Brewed and enjoyed locally (from left to right): D&D Lenca, Port Royal, Imperial, Salva Vida, Barena and D&D Dark Porter. Photo by Steve Yaccino
Garnel Bodden welcomes me to Xibalba, a bar in Copán Ruinas, where I've come to explore the beers of Honduras. Four bottled beers are brewed in Honduras (though owned by SAB Miller). Here's the run down, from best to worst:
Imperial Cerveza Pilsner. 5% alcohol. Imperial is comparable to California's Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. A blend of pale and caramel malt, it has a rich flavor, full body and dark golden color.
Barena. 4.6% alcohol. Barena is much like Corona but with malty kick. It's a smooth brew, light but flavorful. Don't forget to ask for a lime.
Salva Vida. 4.8% alcohol. This is Honduras' oldest beer, and it tastes like 1916. The name means "life saver" and it is made with pale and caramel malts, but it tastes like a less bitter version of Miller Genuine Draft.
Port Royal Pilsner. 4.8% alcohol. If you drink water instead of Port Royal, at least you'll stay hydrated. This beer has a light, watered down flavor that's easy to drink and won't fill you up, but it has little else to recommend it.
Xibalba also features two beers on tap from D&D Brewery, a small microbrewery located in Lagos Yahoa. The dark Porter has a coffee flavor, not unlike Chicago's Goose Island Nut Brown Ale. Lenca, a light, orange citrus beer, resembles Blue Moon.
According Bodden, my list is backwards. Port Royal is the most popular beer in Honduras, and Imperial collects dust on the shelf. Because of the hot climate, most Hondurans prefer a very light, easy drinking beer, he explains. Imperial is too rich and filling. Well, agree to disagree.
Jonathan Binder found that his taste in Honduran beer didn't correspond with the popularity of each one. Photo by Steve Yaccino
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