Better-than-Gallo Beer Guide
So you want to drink beer, but you think that Gallo tastes like piss. First of all: you’re not alone, but don’t tell anyone that you feel that way. Guatemalans are somewhat protective of their national beer, and slandering it is not the move in most social situations. In light of this common but unspeakable sentiment, we’ve put together a list of beers that are better than Gallo. Please enjoy.
Güin is a sleek local IPA that’s new to the scene and picking up steam. You can get it in Botique Las Flores for Q20 a bottle, or in various bars and restaurants for between Q30 and Q40. The same guys just opened Casa Güin in Paisaje Enriquez, which probably boasts best selection of craft beer in town; they’ve got some 60+ beers from around the world there.
Tajamulco has a sweet, gentle character to it. It tastes a bit like caramel. It’s made in San Marcos (the departmental capital, not the village on the lake). That’s reason enough to buy it and an encouraging sign that Guatemala’s beer culture is spreading beyond the usual tourist hotspots. You can cop it at Shamrock, KasaKiwi and probably a couple other places besides that.
Moza probably isn’t going to change your life. My dad described it as tasting like a “dark, slightly metallic Pabst Blue Ribbon.” Joke’s on you, Dad: PBR already tastes like metal shavings. Moza is included here because it’s the best of the Ceveceria National beers. You can get it at Las Flores in cans for Q10 a pop, which is a screamin’ deal. Plus, the cans look cool, and they’re more portable and convenient than glass bottles. Great for activities.
Rogue, Abita, and Brooklyn are Guatemala’s tentpole imports when it comes to American craft brews. They’ll run you Q30-40 depending on the bougieness of the bar in question. Swing by El Cuartito and you can buy singles or six packs to take home. Also, check out our profile on pages 12 and 13 of the importer who brings these in.
Indio is a workaday Mexican ale – not as dark as Moza, but not as shitty as Gallo. It comes in tall boy cans, which means that you can get 4 whole more ounces of beer for your Q10 at Las Flores than you do with, say, Moza, which comes in puny 12oz containers. Because it’s a Mexican beer, people will think you a weirdo and possibly a snob. Ignore them.
Bohemia is the *real* snobby Mexican beer. Be sure to stick your pinky out while drinking it. It’s the only decent Mexican pilsner available abroad and isn’t half bad. Negro Modelo is the way to go if you’re looking for a dark Mexican beer, although it’s pretty tricky to find in Xela – get ready to throw some quetzalitos down at Pais.
Cadejo is a Salvadorian brew from a couple dudes with an Irish pub in San Salvador’s Zona Rosa. Think of it as the Guanaco version of Guin; both are named for characters from Central American folklore, both feature dog-beasts on the label, both represent the cosmopolitan degeneracy that’s slowly undermining the Castillo’s grip on Guatemalan beer. Both are worthy of your money, big spender, so get out there and buy some fancy beer.
Know of any beers we missed? Think that Gallo is really great and feel mad that we’re talking shit on it? Shoot Us at: firstname.lastname@example.org