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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tuesday Tasting: Three Island Brews

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we look at three brews from three different countries sampled during a recent cruise aboard the Regent Navigator.

At each port of call we actually found ourselves on an island. Like a Charles Darwin of beer, I decided to try to find a local beer to see if the natural isolation created by island life had any impact on the indigenous suds.

Key West Golden Ale: Kelly's Caribbean Bar, Grill & Brewery lays claim to being the southernmost brewpub in the United States. I decided to try this IPA and found that it was a bright golden color with a medium head. There was a faint hop aroma to the beer that I enjoyed at the bar overlooking a lush courtyard. There was a pleasant hop base to the beer, but not quite as pronounced that many IPA lovers have come to expect from American brewpubs. Overall, this beer was very drinkable and a nice find.

Leon: This beer is not actually made on Cozumel, but Modelo does produce it at a nearby Yucatan brewery. Leon is a dark lager, in a Vienna or Munich Dunkel style. The head on the beer did not last very long in the plastic cup I was given after making a request for a glass, but the beer did not last all that long for that matter. It has a very inviting flavor. Slightly sweet, with a nose that gives off a slight hint of the roasted malt. It is one Mexican beer that should never be consumed with a lime. There is a rich subtle character that would be crushed by the citrus.

Kalik Lager: Produced by the Commonwealth Brewery in the Bahamas, Kalik is a pale golden lager that offers up a small but firm head when poured into a glass. I've had this beer a couple of times in the U.S., but because it is sold in clear glass bottles it is easily damaged by exposure to sunlight. The fresh bottles I enjoyed while having grouper on the porch of a local fish fry hangout just outside the touristy Nassau port area was crisp and fresh. Kalik is not the most flavorful beer you will ever drink, but it fits right in with the warm breeze and island music.

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