Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pilsner Urquell

Pilsner Urquell, the original Pilsner lager beer, was introduced in 1842, in the city of Pilsen, located in the Kingdom of Bohemia, part of the Empire of Austria, within the German Confederation. This country is now known as the Czech Republic (Czechia). The town leaders, dissatisfied with the quality of their local beer, called for development of a more pleasant and consistent product, and the brewmaster, Joseph Groll, from the neighboring Kingdom of Bavaria, was contracted to develop something new. His introduction of Pilsner beer, in late 1842, took the town, and soon, the rest of Europe, by storm, and Pilsner became one of the top-selling beer styles in the world. Even the Austrian Kaiser, Francis Joseph Hapsburg, visited the brewery and certified the beer as an official supplier to the royal court. The company, Plzeňský Prazdroj, trademarked the name, meaning "original Pilsner", and became a leader in European beer production. Today, this company, which has come under foreign ownership, following the 1940s-1990s government seizure, continues to brew Pilsner Urquell according to the original recipe and process, and they also produce a wide array of beer brands and styles, most of which do not find their way to the Americas.

Pilsner Urquell, coming in at 4.4% alcohol, is rated five out of five hop cones, for bitterness, on the Cyclops Scale. With it's cracker malt notes and Saaz hop presentation of grass and sharp, yet mild, bitterness, the brand remains the world standard for the pilsner style. I have sampled this product many times and recommend it, in the strongest possible terms.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Regia Extra

Regia Extra, introduced in 1959, is a popular lager beer of El Salvador and is produced by Industrias La Constancia of San Salvador. At 4.8% alcohol, it is sold as an every-day drinker, made for relaxing times and for pairing with favorite foods. Regia Extra is sold in 12-oz. bottles and cans and in large, 25-oz. bottles (brown glass, in all sizes).

You will probably never see a Regia Extra television commercial or hear a Regia Extra radio spot, but you may see a point-of-sale promotional, usually in El Salvadorean immigrant areas of the USA.

This author has sampled Regia Extra and found it to be mild, pleasant, and enjoyable. A sampling is strongly recommended.

Here is what SAB-Miller, the corporate owner, as of early 2016, says about Regia Extra:

"A medium-bodied beer with a robust and intense flavour." On the Cyclops Scale, it is scored two out of 5 sugars cubes for sweetness and 2 out of 5 hop cones for bitterness.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016


The Suprema brand of beer, produced by Industrias La Constancia (InBev, in 2016, from SABMiller), was introduced in 1967, and it remains a top El Salvadoran brand. Coming at 5% alcohol, this lager will be familiar to most mass-produced American-style beer drinkers.

In America, it is currently imported by The Winery Exchange of Novato, California. The brewery has this to say about Suprema (translated from Spanish):

"Supreme beer was launched on the Salvadoran market in 1967, as a premium brand, in which the brewing tradition is combined with a unique style of elegance and European flavor. The taste of international quality makes it different from the others and has made through the years and to date, is the favorite of beer connoisseurs."

In select markets, the Suprema Roja (Supreme Red) is available. Suprema is sold in 12-oz. bottles and cans. 

I have sampled Suprema and found it to be smooth, pleasant, and highly drinkable. A tasting is recommended.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Pilsener of El Salvador, produced by Industrias La Constancia (InBev, in 2016, from SABMiller), was introduced in 1906. This typical, American-style, pale adjunct lager, comes in at 4.4% alcohol. Sold in 11-oz. bottles, 12-oz. bottles and cans, 16-oz. bottles, and on draft, this Pilsener-style lager is the most popular beer in El Salvador.

It receives heavy advertising attention in its home country, and one may find it in American outlets that cater to El Salvadorean immigrant populations.

I have sampled the beer, finding it smooth and pleasant. In 2006, a special centennial version was released.

On the Cyclops Scale, Pilsener is rated at two out of five sugar cubes and two out of five hop cones.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Tona beer was introduced in Nicaragua is 1926 with the establishment of Compania Cervecera di Nicaragua. Based in Managua, the capital city, this company produces Tona and Tona Light in high volumes. It is the most popular Nicaraguan beer brand and receives heavy promotional attention in its home country.

Tona is sold in 12-oz. cans and bottles. At 4.6% alcohol, this is a crisp, easy-going, and thirst-quenching lager, and its low bitterness allows the brand to find wide appeal. Tona's mild, bready, biscuit character should pair well with spicy tropical dishes. This writer has sampled the beer on more than one occasion, and I would give it a solid recommendation.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Port Royal Export

Port Royal Export is a premium lager beer, introduced in 1983 by Cervecería Hondureña of Honduras, with the intention of making it a beer for the North American market. Currently an SABMiller brand, it is expected to be shifted to Anheuser-Busch/InBev ownership by the close of 2016.

Port Royal, at 4.9% alcohol, emphasizes mildness and drinkablility, two attributes associated with tropical lagers. It is rated 2 of 5 sugar cubes in sweetness and only 1 of 5 hop cones in the bitterness estimation.

Port Royal is typically found in beer outlets who cater to the Central American immigrant market and is priced in the above premium range (similar to Corona Extra). I have sampled this beer and would recommend that others give this delightful mild lager a tasting.

Port Royal is available in 12-oz. cans and bottles and in 21-oz. bottles.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Barena, introduced in 2004, is a product of the Honduran Brewery of San Pedro Sula, a brewing company that traces its history back to 1898. In 2001, the company became a subsidiary of SABMiller.

With a focus on light and mild sweetness, with very low hop bitterness, Barena, at 4.5% alcohol and 138 calories, certainly fits the tropical region. Sold in large and smaller bottles, as well as in cans, Barena can be found in certain American shops, generally those catering to Central American populations, especially of the Honduran immigrant group.

The company describes Barena this way- "Barena has a moderate alcohol content, sensitive body and a refined and characteristic type of bitterness in which no ingredient dominates the others. The malt sweetness, hop bitterness, flavour and aroma are very light, while fruity esters are low."

I have tried the beer and suggest a sampling. Barena should pair well with beef and bean dishes. Also, mild cheeses should be a nice compliment.