This blog documents my attempt to drink a beer from every country in the world and every state in the United States.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Country #1: St. Lucia

Beer: Piton Lager

Brewery: Windward and Leeward Brewing Company, Vieux Fort, St. Lucia

ABV: 5.0%

I begin the international portion of this blog not with a large country known for its beer, nor a country with special significance to me, nor a country most people have probably even heard of. I will start it off with the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia of all places, and its only domestically produced beer, Piton Lager.

Here it is! St. Lucia's best beer, without debate!

St. Lucia is tiny. It’s only about the size of New York City (if you subtracted Staten Island, which most New Yorkers and some Staten Islanders would be just fine with), and its population is on par with Overland Park, Kansas. But they make a beer there! The beer is named after the Pitons, two dormant volcanic peaks on the island that are something of a national symbol in a country without much space for symbolism (the triangle-shaped emblem on St. Lucia’s flag is supposed to represent the Pitons).

The big pointy thing is a Piton. Seriously.
And it’s not a bad beer, if you have realistic expectations. Throughout this venture I will be sampling many fizzy yellow beers that are the only offering from their respective nations: Crap National Lagers, if you will. Piton shall be the first of many. You can just look at the picture and know exactly what it tastes like: not great, but still better than Budweiser. Considering the balmy weather that is the norm in St. Lucia, I bet it hits the spot when you’re there.

At left, the actual Pitons (courtesy of Panoramio user man@helm). I guess whoever was drawing the mountains on the label and on the bottle cap were looking at the Pitons from the island itself.
How the hell did I even get this beer? Good question, considering it’s only exported to four other equally tiny Caribbean countries, according to the back of the bottle. It turns out I have really great friends: my newly married friend Chad stuffed a bottle of Piton amongst his filthy honeymoon laundry and brought it back from St. Lucia for me. I am blessed to have such people in my life. 

Piton is only available in St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent, Grenada, and Antigua. And Chad's luggage.
So, in honor of this feat of generosity, I will hereby grant The Chad Award to anyone who brings me back a beer from a really obscure or faraway country. I’m not talking “Portugal” obscure; I’m talking “Togo” obscure, or “Timor Leste” obscure. Your only reward would be my gratitude. Or, maybe I’ll rename the award after you.
Piton is only available in 275 mL bottles (12 oz. bottles are about 330 mL, for you metric-deficient readers). Here's what it looks like in a full-sized pint glass. New motto: Piton: A small beer for a small country!

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