Hydration and Fermentation: The Beers of Barbados

In Barbados it may be expensive to get a bite to eat, but the same can’t be said about a cold beer, which is never more than $1-2.75 US. The taste is reminiscent of Mexico or other Caribbean countries: brands that I have never seen or heard of, yet flavors that I definitely have.

On the plus side, and unlike Puerto Rico, none of the beers have that sugary sweetness that I associate with cheap American beers, and all are served in clean glass bottles. Most are the tiny bottles you find in the Caribbean, which I imagine have the low glass-to-beer ratio to keep them cool.

The Beers (with ratings)

Banks (2/5) tastes like a slightly maltier Corona. This seems to be the official beer of the island which you’ll find everywhere.

banks
Banks, beach, Barbados. Credit: Tommy White

Deputy (2/5) reminds me of a Rolling Rock, yet more malty and less sugary. Paola loved this one, I was less than impressed.

Pola Beer (2/5) is a simple and crisp beer with a fun name that is imported to the island from Trinidad. It can be found all over the island, often as cheap as 5 x $5 US.

pola
A Pola Beer at the Gold Cup races, Bridgetown, Barbados. Credit: Tommy White

Mackeson (2.75/5) is a milk stout that tastes a bit more like something along the lines of Yuengling Porter. It is one of the priciest beers at $2 US and also the best.

10 Saints (?/5) is a rum barrel-aged beer that I brought home in my suitcase and haven’t tried yet. It’s a caramel-colored liquid in a clear glass 12oz bottle. I’m expecting the worst but hoping for the best, as this one doesn’t appear to be barrel-aged in the style of Bourbon County.

The Verdict

Drink the beer, drink the water, drink the rum punch. Bajan beers are low in alcohol, mild in taste, and best for staying hydrated, so drink them often. Also, make sure you use plenty of sunscreen.

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