You’ve probably heard of or even tried the Jamaican beer “Red Stripe.” This champagne-like brew is actually easy drinking and quite refreshing, with the flavor profile something you’d expect could do the trick as a Caribbean refresher. But, interestingly, many island nations, including those in the Caribbean, have a high incidence of bigger alcohol stouts in their range of available beers.
Consider the tropical climate of Jamaica and you might wonder why someone would reach for a thick, hearty, high alcohol stout to quench their thirst. How is that refreshing? Well, perhaps it’s not the best beverage to grab when trying to rehydrate after a hot day’s work under the sun, but stronger brews are not uncommon in this part of the world, where many islanders have traditionally been rum drinkers. And, as it turns out, the maltier, sweeter flavors found in these tropical stouts make them more quenching than their dry stout counterparts from Europe and the U.S. Perhaps no where else is the beer myth that “darker means stronger” less myth than fact than in the Caribbean.
It certainly holds true at The Big City Brewing Company in Kingston, Jamaica. We admire their founding principle: to produce a beer that consists only of local produce. In 1994 they set out with this goal in mind; and, by 1999, they graduated to the “big city leagues” by purchasing their full-scale brewery and equipment. Using state-of-the-art hardware from Germany, Italy and the U.S., along with a dedicated staff, they now have three successful, authentically Jamaican brands available.
While foreign breweries have had a presence on the island for over 100 years, The Big City Brewing Company currently stands proud as the only brewery in Jamaica owned and operated by Jamaicans.
For more information about the brewery, visit their website at www.bigcitybrewing.com