Lately, Costa Rica has experienced a boom in the craft beer market. In many of our students’ home nations, this is uncharted territory. But with 37 breweries and “brew-ups” opening here in the last five years, it may be a good idea to take home.
Mario Miraglia (’14, Ecuador) completed his third-year internship in a California vineyard, and after learning the trade, returned to EARTH with the idea of focusing his graduation project on wine-making until one day a friend recommended that he take advantage of the microbrew boom.
Since he was young, Mario and his family have spent time by the ocean, and his love for the sea as well as the epic tale by Homer inspired him to name his beer “Odisea” or “Odyssey”.“I created the concept during my last year of college. After returning from my internship, I wanted to do something related to wine until I went to a few beer festivals, and started to feel that beer could be my thing. My thesis was a technical and financial evaluation to establish a microbrewery in my home of Guayaquil. I also took a course in food processing, which helped me a lot in the technical part of production and packaging design. Upon arriving in Guayaquil after graduation, I saw the opportunity to make my dream come true. I began producing beer in my house and designing my brand.”
An Innovative Concept
It was not enough only to create the beer. It was not enough only to have the name. Mario decided to go further in conceptualizing his product and creating its own branding story.
Mario’s version of the Odyssey is the story of a captain who comes to Ecuador after a journey across the open sea, and each label tells the story of one of his trips. Currently there are three: the Viking (Pale Ale), the Kraken (India Pale Ale), and the Mermaid (Golden Ale).“I wanted to make a mark with a unique concept, telling stories. That way, the consumer not only tastes a beer, but also lives through the stories of the captain and his Odyssey.”
The label legend reads:
Odyssey Brewing Co was awarded by The Dieline and Packaging of the World, the most important websites for packaging design in the world, for its innovative concept. This further encouraged Mario to continue with his project.
In addition, the company has now grown so much that they are developing three more brews, all following the captain’s life at sea, with the idea that the brand launches its own continuous story, not just individual drinks.
Mario at EARTH University
Mario graduated in 2014, and talks about his experience at EARTH being full of culture and good times. “It was four years of learning and growth. It was more than a university; it was a family. Really, EARTH plants so much positive change in the world.”
Mario is now focused on getting Odyssey Craft Beer Company off the ground and running, but still wants to eventually produce wine and manage other agricultural projects to better his community.“We all have an odyssey in our lives, and we want this beer to become part of peoples’ lives and make their dreams come true. Just like the card we received during our graduation ceremony: ‘May your north always be pointed towards service.’ Cheers!”
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