Testing the Three New Belize Beers on a Gorgeous Day at Koko King Beach Club
For many years, there was only one beer brand in Belize – Belikin. And though the market has opened up a bit (to CARICOM – Caribbean trading partners NOT US or Mexican beers) – Belikin remains the beer of Belize.
It is EASILY the most recognized brand in the country – the very close second would be Marie Sharp’s hot sauce.
I am going to mix in links to many of the Belikin events I’ve been to over the years to show you how ubiquitous the brand is in Belize. Like the 2014 Belikin Stout Dominos Championship I attended!
- Did you know that sometimes…some morning after a tough night of drinking…the two meet! Beer + hot sauce in a drink called the Michelada. A hang-over cure – or in Kriol, a cure for your goma. A morning beer. A spicy, limey beer drink that everyone should try when you visit Belize. The Michelada Recipe (and one of my oldest posts!) from the Squirrels Nest Bar on Ambergris Caye.
SO while the market has opened up a bit in Belize – there is a smattering of beer from around the Caribbean now imported including Heiniken and Red Stripe – the beers that you are going to be offered when you visit a bar on Ambergris Caye are made by Belikin beer.
The last time I tasted the beers of Belize and wrote about it was in 2011. I crowned Belikin Regular the KING OF BELIZE beers. (I even tasted something called Dragon Stout with 10% alcohol content..and included expert tasting commentary like “Don’t spill this on your shirt…you’ll smell like you’ve been pumping gas all day)
Since that post, I quit drinking but when I saw that not only had Belikin released a new beer but there is a NEW BREWERY in Orange Walk, Belize called Caribbean International Brewery Company Limited – I decided to enlist a beer taster with some unique (in Belize) qualifications. He drinks and likes beer AND he is Irish.
Pat’s IDEAL beer is a craft bitter hoppy IPA.
So let’s just jump in. We met up on Caye Caulker – at the gorgeous Koko King Beach Club – to try our selection.
We also tried Belikin Light (released in: 2017) and Landshark beer (bottled by Belikin starting in: 2016/2017 ) because we figured those were comparables to the new beers.
Let’s jump in:
Belikin Light, 284ml (9.6 oz), 3.8% alcohol
Cold and pretty clean – almost like water, this is a “session beer” – a term I’d never heard before and I like very much. Pat calls this the Coors light of Belize.
501 Beer, 275ml, 4.9% alcohol
Named after Belize’s only area code, 501, I love the label, the clear bottle and the branding. Pat also enjoyed the taste – NOT on its own but with a lime. It NEEDS a lime. This IS the Corona of Belize and we agreed, it should be marketed as such.
Limes…chairs by the ocean…the sounds of the waves. Welcome to the 501.
Belikin beer makes some great merchandise and I hope they make t-shirts for this one. I love the colors and design.
PIrate Green, 251ml (8.5oz), 4.3%
This one is decidedly more “grassy”…more Heikenen-like with a bit of an aftertaste. All in all a pretty good beer.
I don’t enjoy the labels very much – very kitschy. Something that might generate cheap tee shirts sold at cruise ship villages. Not at all Belize focused.
Pirates Blue, 285ml, 4.9% alcohol
Darker in color, caramel sweetness without any strong after-taste. This is more of a Budweiser, a baseball-game beer…and not a Belikin regular.
And then lastly…while I was busy enjoying the view…
and the delicious fresh fish bites…
Pat tried one of the Landshark beers – the brew that I often see tourists drinking with lime. It must be light…right?
Landshark Beer, 275ml, 4.9%
Heavier than even regular Belikin, golden, doughy.
Please let me know what you think of these new beers – clearly beer tasting is subjective and an art rather than a science! Send me your thoughts, especially on 501 and the Pirate selection.
And I will leave you with some beautiful pictures at beautiful Koko KIng…the perfect day to just sit in the shade and watch your friend enjoy some Belizean beer. 🙂
I jumped on the Koko King water taxi to take me on the 2 minute boat ride to the village – Pat went back to work. AMAZING effort!