Best Beers in the Caribbean

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#1
Central Oregon
15 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
I'm trying to figure out what beers to try on our cruise next month. We're going to Columbia, Aruba, St Maarten, St Thomas, and Curacao. Are there local beers that are really outstanding?
I'm from the beer capital of the northwest (Central Oregon) and also homebrew. I don't care for lagers but if it's 90 degrees plus with high humidity, I suppose I could choke one down.
What would your choices be?
#2
Central Oregon
15 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
I found a list of recommended beers on a travel website. The list includes Balashi, Hairoun, Carib, Medalla Light, Kalik and Kubuli.
The Hairoun is not being made anymore. All sound rather dismal according to beeradvocate except for Carib and possibly Kubuli which sound drinkable but not great.
Input anyone?
#3
Canton, MA
762 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by dizzy1975
I'm trying to figure out what beers to try on our cruise next month. We're going to Columbia, Aruba, St Maarten, St Thomas, and Curacao. Are there local beers that are really outstanding?
I'm from the beer capital of the northwest (Central Oregon) and also homebrew. I don't care for lagers but if it's 90 degrees plus with high humidity, I suppose I could choke one down.
What would your choices be?
If you're used to big beers with lots of forward hop flavor, you won't find much in the Caribbean. It's mostly western pale ales and pilsners. That being said, I just go with whatever is local to the island. It may not be the most complex or crafted beer, but it is usually quirky enough to be quite refreshing and different. Just look for people roaming the beach hawking "loca bea".
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#4
Massachusetts
62 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Piton beer which is local to St. Lucia was one of the best beach beers I've ever had. Might have been a result of them being free flowing on our tour...

If you find it available at any of the locations you mentioned give it a try.
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#5
akron ohio
6 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
the best beer i've tried was in georgetown, grand caymans. it was called "pirates gold", it was a lager pilsner brew. it had an pretty good flavor for being a domestic beer to the caymans. reminded me of a full bodied version of a michelob amber ultra. the best part of it i must admit was that it was ice cold on a rather warm day on seven mile beach
#6
Central PA
657 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Sorry, while it may seem plebian and commercial-quality to those with finer-honed tastebuds than I, but I have a fond spot in my heart for Red Stripe.
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#7
Harrisburg area
1,506 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
As others have mentioned, there is not generally a great variety. It's mostly lager, with the odd pilsner style or other lighter beer occasionally available. I can't recall if I've seen a dark beer there ala Negro Modelo or another Mexican dark beer.

But on those hot days on the beach, a Carib does go down pretty well. Many islands do not have their own breweries and import from others that do. What you do find, and this is off-topic, are sodas that you don't see every day. On St. Kitts, in additional to locally brewed Carib, we enjoyed Ting, a grapefruit soda, and a pear-flavored soda the name of which I do not recall.
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#8
south carolina
271 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Kalik
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#9
Canton, MA
762 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by capncarp
Sorry, while it may seem plebian and commercial-quality to those with finer-honed tastebuds than I, but I have a fond spot in my heart for Red Stripe.
I usually only drink it when on cruises, but nothing says "sail away" to me like a cold Red Stripe. I can be a bit of a beer snob sometimes, but even I like a simple, crisp pale ale or pilsner (even as simple as PBR or Narragansett).

On a similar note, did anybody else notice on the RCI promos for the pub on the Quantum class, they list PBR and 'Gansett as "micro-brews"? I may not be above knocking them back, but they certainly aren't micro or even craft.
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Past Cruises:
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5/2009: Norwegian Spirit - Bermuda
8/2005: Voyager of The Seas - Western Caribbean
8/2003: Serenade of The Seas - Canada & New England Inaugural Public Voyage
6/2003: Majesty of The Seas - Bahamas
#10
akron ohio
6 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by Dajbman22
I usually only drink it when on cruises, but nothing says "sail away" to me like a cold Red Stripe. I can be a bit of a beer snob sometimes, but even I like a simple, crisp pale ale or pilsner (even as simple as PBR or Narragansett).

