It would be impossible to take a trip to Belize and not at some point see a sign like this:
This is the logo for Belikin beer and it’s pasted all over the country to advertise what is essentially, the beer of Belize.
The brewery was founded in 1969 and produced its first beer, a stout, in 1971. Since that time, they’ve been consistently producing four products: Belikin Lager, Belikin Stout, Light House and Belikin Premium. They also produce a Guiness Stout under license from Guiness and have also experimented with putting out various seasonal and artisan brews.
Belikin beer is cheap, around $4.00 Belize. Which, if you’re hip to how the Belizean dollar is always double the US dollar, means $2.00 US. It tastes very much like a tropical beer, low in hops, slightly sweet, with a refreshing clean finish.
Belikin beer has a lower alcohol content than US domestic lagers at 4.8%. It also has less beer in their bottles. One of the interesting quirks of this beer is that the bottles are very heavy. The glass is dense and thick, and the bottle only holds 9.6 ounces. With a lower alcohol content and less beer in the bottle, it means if you want to get that Caribbean buzz going, you’re going to have to drink more.
Because of this bottle to content ratio, the locals have a joke slogan for the company: Belikin: more bottle, less beer. But there’s a good reason for the heavy bottles. In keeping with Belize’s environmentally responsible focus, Belikin reuses their bottles. Used bottles are shipped back to the factory, washed, sterilized, refilled and recapped.
Belikin beer is brewed in the classic European lager style. They use Canadian Pilsner malt with a blend of German hops, followed by a lengthy fermentation to allow the yeast to fully develop.
If you’re a real beer aficionado, you can plan a day trip to tour the factory in Ladyville in the Belize district. After seeing the factory and really getting the inside skinny on how this beer is produced, you’ll be invited to do a beer tasting.
But the best way to really experience Belize’s flagship beer is to head out to one of the local bars on the beach, ask for a beer and let them bring you a Belikin lager. Nothing else quite cools you down from the humidity better than that.
Brett Renee Stone is a managing partner and director of communications for Palm Reef Resort.