Picture being on a white sandy beach, staring at a turquoise blue ocean while drinking an ice-cold beer; it sounds like paradise, right? This could be you almost anywhere in the Caribbean, but what beer will be in your hand?
Every Caribbean island and country has a beer that people love. From the light, crisp taste of Jamaica’s Red Stripe lager to the full-bodied flavor of Antigua’s Wadadli Beer, each beer has its own unique character, If money weren’t an object, it would be worth trying them all.
In this article, we are going to highlight some of the iconic Caribbean beers. Some of them you may have tried and loved, and some you may never have heard of. Thirsty? Let’s get started!
Who Has The Best Caribbean Beers?
In 1880, the British brought beer to the Caribbean, and since then, it’s been a staple for those living on and visiting the islands. To say which one destination has the best beer is tough, as everyone has different tastes.
No matter whether you are staying at a hostel or a luxury all-inclusive resort like Sandals, you will have an opportunity to try the island’s national beer. Here are some of the most popular and iconic Caribbean beers to add to your bucket list. Keep in mind that the list of beers below is in no particular order.
Dominican Republic: Presidente
Smooth, light, and easy to drink, Presidente can be found everywhere you go in the Dominican Republic. Presidente is a pilsner beer and is one of the most exported beers in the Caribbean. Tourists and locals can enjoy the original Presidente or the light, Bohemia Especial, The One, and Quisqueya. No matter which one you choose, just make sure it’s ice cold.
Jamaica: Red Stripe
Red Stripe is a well-known beer and is considered the “taste of Jamaica.” Red Stripe is a full-bodied lager with a sweet flavor that has grown to have international appeal. The popular Jamaican beer can be found in regions of the United States and the United Kingdom, but it’s said to taste better while relaxing on a Jamaican beach.
Mexico: Corona Extra
Even though Mexico isn’t an island, it has some of the most beautiful Caribbean beaches and waters. Plus, it has one of the most iconic Caribbean beers, Corona Extra. Did you really go to Mexico if you didn’t have a Corona Extra and street tacos? We don’t think so.
Corona is a smooth and refreshing beer and should only be served with a slice of lime. No matter where you are in Mexico, all you need to say is, “Corona, por favor.”
Wadadli is a popular Caribbean beer with a unique taste. The lager is described as having a fresh but robust flavor that may surprise you. Wadadli is named after the original island name given by the indigenous people. Today, it is the official beer of Antigua and can be found just about anywhere you go.
Pronounced Kuh-Lick, this beer is the national brew of The Bahamas. Kalik has a smooth flavor and is named after the annual celebration Junkanoo. The popular beer is brewed by Commonwealth Brewery in Nassau, Bahamas, which owns half of the beer market on the island. If you want a stronger flavor and higher alcohol percentage, try the gold version, as it has a 7% alcohol content.
Belikin is a representation of the connection between the Belizean and Mayan heritage and translates to “road to the East.” It can be found in both lager and stout, depending on the type of beer you prefer. It is one of (if not the most) popular beers in the country and was produced before Belize even gained its independence in 1981.
Dockyard Brewing Co. is a British-style microbrewery that produces eight different types of beers. Some of their beers include but are not limited to Whale of Wheat, Somers Amber Ale, Trunk Island Pale Ale, Bermuda Triangle Stout, and Mystery Brew. The beers are made using Bermuda rainwater. With so many choices, it’s best to get a flight (sampler) so you can try them all.
Cuba: Bucanero Fuerte
Bucanero has a slightly higher alcohol percentage than the other light beers on this list, with 5.4% alcohol. However, you’d probably know it if it wasn’t labeled on the can because the beer is light, smooth, and crisp. This is a classic beer of Cuba and has a semi-sweet taste that goes great with a classic Cuban cigar.
Curacao: Amstel Bright
Amstel Bright is an interesting beer not because of its taste but because of how it’s made. The sweet and light beer is produced using desalinated seawater, but don’t worry, it’s not salty. Even though the beer is made in the Netherlands, it has remained the number one beer in the sunny Caribbean island of Curacao for years.
Cayman Islands: Caybrew
If you visit the Cayman Islands, then you won’t have to look very far to find a Caybrew. Produced by the Cayman Islands Brewery, Caybrew is a European-style pale lager and is described to be light-bodied with a hint of vanilla flavor.
It’s a great beer to have during dinner or while relaxing on the beach. While there, you can also try the other versions, such as Caybrew Premium Light, Ironshore Bock, and White Tip Lager.
Balashi is a pilsner beer similar to the Dominican Republic’s Presidente and has a crispness that can’t be denied. The national beer is made with Aruban water and produced by Balashi Brewery in Oranjestad. It must be pretty good, as it has won several awards over the years, so you should give it a try while on Aruba.
As the beer label states, Banks is the national beer of Barbados. However, it is also the national beer of Guyana. The premier-style lager has won several awards and is a simple drinking beer that can be found just about anywhere you go. If the original flavor isn’t your favorite, you can also try the amber, stout, or light versions.
Puerto Rico: Medalla Light
Medalla Light is an interesting beer because it is full of carbonation. Even if bubbly drinks aren’t your thing, you should still give them a try during your trip. The beer flies off the shelves in most parts of Puerto Rico. The name of the beer translates to the word “medal,” which represents the Pan Am Games that were held in Puerto Rico in 1979, the same year the beer hit the market.
What Is the Drinking Age in the Caribbean?
Just about anywhere you go in the Caribbean, the legal drinking age is 18 years old. While someone under age may be able to get away with drinking while on vacation, it is important to check each country’s laws to make sure you are not breaking any. In some Caribbean countries, if you look old enough, they may not ask for identification for purchase, but if you aren’t of age, it’s best not to risk it.
Best Caribbean Beers: Final Verdict
These are just some of the many Caribbean beers that you can try while on vacation. Some are light and smooth, while others are dark with a bite. Whichever one you choose, be sure to drink responsibly and have a great time. And let us know which one is your favorite! Cheers!
Planning a trip to the Caribbean? We have tons of articles that might help, including 25 Best Caribbean Luxury Resorts (5 Star), Working With a Caribbean Travel Agency, 10 Amazing Caribbean Destinations For Honeymoons, and more.