Not too long ago we were excited to hear that Carib beer, brewed in St. Kitts & Nevis in the Caribbean, was coming to Belize.  Since only a small variety of beers are sold in the country due to the Bowen & Bowen Belikin brand being a virtual monopoly, it is always nice to have a new option.  We first tasted this beer, served with the customary slice of lime, years ago in the British Virgin Islands, where it was as ubiquitous as Belikin is in Belize.
Barry pouring a Carib in Virgin Gorda, BVI, December 2003
We bought a few of new Carib Lagers recently to see if they were as tasty as we remembered.  Interestingly, the bottles available in Belize are small, just like Belikin.  This little guy is just 275 ml, which is approximately 9.3 oz, rather than the typical 12 oz bottle size in the United States.  I don't know if that's done to hold prices down or in an attempt to get people to drink less.  Or maybe it's just the opposite -- these go down so quickly on a hot day, it's likely you'll want another!
The label looks very similar to the 2003 label, and the taste was just as I remembered.  This is no insipid beer -- it has a robust flavor that pairs well with a slice of lime.  And the alcohol content is 5.2% -- maybe that's why the bottles are small!

We bought our Carib at the Liquor Box on Middle Street.  They frequently run specials of three bottles for $10 BZ ($5 US).  That's $10 US for a six-pack of the small bottles -- not cheap.  But then again, not much is very cheap on an island, and Belikin is only slightly less ($3 BZ per bottle at grocery stores in town).  One bonus is that the store is heavily air-conditioned, and to score your Caribs, you get to dip your hand down into their ICE cold water cooler.  It's pure bliss on a hot day.  I wanted to jump right in with the beer!
"Real Beer served here"
Ina McLean
6/17/2013 08:56:49 am

Ah yes, Carib beer...remember it well from the many visits to the BVI's over the years. We were down in San Pedro a few months ago looking at property (our first time there) to eventually build and retire to and were surprised at the lack of beer varieties. We've asked many people why this is and never really got a good answer. YOU are the first person to mention "monopoly", which is what we eventually thought was the problem. Anyway, great blog! Oh, and we did buy up north and will start building in 6-8 months or so. We'll be down again early November and would love to have lunch or dinner if possible?

BeBelize Emily
6/17/2013 10:24:32 am

Yes, Bowen & Bowen, makers of Belikin, Belize's "national beer" have a monopoly and only allow certain other beers in. And when they come in, they are in small bottles, same as Belikins, and expensive. Still, we were willing to pay the $1.50 US per bottle for Carib on occasion (at the grocery, obviously much more in bars), just for a change of pace.

As for your invitation, I guess you haven't read our final blog post. We left Belize in March to come back to the US. We enjoyed our time there, but a year and a half of full-time living was enough for us. Here's our final blog post:

Wish you all the luck and happiness in the world in your future life in Belize!


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