After all those thick and rich Holiday libations we’ve had so much fun introducing over the past few weeks, I’m definitely in the mood for something lighter for today’s Friday Happy Hour. All the Coquito and Ponche de Creme are long gone anyway, and we’re supposed to be in training for another big race!
Seems like the perfect time for my other favorite beer in Aruba, Amstel Bright.
No, that’s not a typo. It really is Amstel BRIGHT with a “B”, not the same Amstel LIGHT better known throughout the world.
Like it’s Light cousin, Amstel Bright is easy on the carbs and alcohol content (only 5% by volume), making it ideal for a nice, warm day at the beach.
As for the taste, it’s a bit smoother with less of the bitterness found in Amstel Light. Some say the closest thing to it is Corona, which might explain why the one pictured here, which I enjoyed at Moomba Beach Bar, was served up with a slice of lime. This was unnecessary in my opinion as the Bright was just fine on its own.
Amstel Bright was also just fine on its own when it came to beers in Aruba before Balashi came along in 1999. One of the cabbies I rode with during my September 2010 trip to the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba explained that Amstel Bright was formerly brewed in Curacao exclusively for the Caribbean market, and was the beer of choice for years. But, the increasing availability of Venezuela’s less expensive Polar Beer combined with the birth of Balashi effectively pushed Amstel out of Curacao in 2005.
Amstel Bright is now brewed in Europe for export back to the islands. It may not be homegrown in the Caribbean anymore, but it certainly still has the right flavor and diet-beer character to keep your beach body in shape.