It’s been two weeks since I’ve posted, and I had some elaborate essay planned with all of my insights and observations since our arrival. But instead I’m going to talk about beer. Probably because I just had three of them. And it’s the newest piece of information I have about our new home. SO let me introduce you to Belikin, the local beer of Belize.

Needless to say I was thrilled when I discovered that the national beer not only comes in a standard lager, but in a stout! In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been that surprised. I mean this was a British colony for 100 years. So even if there are more Mennonites than Brits roaming around, they still left a decent legacy. And it doesn’t stop there!! They (the Belize Brewing Company) are also the proud holders of a license to produce Guinness direct from Ireland. I can see how some people would truly consider this Paradise.

Belikin is supposedly Mayan for “Road to the East”…I don’t speak Mayan, so I cannot vouch for the translation. On the label there is the image of a Mayan ruin that is supposed to be the temple at Altun Ha, which is the ruin that is the closest to us. So we’ll have to see if we can track it down and verify it’s authenticity.

The plant is in Ladyville, which is a suburb of Belize City. Denise Wolf at the San Pedro Sun tells this story: “Kevin Bowen, the third generation of a family of bottlers, showed me around Belize Brewing Company’s modern plant in Ladyville. The plant’s grounds also house Belize’s Coca Cola bottling plant as well as the Crystal Water bottling facility. Kevin’s grandfather started Crystal Bottling Works and his father, Barry, began brewing Belikin in 1971. To make sure he was getting a quality product, Barry Bowen hired a brewmaster from Germany and all of the equipment came from Germany as well. Reinhard Häpp, brewmaster at Belize Brewing Company oversees a scientific process designed to make sure that Belikin beer is consistently good; each batch as good as those that preceded it. His domain is that of gleaming copper and stainless steel vats used to process Belikin, Belize’s beer.”

Since Belize isn’t know for its grain production, most of the ingredients are imported. However Belize does have water and sugar in abundance. Put it all together, and ferment it for a while, and it goes very nicely with the warm banana bread my husband just pulled out of the oven. Mmmmmmmmmm.

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