Beer In the Bahamas

My family and I took a cruise from Baltimore to the Bahamas in December. Usually when we travel, we (meaning my wife) will do a lot of research so that we can eat and drink like a local as best as we can. On a cruise, that’s a little harder to do since we have limited time at ports. But for Nassau, we (meaning she) were able to put together a couple of itineraries that could give us as much of a sense of Bahamian cuisine as we had time for.

We had a fast option and a leisurely option. The leisurely option involved lunch at a restaurant that sounded popular with the city’s residents, conveniently located halfway between the Queen’s Steps and the Straw Market.  The fast option involved a quick bite at a food stand right by the port that sounded popular with the city’s cab drivers. Ultimately, we look the fast option because it was a bit rainy and my son wanted to get back on the boat. (If a port doesn’t involve a beach, the kid wants nothing to do with it, I guess.) We had conch fritters and freshly made conch salad at a stand called Linda’s Place, and both dishes were delicious.

More pertinent to this blog, we also made a point of trying two local beers: Kalik, the old mainstay that is owned by Heineken, and Sands, a Freeport-based brand whose brewmaster is German. We took a kayak tour in Freeport and asked our tour guide which one he preferred. He said Sands without any hesitation. “Kalik is owned by Heineken. Sands is the Freeport beer and… well, it’s brewed by a German, but it’s good.”

We agreed with him wholeheartedly. Sands has a rich, wheat flavor that reminded us (not surprisingly) of some of our favorite German and Austrian beers. It went well with the aforementioned fritters and salad.

Kalik is a bit more like an American lager. We would have loved it if we drank it at the beach. (The beach bar was staffed by the cruise ship, so it had more… macro offerings.) Instead, we brought a couple of cans on board and drank them while bundled up on the balcony as we sailed back to Baltimore. We definitely did that wrong, but at least we had one last splash of the Bahamas before we got home.