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.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Famosa (Gallo) of Guatemala

Famosa beer (Gallo in its home country) is a beer introduced in Guatemala in 1896. The flagship beer of Cervecería Centro Americana Sociedad Anónima, founded by the Córdova family in Guatemala City, it is found in some retail outlets in the USA (bottles and cans). Most shops where it is sold cater to Central American immigrant populations.

At 5% alcohol, this mild and mellow American-style pale lager should appeal to many regular beer drinkers and should pair well with Meso-American dishes. It does receive major television and radio advertising attention in Guatemala, but only limited point-of-sale promotion in the United States of America.

I have sampled this beer, from both the can and bottle, and can attest to its smooth flavor. The drinker will find that Gallo (Famosa) is more alike than unlike other mass-produced American beers. A sampling is recommended.



Thursday, October 1, 2015


Prestige is the number one beer of Haiti, and it was the first beer produced in that country, beginning in 1976.

The founder of Brasserie Nationale d'Haiti (BRANA), Michael Madsen of Haiti, began construction of the brewery in 1973, and launched the beer in 1976. Madsen received training from the Heineken company and Heineken was contracted with for quality control advice and supervision. In 1988, Heineken acquired 22.5% of the company and obtained 95% of the stock in 2011.

Aside from Prestige lager beer, BRANA also produces Heineken, Desparados (tequila-flavored beer), and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.

Coming in at 5.6% alcohol, Prestige is a strong lager, with a bold flavor. It has won two gold medals in the American-style lager category at the World Beer Cup (2000 & 2012). Availability in the United States is mainly in the Miami, Florida area. It is sold in 12-oz. cans and in 12-oz. and 50 CL bottles.



The Guinness variant brewed in Haiti (7.5% alcohol).

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Presidente (President) is a 5% adjunct lager and a product of (mainly) the Dominican Republic.

Cervecería Nacional Dominicana was founded in 1929 in the Dominican Republic by American investors and named in honor of the dictatorial president, Trujillo. A popular beer, it was reformulated in the 1960s, transitioning from a dark lager into the present, golden lager, in order to appeal to a wider audience. Presidente is the most popular beer brand in the Antilles, Central America, and its home country. It is sold in a large number of American states, east of the Mississippi River. One will find it on draft, in 12-oz. and 24-oz. green bottles and in cans.

After being acquired by Anheuser-Busch/InBev in 2012, it's availability and advertising outreach was greatly expanded. Interestingly, the local company, Cervecería Nacional Dominicana, also distributes Miller brands in the Dominican Republic.

Presidente Light was introduced in 2007.

Presidente is described by the company as follows- "Presidente Beer brings you the true essence of the Caribbean! Nothing else can compare to its refreshing, smooth and lively taste. That’s why every sip becomes a celebration!" This writer can attest to its smooth, mellow flavor and its high drinkability. A sampling is recommended.



Saturday, August 1, 2015

Red Stripe

Red Stripe is a world-famous lager, developed by Desnoes & Geddes of Jamaica, starting in 1928. At that time, Jamaica was a British colony, and the owners were British residents of the island country. According to the current owners, Diageo, who purchased D&G in 1993, Red Stripe lager was originally a much different beer, "heavy and dark- more like an ale". At some point, the beer was reformulated to its present, yellow-straw-golden presentation and light body.

Produced in Kingston, Jamaica, Red Stripe has been contract-brewed in Pennsylvania for the US market since 2012, and those labels will state, "Jamaican-style Lager" rather than the typical "Jamaican Lager" description. There is also a Red Stripe Light available for the light lager drinkers.

The consumer will find Red Stripe Lager in 11.2-oz. bottles, 24-oz. bottles, and 16-oz. cans. I was unable to ascertain the availability of a draft Red Stripe, at the time of this writing.

Having sampled Red Stripe and Red Stripe Light, this writer can attest to its light, bready, and highly drinkable character and, thus, its mass appeal. A sampling is suggested.