The featured beer painting of the day is of Red Stripe Jamaican Style Lager from Red Stripe Beer Company in Latrobe, PA (the same place where Rolling Rock was brewed until 2006). When I bought this bottle, I thought it was brewed in Jamaica by Desnoes and Geddes Limited. I love the aesthetic of a Red Stripe Lager bottle in my hand, but my concern is how authentic this beer actually is. The screen-printed bottle felt a little small in my hands, and when I read the label to find out where it was produced, I found out that it was in Latrobe, PA. Only about seven years ago I remember having a bottle that was pint-sized, and the beer was brewed in Jamaica. What happened? Guinness purchased Desnoes and Geddes in 1993, and started brewing non-imported Jamaican-style lager in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania a few years ago. Now, the only actual Jamaican Lager is only available in Jamaica, Brazil, Canada and Europe. I did like the product in this squat 11.2 oz bottle, it was very drinkable and quenched my thirst. When I opened it, I smelled Rolling Rock beer, and that’s when I read the label closer, and saw Latrobe, PA right there. I guess my palate has been improving. Not only did I recognize that this beer was a domestic product, but I could tell which brewery contract-brewed it. That being said, I won’t discourage you from buying this beer, but keep in mind, it is like having a reggae party in Alaska. You might capture a little bit of the Jamaican spirit, but it won’t be the real deal until you actually hit the sand of Jamaica.
Cheers to Red Stripe, the beer that embodies the spirit of Jamaica! May your rhythm, soul, and people stay true to your culture!