Roatan Insider Tips: Local Beer

For any beer drinker, it’s always a fun experience to try local beers wherever you travel. A Guinness in Ireland is a must, a Sam Adams in Boston is necessary. Local microbrews continue to pop up everywhere – much to my personal delight. Trying new beers and finding local gems offers a new experience for anyone interested in other cultures. While there are a few microbreweries on the mainland now, unfortunately they have yet to migrate this way. Although if anyone is truly interested I have information on a new business opportunity for beer lovers on-island. Contact me for more details, but it involves franchising and bringing hundreds of imported beers to our little rock. 

So what beers are available in Roatan? I actually get this question all the time from visitors, so maybe this will help in your planning if you’re coming to hang out with us soon.

There are four Honduran beers all brewed by Cerveceria Hondurena on the mainland. And for those of us who live here and need more variety than those four can provide there are also a number of imported beers, some of which may surprise you. Here’s your quick rundown on all things beer in Roatan.

National Beers of Honduras Available in Roatan

First, the national beers. All are between 4.5-5% alcohol content and between about 135-150 calories each. You can’t get any on draught – they’re only in bottles or cans. Cans are cheaper, bottles are basically always served at bars and restaurants. Pro tip: wipe the top of the bottle before you drink it (you’ll notice most places wrap a napkin around it). The bottles are recycled so it’s always best to give them one last cleaning, and sometimes you get a metallic taste from the cap as well.

Barena: Corona-wannabe and a light beach drink that you could drink all day. It’s most typically enjoyed by tourists, so keep that in mind if you’re trying to blend in more. I’m fairly positive I had one my first week here, but that’s it. Put a lime in it, recline in the sand, and enjoy!

Barena, the Corona-like Honduran beer available in Roatan.

Barena, the Corona-like Honduran beer available in Roatan.

Imperial: The sometimes ugly step-sister of the local beers, Imperial is often overlooked but shouldn’t be. It’s a crisp lager and you can enjoy several in a night. Bonus – it also makes an excellent beermosa (beer and orange juice). It’s a solid choice.

Imperial beer available in Roatan - great for Beermosas!

Imperial beer available in Roatan – great for Beermosas!

Salva Vida: The “Life Saver,” the national beer, and by far the most popular with locals. It’s usually the cheapest option and – as a light, easy beer – you will need it to be cheap for the quantity you will drink. You’ll find it everywhere and see it advertised most often.

The Life Saver. The most popular. Salva Vida Roatan!

The Life Saver. The most popular. Salva Vida Roatan!

Port Royal: My personal favorite, offering the most crisp and flavorful libation of the bunch. It comes in a green bottle, but it’s no Heineken (thankfully). Although it’s still a light pilsner, it has substance to it. It also has my favorite label, offering a shout-out to the old harbor of Port Royal right here in Roatan. Be sure to check out what it says along the top of the label!

Port Royal, named for Roatan's very own historic harbor. My favorite local beer in Roatan.

Port Royal, named for Roatan’s very own historic harbor. My favorite local beer in Roatan.

Imported Beers Available in Roatan

On top of the local beers, there are plenty of imported options that you can certainly pay more for but are also worth it if you live here full-time. Otherwise the regular options get a bit old after a while. Imports usually include Tucher (a German ale with several varieties, a few restaurants keep them in stock fairly regularly), Guinness, Miller Lite and MGD, Budwieser, Stroh’s, Heineken, Coors Lite, Sapporo, Presidente, Red Stripe and Corona. Sometimes a new one pops up, but these are the ones you can usually count on between the grocery stores and restaurants.

A sample of the imported beers available at Eldons grocery store in Roatan.

A sample of the imported beers available at Eldons grocery store in Roatan.

Here’s a warning though: there is only one place on the entire island that has beer on tap. ONE place. It’s Herby’s Sports Bar & Grill in French Harbour, and totally worth a visit if you live here and crave a draught beer every once in a while. Especially since they usually have Sam Adams and Guinness on tap, plus Coors Lite and a rotating option (last time I went it was Angry Orchard cider, which I’m sure my sister would have been thrilled about). There are several restaurants that reliably have imported beers available, but most of the bars are hit-or-miss. You can always buy imported beers at the grocery stores or gas stations though, as long as it’s not after 5pm on a Sunday (ever since they enacted a dry law on Sunday nights for some bizarre reason…it’s the worst when you forget and go out of your way to pick up something to drink only to be turned away at the last second!).

