I am a wine drinker, but I really love a good cocktail before dinner. Of course, bubbly can be served morning, noon, and night as far as I’m concerned. BUT, when I travel, I love to try the classic local beer. Especially after a long hike or exploring a new area, a local beer just tops off the experience. I’m not talking micro-breweries, that is a whole other discussion. I am talking about classic national beers, sort of like Budweiser to the USA.
Why Drink Local Beers Around The World?
Local beers appeal to me for several reasons. First, I love to see how the local beers taste and what makes it unique to the area. Second, I love to check out the packaging. And, finally, beer just tastes so good after a day of hiking or exploration.
Here are 4 countries that I visited recently and which beers I was happy to sample.
Relax and Sip Local Beers in Belize
When in Belize, we drink Belikin. Whether out fly fishing the flats for the day and enjoying one with our lunch or after a long hike on the trails at Belcampo Belize, we really enjoy this beer. It is brewed by the Belize Brewing Company, which was completed in 1971. They are currently up to five beers, plus seasonal beers.
The classic Belikin, which is my favorite, is brewed in a classic European lager style. It has a longer fermentation process which allows for a fuller body. Belikin is delightful and a very easy beer to drink.
Local Beers in China
There is a big debate going on in China over which beer is actually the national beer. My pick is Tsingtao Beer, but recently, Snow Beer has pulled ahead domestically. I’m still sticking with Tsingtao as I’m a traditionalist. For $4 US, you can get lunch and a bottle of Tsingtao after a long hike in the tea plantations.
The brewery started in 1903 and Tsingtao is the #1 exported branded product. It is sold in over 80 countries worldwide. There are only two types of Tsingtao, the Lager, which is the classic and Pure Draft. The beer has an amazing smell that is crisp and clean and it is way too easy to drink.
There is only one beer we all think of in Jamaica and that is Red Stripe. I prefer it in the traditional squatty bottles, but the can will do just fine, too. It all started, like many others, with an idea in 1918 and in 1928, the first branded beer was made.
There are many types of Red Stripe, but I love the basic Lager. It has a full body, is smooth, and has a little sweet butterscotch taste. Other types of Red Stripe are only available in Jamaica, so book your flight if you want to try, Red Stripe Light, Red Stripe Lemon Paradise, and Red Stripe Sorrel.
When should you enjoy a Red Stripe, you ask? Any time, in my opinion, but my favorites are rafting down the river, on the beach, and after a long hike.
Local Beers in India
India has a variety of beers that are top sellers, but our favorite is Kingfisher, the largest selling beer brand in India. It is one of the newer beers around the world, launched just 150 years ago, and is now sold in over 50 countries. It all started in 5 small breweries in south India and popularity grew quickly.
In case you’re wondering, yes, the name was inspired by the beautiful colored Kingfisher bird of India. They say the Kingfisher is known for its vibrant colors, which represent among other things, energy and youthfulness. The bird also has keen aim, much like the flavor of the beer.
Our favorite, the Premium Lager, has a wonderful flavor balance. It is the perfect mix of malted barley and hops. And, we just love the label.
What are your favorite local Beers from around the world?