Saturday, November 5, 2011

The worst beer

Latin America as a whole is not well known for its diversity in cerveza. The obvious exceptions are Mexico and Argentina, who's cultural proximity to the US and Europe (respectively) affords them a decent beer selection. Most Central American beers are about the same: pilsner/lager style, light in color, soft on flavor. It's possible to find darker beers, but along with imports, these are usually twice the price and not nearly worth it.

Throughout Central America I've noticed that most local beers hover around $1, a fair price for the beer-flavored water, whether you buy it at a grocery, bodega or cheap bar. Belikin from Belize has been one of my favorites for this reason: reliable quality, inflexible price. Colombia's local beers follow this trend as well, everyone knows the price, so to charge anything greater is a grand offense to Juan Q. Beer drinker.
 Gallo (Rooster) Beer from Guatemala breaks with this trend. I've seen the price fluctuate from as low as $1.25 to $3.00. Considering we are paying $10 a night right now for a private hostel room, this seems a little absurd. Throw in the fact that Gallo does in fact, taste like drinking a rooster (or chicken feed), you can sense my frustration when Guatemalan's ask me if I "love" their national beer. I mean, everybody has pride in their dometic products, some for very good reason: Guatemalan coffee is among the best I've ever had. I just find the slogan of Gallo particularly annoying given the aformentioned info: "La mejor cerveza" (the best beer). Yeah. Right.

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