Lounging on a white, sandy beach and sipping an ice cold Caribbean-inspired drink go together like chips and salsa. When you’re headed on a beach vacation, there’s no doubt that you’re planning on some R&R by the pool or beach. The toughest question you’ll have to answer is “what are you drinking?” And while the Caribbean islands are known for signature fruity concoctions, an ice cold beer native to the island you’re visiting might just be the perfect way to relax on vacation. Each Caribbean island is packed full of their own spirit, and often times the best way to express this is through beer. Beers like Red Stripe, and Presidente are just a few of the beers that were first brewed in a Caribbean brewery.
Red Stripe: A Jamaican Tradition that's Spread All Over
Jamaica is known for Reggae music, its infectious “easy-going” attitude and definitely, Red Stripe. First brewed in 1928 from the recipe of Paul Cotter and Bill Martindale, Red Stripe is a lager that’s known for a sweet and crisp taste with a clean finish. Red Stripe is 4.7% alcohol by volume and is brewed by Desnoes and Geddes limited in the Surrey Brewery in the center of Downtown Kingston.
Desnoes and Geddes was originally a soft drink manufacturer and began by producing a Red Stripe ale. The ale wasn’t a favorite among the locals because of its sweet, thick consistency and it wasn’t until they brewed the lager recipe they still use today that Red Stripe gained popularity on the islands. Guinness bought D&G and has been brewing this beer since 1993. It’s most definitely a staple on the island but can also be enjoyed all over the world. So here's a thought…get inspired while planning your Jamaican holiday and sip on a Red Stripe to really get in the mood...
Kalik: The Bahamas Best Kept Secret
If you've ever been to the Bahamas, you might be familiar with these islands' famous brew, Kalik. Their signature brew is so common and delicious, you'll find it everywhere - the local conch stand or a five star restaurant that serves up the islands delicacies. But consider the Bahamas selfish - these islands are the only places you'll have access to this Bahamian beer. Kalik is a light, hoppy beer that is brewed only at the Commonwealth Brewery of Nassau.
Bahamians are passionate about their beer making. More than 50% of the Bahamas market share comes from Kalik and the brewery produces about 1.7 million cases of this signature brewski a year. Not sharing the wealth may be a good thing, in this case. Kalik has also won three consecutive Monde Selection Gold Medals from the International Institute for Beer Quality Selections. It's the perfect compliment to a day spent in the sand and sun. A self-proclaimed "beach beer," Kalik best quality is the light crispness that makes it easy to drink all day long.
Presidente: Consider it the Dominican Republic's National Favorite
Ask any Dominican Republic native, and they'll tell you that Presidente is just like its names - top-of-the-line. Presidente has been the number one, top-selling beer since it's first production in 1935. The Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana brews this island favorite and is a pilsner type beer. If you walk up to any bar and ask for "a beer," you'll unquestionable be served a Presidente.
One of the key components to enjoying this patriotic beer is make sure it's served cold. Not only will it quench your thirst after a rough afternoon of sunbathing, but it'll help you to take in the full DR experience. Presidente is 5% alcohol by volume and is sold at pretty much any establishment that serves alcohol. If you're looking for something on the lighter side, give Presidente Light a try. And while you'll probably spend a generous amount of your vacation sipping on this delicious adult beverage, Presidente has recently been exported for people in other countries to enjoy. Now sold in the United States and Canada, it's also exported through out the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos so that if you're in another Caribbean destination, you'll have the chance to give it a try.
Among the many things that make the islands of the Caribbean unique and special, beers that are specific to their island assure a delicious taste you won't be able to get anywhere else. Whether you're self-proclaimed or a professional, Caribbean beer is an aficionado's dream you don't want to miss out on. So while there's nothing wrong with sipping on a cocktail topped with an umbrella, don't underestimate the power of an ice cold island beer.