On a similar note, did anybody else notice on the RCI promos for the pub on the Quantum class, they list PBR and 'Gansett as "micro-brews"? I may not be above knocking them back, but they certainly aren't micro or even craft.
LMAO.... PBR(as in post brewing recycling) considered a micro brew on RCCI's pub sheet??? PBR barely qualifies as a "beer" let alone micro brewery status. that's the "brew it for three days, flash pasturize it to kill the yeast, and bottle it en masse" poster child....
#11
Canton, MA
762 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by misterd21
LMAO.... PBR(as in post brewing recycling) considered a micro brew on RCCI's pub sheet??? PBR barely qualifies as a "beer" let alone micro brewery status. that's the "brew it for three days, flash pasturize it to kill the yeast, and bottle it en masse" poster child....
http://www.royalcaribbean.com/quantu...s-genuine-pub/

Click on the beer menu, and see the "Craft Beer" list.
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Past Cruises:
1/2015: Adventure of the Seas - Eastern & Southern Caribbean
5/2009: Norwegian Spirit - Bermuda
8/2005: Voyager of The Seas - Western Caribbean
8/2003: Serenade of The Seas - Canada & New England Inaugural Public Voyage
6/2003: Majesty of The Seas - Bahamas
#12
Frisco, TX
221 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by misterd21
LMAO.... PBR(as in post brewing recycling) considered a micro brew on RCCI's pub sheet??? PBR barely qualifies as a "beer" let alone micro brewery status. that's the "brew it for three days, flash pasturize it to kill the yeast, and bottle it en masse" poster child....
Either RCCI is attempting to charge more by calling PBR a micro brew or those darn hipsters (LOL) actually make it a cult beer. There's a place in the Dallas area that sells PBR by the can and they serve the can in a paper bag. Greatness!
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#13
Central Oregon
15 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
I agree, PBR barely qualifies as a beer. Kinda like Boone's Farm barely qualifies as wine. It's what I drank when in the Navy because I was too poor to buy anything worth drinking....
During the 11 days we were on vacation, sadly I only had one single little beer. While doing some shopping in Curacao, a shop owner offered me a Heineken. It was really hot out, the beer was cold (and free) so I drank it. I'd rather not drink any beer unless it tastes good. The Heineken was mediocre at best.
The pub idea aboard the Quantum of the seas is an interesting idea. A couple of the brews look good. Flying Dog, Stone and Founders make some respectable beers. Suprisingly, not a single IPA on their line-up. I'd be more willing to drink an IPA or IIPA on a warm weather cruise than a Great Divide Stout.
#14
United States
75 Posts
Joined May 2013
While in Aruba and/or Curacao, try to hunt down Amstel Bright. IMHO it's better than the wide-spread Amstel Light imported into US. They also have regular Amstel, which is definitely worth a try.
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#15
Canton, MA
762 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by dizzy1975
I agree, PBR barely qualifies as a beer. Kinda like Boone's Farm barely qualifies as wine. It's what I drank when in the Navy because I was too poor to buy anything worth drinking....
During the 11 days we were on vacation, sadly I only had one single little beer. While doing some shopping in Curacao, a shop owner offered me a Heineken. It was really hot out, the beer was cold (and free) so I drank it. I'd rather not drink any beer unless it tastes good. The Heineken was mediocre at best.
The pub idea aboard the Quantum of the seas is an interesting idea. A couple of the brews look good. Flying Dog, Stone and Founders make some respectable beers. Suprisingly, not a single IPA on their line-up. I'd be more willing to drink an IPA or IIPA on a warm weather cruise than a Great Divide Stout.
I am convinced someone high up in the RCI Food & Beverage corporate team just has a personal vendetta against IPA's. They carry a number of decent beers of various styles in their British pubs (and the new gastropub idea), but never have I seen a true IPA on a Royal Caribbean menu.
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Past Cruises:
1/2015: Adventure of the Seas - Eastern & Southern Caribbean
5/2009: Norwegian Spirit - Bermuda
8/2005: Voyager of The Seas - Western Caribbean
8/2003: Serenade of The Seas - Canada & New England Inaugural Public Voyage
6/2003: Majesty of The Seas - Bahamas
#16
Seattle
786 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Marisha115
While in Aruba and/or Curacao, try to hunt down Amstel Bright. IMHO it's better than the wide-spread Amstel Light imported into US. They also have regular Amstel, which is definitely worth a try.

I definitely enjoyed my amstel bright SO much better than amstel light .. not sure why but it was so fresh and crisp on a hot caribbean dayy
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#17
Shanghai, PRC / Sete, France
3,902 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
There are many good reasons why great beers - and great wines - are not produced in the tropics.
Much of it has to do with climate and terroir.
Much of also has to do with local economies and tastes.
#18
Central PA
657 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by BruceMuzz
There are many good reasons why great beers - and great wines - are not produced in the tropics.
Much of it has to do with climate and terroir.
Much of also has to do with local economies and tastes.
True, BruceMuzz: but the Almighty has provided for this sad lack with the soul of the sugar cane--RUM! (and ginger beer)
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#19
Las Vegas & Orange County
1,860 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Belikin on Goff's Caye was the best I've had so far. It was just the sum of all the parts. Cold dark beer, grilled Caribbean lobster, new friends, just came back from snorkeling, perfect.
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