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A not very comprehensive guide to the beers of Central America


Which beer is worthy of gracing your new singlet? Here’s your guide to the beers of Central America.

Now, I’m not an expert beer drinker but between myself and the rest of the tour group, I think we drank enough bottles to be able to tell you what I liked, what I didn’t like, and what the best beer in Central America is. 

For me, there’s nothing I’d rather have in my hand watching the sun go down than an icy, local beer. Beer always screams summer at me. Although you’ll find me with a pint in a pub at home, something about it (okay, the budget price) always makes it my holiday drink of choice. Unless rum is also cheap. Then rum, rum all the time. 


Belikin tower Belize beer guide to beers of central america

In Belize, everything is brewed by the same company, in the same factory. You can order something other than Belikin (Red Stripe and Guinness are your limits), but be prepared for it to taste nothing like the same beer you would order at home. Belikin is nothing special, the stout and premium versions only marginally improving on the original. The most interesting part we noticed is the difference in flavour across various bottles – I guess quality control isn’t their strong point! The official description is “a full-bodied beer with a medium golden colour”.

Table full of Belikin Belize beer

Looking through my photos for ones that had beer bottles was a lot easier than I expected..


Guide to beers of central America

The tour group eating at Livingstone – Guatemalan beers for lunch

There seemed to be three most readily available beers in Guatemala – Gallo, Brahva and Victoria. Gallo, a pale lager, is definitely the most common. Whilst it wasn’t my favourite in Central America, it marginally improves upon Belikin. According to the website, you should be able to taste the eucalyptus and citrus notes.

HondurasSalva vida beer Honduras Guide to beers of Central America

Salva Vida, Port Royal and Imperial seem to dominate here. I would say Salva Vida  (it means lifesaver, which I feel is appropriate) was the most commonly available. It’s a lager with not much taste. Imperial is darker with a little more flavour and Port Royal sits somewhere between the two.


Victoria beer Nicaragua - Guide to beers of Central America

You generally have two choices in Nicaragua – Toña or Victoria. They are both lagers.  My personal choice was always Victoria, although it’s a different Victoria to the Guatemalan or Mexican varieties.

Costa Rica

Tower of Imperial Costa Rica beer - Guide to beer of Central AmericaThe two most popular beers in Costa Rica are Imperial, followed by Pilsen. Personally, I found Imperial to taste fine when it was icy cold but by the time you were halfway through the bottle it had lost all taste.  However, its popularity is clear to see on all souvenir merchandise. Pilsen has a stronger alcohol content (which I was often reminded of when ordering it) and was one of my favourites throughout the whole of Central America.

Costa Rica - Guide to beers of Central AmericaBavaria is also widely available but I was so taken with Pilsen, I never bothered to taste my way through the three different varieties – Bavaria Gold, Bavaria Light and Bavaria Dark.

Imperial beer Costa Rica - Guide to beers of Central AmericaTry them for yourselves and see what you think!


Author: Kirstie

A 23 year old day dreamer. I don't think the travel bug ever bit me, I think it was passed down in my genes.

2 thoughts on “A not very comprehensive guide to the beers of Central America

  1. Haha that is like around Central america in (how many???) beers!!

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