It's Beer O'clock in Paradise
Though it might be difficult to find an IPA – “India Pale Ale,” a hoppy and usually strong beer style – or a thick stout at your favorite Caribbean resort, these local breweries operate on island time, serving up beers perfect for that 5 o’clock somewhere state of mind.
Admit it: you don’t want a dense stout or IPA poolside anyway. No matter your level of beer snobbery, there’s something perfect about that tropical brew. Time you met the beer brands.
“Aruba’s Beer” is perfect for a hot day with intermittent Trade Winds. Whether you’re at one of Aruba’s exquisite restaurants, or at the swim-up bar at your all-inclusive resort, Balashi will be on tap. This pale lager cools you down and keeps you in an island state of mind. A true homebrew, the beer is literally by the people. The name itself was chosen by the citizens of Aruba. The brewery held a contest to see what the people wanted their beer to be called, and “balashi,” or "near the sea," was the winner.
Dominican Republic: Presidente
A classic pilsner – golden, crisp, refreshing, and light – this legendary beer of the Dominican is smooth all the way. It doesn’t have that skunky quality some tropical beers have – we’re not naming anyone (*cough* Corona *cough*) – and its smoothness is very much like Balashi. Launched in 1935, this brewery is a national staple and it’s that perfect blend to pair with island time relaxation.
The Bahamas: Kalik
“The Beer of The Bahamas” is another smooth-sipper. Launched in 1988, Kalik got its name based on a sound of a cowbell. Yes – you read that right. During Junkanoo, one of the Bahamas’ largest cultural events, the sound of cowbells can be heard constantly, creating a unique sound and music that goes something like “kalik, kalikin’ kalik.” A golden, premium lager, it’s an ideal match for that Bahamas’ sun, paradise beaches, and world-class resorts.
Puerto Rico: Medalla Light
A true icon of Puerto Rico, Medalla Light has been brewing for 80 years, so you know they got the recipe right at this point. A light lager that goes down easy, this is another classic example of the tropical recipe ideal to pair with a good beach read and endless sunshine. Family-owned since 1937, the brewery responsible for this iconic brew continues to make the beer of Puerto Rico.
Cayman Islands: Caybrew
Just 10 years young, the Cayman Islands Brewery makes a few beer styles – so beer snobs can also rejoice – but their version of the classic island sipper is fantastic. Meet Caybrew – “the Island Beer” – a smooth, premium lager with slight hop character that goes great with a light salad, seafood, and general paradise conditions.
Going to Belize means you’ll be sipping on more than a beer – it’ll be a “Sir” beer to you. Entrepreneur Barry Bowen helped catapult Belikin beer into the household Belizean name that it is today and he was knighted in 2007 by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to commerce, industry and way of life in Belize. This island brewery also boasts a range of beer styles, but it’s the classic Belikin beer that still hits the spot. The true beer of Belize, it’s a classic continental lager that goes down easy with views of island paradise.
Antigua’s flagship beer, Wadadli, is a refreshing pale lager named after the original Amerindian word for the island, and has been Antigua’s beer since 1993. With a keen eye towards environmentalism, the brewery uses rigid recycling programs to ensure the beautiful island never changes, while the beer continues to flow.
St. Lucia: Piton
“La Biere Sent Lisi” (the Beer of St. Lucia) is another crisp pilsner with a floral, hoppy aroma. First put out on the St. Lucian market in 1992, the brand is synonymous with island fun – plus, like Coors in America, it’s a refreshing mountain brew. Instead of the Rockies, the majestic Piton mountains will be the backdrop to sipping this one, two majestic – and iconic – volcanic plugs that rise out of the Caribbean Sea. Easy to pair any beer with this breathtaking view, it’s even better with a Piton.
Since 1961, this Barbados staple has been the Caribbean lager of choice. In its distinctive brown glass and black label and loud slogan – “Life Nice!” – Banks Beer wants you to have fun. This is a smooth beer using the finest ingredients and Barbadian water, the perfect pair with Barbados’ unique paradise and stunning resorts.
Jamaica: Dragon Stout
OK – of course you’ll be drinking Red Stripe here, a beer closer in style to all of the above – a smooth, golden pale lager. Red Stripe has been Jamaica’s beer since 1928. But Jamaica is also known for its Dragon Stout. In other words – stout lovers, unite! If you love a good, dark stout even in summer temperatures and on island time, then Jamaica may be beer paradise for you. Dragon Stout is a strong stout – at 7.5% ABV (alcohol by volume; the other pilsners on this list are in the 4-5% range) – it’s also remarkably sweet. Refreshing, fulfilling, and tasty, it’s one of Jamaica’s most popular brews.
Bermuda Bonus: The Frog & Onion Pub
Cruise into Bermuda and make it an excursion when you dock by heading over to The Frog & Onion Pub at the Royal Naval Dockyard. Walking distance from the cruise ship, this brewpub serves up great food and even better beer. Beer made from “grain to glass, using Bermuda rainwater and a whole lotta love” according to their website, The Frog & Onion Pub is a beer lover’s paradise. Try the Whale of Wheat hefeweizen, a refreshing light wheat beer, and the Black Anchor Porter, a dark style beer similar to stouts but with a much more pronounced smoky character.
You know the beers – now pick the island. No matter which island you decide to hop over to, your hop cravings will be taken care of with these breweries ensuring that your palate in paradise has a beer to match.
Book a vacation package to the most desirable beach spots in the world and truly make the most of your tropical getaway with your beer in hand. Talk to a travel consultant today to get started on your summer getaway to one of the many islands on tap.