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December 2013

Best Beers In The Caribbean
By: Jessica Padykula

Is there anything better than a cold beer on a hot day? Add a backdrop of white sand and glistening azure water and you may never want to drink a beer anywhere else. From Medalla Light in Puerto Rico to Kalik in the Bahamas and Hairoun in St. Vincent the Grenadines, the Caribbean is a beer-lovers paradise. We've sampled quite a few of them and we’ve come up with some favorites worth ordering again and again – ideally while watching those azure waters lap at the shore.

Mildly carbonated and light in both flavor and color, Aruba’s refreshing Balashi is the drink of choice on the aptly dubbed “one happy island”. The national beer of Aruba, Balashi is a pilsner that does a great job cooling you down on a hot day. Enjoy one overlooking the water at local favorite Zeerover in Savaneta with some fried or grilled fish, shrimp and plantains. You can’t beat the view and the fish, whatever gets caught that day, (in our case mahi-mahi) is as fresh as you can get it.

Having a beer in St. Vincent and the Grenadines means ordering up a Hairoun. The easy-drinking lager beer is smooth and crisp with a medium body and soft bitterness that comes out in the aftertaste. You can enjoy Hairoun all over St. Vincent and the Grenadines but we most enjoyed ours while sitting by the bar at Young Island Resort, just off the coast of St. Vincent. The private island resort on 13 acres has a friendly vibe perfect for spending several days swimming and sunbathing (and of course, sipping a Hairoun either at the bar or by the water).

You can find Carib throughout the Caribbean but it’s brewed in St. Kitts, which is where we first enjoyed the light-bodied brew. It’s a favorite among many travelers to the Caribbean and we’re not surprised it has so many fans. If you happen to be in St. Kitts and you’re craving a beer (and a great time), we suggest heading straight for Mr. X's Shiggedy Shack. Picnic tables set up by the beach, fresh fish and seafood and a lively clientele of both locals and tourists make it an entertaining way to spend an evening. Live music and dancing start up later in the evening and you may even be lucky enough to catch a fire dancing show.

Medalla Light
On a recent visit to San Juan, Puerto Rico, we enjoyed Medalla Light from the first refreshing sip. It’s one of those beers perfect for drinking on a hot day (and in San Juan there are many of those). It goes down easy (maybe a little too easy) and is available almost everywhere. We suggest ordering one at local hot spot Red Line bar in San Juan where Puerto Ricans go to show off their salsa moves. If you feel like dancing, you’ll find more than a few willing partners but if, like us, you have two left feet simply sit back and watch.

Brewed at the largest brewery in the Bahamas, the national beer of the island (and also the bestselling brew) is golden-hued Kalik. If you have yet to pay a visit to Oh Andros in Nassau, we highly recommend you check it out for both a beer and a feast of local dishes. Service may not be speedy (is it anywhere in the Caribbean?) but the food is worth waiting for and items like grilled or fried fish, decadent baked macaroni and peas and rice pair perfectly with a crisp Kalik.

When you’re in Dominica, you’ll likely end up with a Kubuli in your hand at some point. The mild tasting, thirst-quenching beer is brewed with 100 percent natural spring water and the local brewery’s own formula. Think Corona minus the lime and with slightly more carbonation. What better place to enjoy a cold Caribbean beer than at an Irish pub? While sipping a beer on the beach should never be passed up, we had a great time at local and expat hangout O'Byrne's Irish Pub. The traditional watering hole might seem out of place on an island, but the fun, friendly atmosphere will likely have you coming back.

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