Beer in the Caribbean

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The beers of the Caribbean are unique to each island in the region, although many are variants of the same style. Each island generally brews its own unique pale lager, the occasional stout, and often a non-alcoholic malta beverage.[1] Contract-brewing of international beers is also common, with Heineken Pilsener and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout being the most popular.[1] The beers vary between the islands to suit the taste and the brewing method used.

Antigua and Barbuda

The national beer of Antigua is Wadadli beer, an alternative name for the island itself.[2] It is brewed by Antigua Brewery, who also brews international beer and soft drinks under license.[3]


Balashi beer, a 5%ABV all-malt pilsner, is the national beer of Aruba. It won the Gold Medal from the Monde Selection in Brussels in 2001,[4] as well as the Grand Gold from the same committee in 2004.[5]


Kalik beer, a golden lager, is the national beer of The Bahamas, controlling over 50% of the beer market in the country.[6] Winner of three consecutive Gold Medals from Monde Selection,[6] it is also stronger than most Caribbean lagers, at 7%ABV.[4] Its brewer, Commonwealth Brewing Ltd, also brews Kalik Light and Kalik Regular, two lagers lighter than the original.[4]


Barbados is home to the Banks Barbados Brewery, which brews Banks Beer, a pale lager, as well as Banks Amber Ale.[7] Banks also brews Tiger Malt, a non-alcoholic malted beverage.

There is a separate Banks beer company in Guyana, Banks DIH, and the two breweries merged in 2005 with the intention to market their beer internationally.[8]

10 Saints beer is brewed in Speightstown, St. Peter in Barbados and aged for 90 days in Mount Gay 'Special Reserve' Rum casks. It was first brewed in 2009 and is available in certain Caricom nations.[9]


The national beer of Belize is Belikin, it is a light continental European style lager. The Belize Brewing Company holds a monopoly in the market and also brews a few other lagers and a stout.[10]

The Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman - Following a $10m investment programme,The Cayman Islands Brewery was launched in 2007.



The national beer of Dominica is Kubuli, an amber-colored lager which won the Monde Selection Gold Medal in 2002.[4]

Dominican Republic

Brands represented in the Dominican Republic include Presidente, Presidente Black and Presidente Light,[12] Bohemia Especial, La Benedicta, The One and Quisqueya.


Prestige is the name for a brand of American-style lager produced by Brasserie Nationale d'Haïti in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It is the best-selling beer in Haiti, claiming a 98% market share.[13] Prestige beer is also available in some parts of the United States.

Prestige beer was launched in 1976, less than 2 years after BRANA's creation. In 2000 and again in 2012, it won the gold medal at the World Beer Cup for American-style lager.[14][15]


Red Stripe is an internationally popular Jamaican beer produced by Desnoes & Geddes. It is a pale lager. The company also produces Red Stripe Light, Dragon Stout and Malta, a non-alcoholic beverage.

Kingston 62, alternately Kingston Beer is a pale lager also sold on the island.[16]

Puerto Rico

Medalla Light and Silver Key are commercial light lager beers produced by Compañía Cervecera de Puerto Rico. The first beer won first prize in 2005 for light beer in Brussels awarded by Monde Selection.[17] Currently, it is the top selling beer in Puerto Rico. In addition, they launched Magna on August 1, 2011.[18] Micro- and nano-breweries are gaining popularity in the island.

Old Harbor Brewery is located in Old San Juan and produces Old Harbor Pale Ale, Old Harbor IPA, Santo Viejo Pilsner, Coquí Helles Lager and Kofresí Sout, which are all available year-round. They also produce Visitante 212, which is a rum barrel-aged version of Kofresí and Taína, which is a seasonal beer that earned them the Silver Medal in the 2010 World Beer Cup as a South German Style Weizenbock / Weissbock.[19]

Boquerón Brewing Company, from Cabo Rojo, produces several beer styles, the most popular being Boquerón Pale Ale, Boquerón Blonde Ale and Crash Boat IPA. They also make Gas Chambers, which is an IPA series that varies seasonally, Domes Caribbean Style IPA, Caja de Muerto Summer Ale and 3 Palmas Milk Stout.[20]

Sothego Corp. manages the Dacay Cerveza Artesanal line of products in Guaynabo. The line includes Dacay Red Ale, Dacay Golden Ale, Dacay Black IPA and Sofía IPA. They also produce Jíbaro Ale, which is a beer made with ginger and lemon peel and Dacay Oatmeal Stout, both available seasonally.[21]

FOK (Fresh of Keg) Brewing Company operates in Caguas. They currently have 3 main products: FOK Red Ale, which is an Irish Red Ale, a Golden Ale named FOK Blond Ale, and FOK Coffee-Black IPA.[22]

