The Local Caribbean Beer

Every Caribbean island seems to have its own beer. On St. Lucia, the local brew is called Piton, named for the mountains that dominate the landscape on this rugged volcanic island.

Like most of the Caribbean beers I’ve sampled over the years, Piton is a basic lager. The islanders don’t seem to go much for IPAs, which is fine with me, because IPAs are just too bitter for my taste and really wouldn’t work on a vacation when your brain is on island time. Piton is smooth and light, with a nice flavor, and it goes down easy on a hot sunny day with a serving of conch fritters and a side of french fries. Piton is so drinkable, in fact, that it is hard to come away from the lunch table without having quaffed at least two of them.

To my knowledge, you can’t get Piton in Columbus or anywhere in the Midwest. Even if you could, I’m not sure I would want to, because Caribbean beers are very much a sensory experience of the time and place, to be enjoyed when you’re hot and smell faintly of suntan lotion and you’re wearing sandals and looking out over blue water with white boats and swimmers and snorkelers in the distance. I’m not sure how I would react to a Piton if the view out the window was of a gloomy winter scene. I’d rather reserve this fine beer for consumption in its native habitat.