Jamaica: More than Red Stripe?
I recently went to Jamaica with Boardwalk for a friend’s wedding. I didn’t know much about Jamaica in general and never mind the beer. Probably like most people, the only thing I think of when I hear “Jamaican beer” is Red Stripe. So on this trip I made it two goals: first to find out if there is other Jamaican beer and second to test a few Red Stripes on the beach.
After six different seat changes on the flight down we finally landed in Montego Bay and we had about an hour drive to Runaway Bay where we were staying. All I could think of is that I needed food and beer. Well the beer came first in the form of a Red Stripe and all I could think of was the slogan: Hooray Beer!
This beer hit the spot like very few beers in the past have for me. It was light, crisp and refreshing with solid flavor. Not the best beer I’ve ever had (not even close) but sometimes a nice light lager just hits the spot.
When we arrived at Runaway Bay we decided to get some of the island’s specialty: jerk chicken (from Ultimate Jerk – many jokes were made). It was delicious but when I went to the bar to grab a beer I saw this
stellar lineup: Red Stripe, Heineken, Corona, and Guinness. Blech. The only option was to stick with the Red Stripe which again hit the spot to cool a bit of the spicy heat of the jerk chicken.
Over the next few days, all I could ever find is the same lineup of Red Stripe, Heineken, Corona, and Guinness (and Red Stripe Light which a local called a girl’s beer). So I stuck with Red Stripe on the beach in February, not a bad deal. Then Boardwalk went to the local grocery store and came back with a big grin as she had completed the second goal by finding a different type of Jamaican beer: Dragon Stout.
I was excited to finally have a different Jamaican beer and it did not disappoint me. The Dragon Stout had a ton of flavor (maybe it was because all I had been drinking was Red Stripes, but that’s besides the point), good body, decent aroma and a nice finish which all add up to give a solid beer. Was it one of the best stouts out there? No, but it is definitely an above average stout. It was also the first and only beer drinkers beer I found during my time in Jamaica.
Mission accomplished: I had found Jamaican beer other than Red Stripe in Jamaica. Even if it is produced and distributed by the Red Stripe brewing company.
As a side note: I found it interesting that all beer had nutritional information on it; definitely a nice touch.