Ingeniero Microbrewery is located in Manatí and produces 5 beer brands: Porter Rican, Son of a Glitch, Mother Hopper, Tamarindia Amber Ale and Conuco. Porter Rican is an English-style Robust Porter, which is conditioned with Puerto Rican cocoa nibs and vanilla beans. Son of a Glitch is a Pale Ale that has citrus and floral notes. These two are available throughout the year. Mother Hopper is an Imperial/Double IPA made with 7 hop varieties while Tamarindia Amber Ale is an Irish-style Red Ale infused with local tamarind. Conuco is their seasonal beer that changes annually, the first version being a Spiced Yam Beer that employed Sweet Potatoes, star anise and cinnamon.[23]

Barlovento Brewing Company, also located in Manatí, produces the Galeón craft beer series. It includes Galeón IPA, which combines English ale brewing techniques with American hop blends and Galeón 90/-, which is a Scottish-styled ale matured in rum soaked oak chips and honey.[24]

Red Dragon Brewery in Río Grande produces Saphira, Drakko and Black Diamond. Saphira is a Saison with tart notes while Drakko is an American Style session IPA. Black Diamond is a full-bodied Belgian Style Porter with chocolate aroma and flavors of coffee, chocolate, stone fruit and some wood.[25]

Bros Brewing Company and Boxlab Brewing Company are currently contract-brewing at Ingeniero Microbrewery. The first produces the "Discovery Series", featuring the names of the vessels employed by Christopher Columbus during the discovery of Puerto Rico: "La Niña Wheat Ale", "La Pinta" and "La Santa María-Belgian Tripel".[26] Boxlab Brewing Company produces an American Strong Ale named "Demolición" and a sessionable Saison called "Los Setos". [27]

Several more microbreweries are in the process of attaining permits. These include Rincón Beer Company in Rincón, Señorial Brewing Corp. in Ponce, ZURC Bräuhaus in Coamo, Cervecería Franceschi in Utuado, Fat Crab Brewing Company in Bayamón and Cervecería Primavera in Ciales. Although from unknown locations in Puerto Rico, other microbreweries in the process of getting their permits are Amalgama Brewing, Gafas Locas Beer Co. and Cervezas Cielo Roto.

Saint Lucia

Piton is a Pilsner beer brand from the island of Saint Lucia, brewed by Windward & Leeward Brewing Limited, which is owned by Heineken.

Trinidad and Tobago

Carib Brewery manufactures Carib Beer and Stag Lager, along with Malta Carib, and Shandy Carib.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

St. Vincent Brewery, Ltd. brews Hairoun beer, an alternative name for the island. Hairoun is a golden lager brewed with barley, hops, and spring water. St. Vincent Brewery also bottles Guinness Foreign Extra Stout under license as well as Vita Malt, a non-alcoholic malt beverage, and several other non-alcoholic beverages.

List of beers and breweries

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Jackson (1977), p.216
  2. About Wadadli. Retrieved 2011-3-9.
  3. Antigua Brewery - Products
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Smagalski, Carolyn. Caribbean Island Guide to Beer. BellaOnline. Retrieved 2011-3-10.
  5. Retrieved 2011-3-10.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Montague, Arthur. Kalik Beer - A National Treasure. Bahamas Gateway. 2001. Retrieved 2011-3-10.
  7. Banks Beer: The Beer. Retrieved 2011-3-9.
  8. Hoyos, Pat. Forty years on, Banks Beer finally makes it to the U.S. mainland. The Broad Street Journal. April 21, 2008. Retrieved 2011-3-9.
  9. 10 Saints beer. Retrieved 2011-3-9.
  10. Gonzalez, Lorenzo (14 October 2013). "Belize and Beers". Belize Adventure. Retrieved 10 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. [1]
  12. Presidente Beer in the Dominican Republic. Retrieved 2011-3-9.
  13. "Brasserie Nationale D'Haiti (BRANA): The Maker Of Haiti's Native Beer". Haiti Observer. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "2000 World Beer Cup Winners List" (PDF). Brewers Association. Retrieved 10 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "2012 World Beer Cup Winners List" (PDF). Brewers Association. Retrieved 10 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Official site
  17. López, Hernández (August 15, 2005), R. de la C. 2594 (PDF) (in Spanish), House of Representatives of Puerto Rico, pp. 1–2, retrieved April 4, 2011 <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Diaz, Marian (1 Aug 2011). "Lanzan la primera cerveza premium boricua". El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). Puerto Rico. Retrieved 11 October 2014. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


External links