Dry Law on Sundays means sometimes you go to the grocery store and the entire booze aisle is blocked off with  streamers. Thanks for capturing this classic moment, Sarah!

Dry Law on Sundays means sometimes you go to the grocery store and the entire booze aisle is blocked off with streamers. Thanks for capturing this classic moment, Sarah and Sophia!

So there you have it, all things beer in Roatan. Now that you know what is and isn’t available, let me know if you’re interested in learning about a franchising opportunity to bring more imports to the island!

13 thoughts on “Roatan Insider Tips: Local Beer

  1. I am surprised you did not talk about the microbrewery that shared a name with the golf course, Quite an interesting fellow the owner was, Problem is with anyone wanting in on the beer industry is the local companies all have friends in high places and do not like competition, There is a reason only the wealthiest on the Island even offer some import beers

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    • Hey Sarah! I’m not aware of any microbreweries on-island, though there used to be one out East. I do know that the German beers (Tucher) are imported by an individual, so there’s always a way to do business 🙂

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      • I am really considering moving to Roatan and ya’ll are a well spring of relavent information. This article is vital to my decision!! I have just started appreciating beers other than the trusty Coors Light and Corona, and can’t wait to try all these new beers!! Thanks for all the great articles and info.

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    • im just so disappointed of how you make such remarks of a natural environment. You do not have enough experience to make such a judgement call on the caribbean you are so so wrong.

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  2. Mandy,

    Next time you have the opportunity, visit TRINIDAD Its right there 6 miles north of Venezuela, actually the southernmost island in the Caribbean chain.. If you link up with the right group with good local knowledge, especially about our beer, you will have a most wonderful time. And please ignore the non-sense about my island being over-run by lawlessness. That might be a conspiracy to deny foreigners the taste of paradise. Give me a holler if you feel inclined to visit.

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  3. Hey lady,

    I live in the land of microbrews and reading this post made me super happy and a bit sad for y’all 🙂 . I’d love to send y’all a taste of the Rocky Mountains in the form of mountain microbrews as a happy to you and your Columbian/Irish beau. My email address is still the same, so let me know what y’all like to drink and I’ll send some your way!

    xoxo,

    Ashton

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  4. Hi, I just read the post on “9 definitive reasons why you should NOT move to the caribbean”. I felt the need to contact you about that because I think that it is totally wrong to make such a general statement. I live in Puerto Rico, and here we have NONE of those reasons you mentioned. I don’t know where is the place you moved on, and I feel really sorry for you, if you found all those inconveniences, but describing the Caribbean that way can only come from an ignorant person who is talking about something that she barely knows . It’s obvious that you haven’t visit Puerto Rico. This Caribbean Island is a paradise. I prefer to live here, 100 times better that in a place with snow storms, where the cold and heat both make people loose their lives. In the caribbean we haven’t heard of that ever. Unless you live in a forest, I don’t have insects around my home or anywhere that I frequently visit. We have a tourist town but we also have 77 other town where it is highly uncommon to find tourists. I can assure you this is not like a small town. The people I know are my family, my coworkers and some of my neighbors, and this is like this everywhere. I order anything in amazon, ebay or from my family in the states and it’s gonna be here within a week standard shipping, because if its overnight, you will have it in your porch next day. Those are just some of the reasons I have to prefer PR, but I have tons of facts. PLEASE do not send an incorrect idea of the caribbean to those that haven’t being here. Let them judge by their selfs, and it will depend on what caribbean island they visit!

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    • Hi Krystal…I’m going to guess you didn’t read the whole article. Living in the Caribbean is paradise, which is exactly what I wrote in the article. Please go back and read the rest so you see each of the points I made. Also please note that the article is for people moving to the Caribbean, and yes, those are all common complaints from tourists and expats who don’t realize that life is not a vacation. Thanks for the feedback.

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