune. Bars: In general, the best nightlife areas were Casco Viejo and El Cangrejo for sit down, have a beer, hear a band type stuff. Check out Luna's Castle Hostel in Casco Viejo (The old colonial part of the city). There's a stone courtyard with a bar. They also had Casa Bruja on tap and the place is full of gringo backpackers if you're... um... trying to find something. Other: It isn't a third world country. I drank the water at restaurants, I ate everything, I didn't get sick. Panama City is very Americanized and you will encounter a lot of expats. Panamanians seemed very friendly, non-confrontational, & timid to me for the most part. I am a laid back west coast type guy and think that I was turned up a little too loud for most of them at times. Can't imagine what kind of fire-breathing monster Bostonians must seem like to them. I found the food unremarkable for the most part with the one exception being the seafood, particularly the ceviche. There were many varieties of it and it was delicious everywhere I had it. Don't expect spicy anything. Locals are wimps when it comes to any sort of heat in the food. It's definitely not Mexico. The service is slow and apathetic almost everywhere. Be prepared to call your server over whenever you need something, including the check. There were some exceptions, but not many. A sport called "High Heels Tight Clothing" is apparently the national pastime for women down there. I wasn't complaining. Taxis are super cheap and everywhere. They are also opening a subway soon. I would not recommend driving at all in the city.