Piton Beer – La Biere St Lisi (The Beer of St Lucia)
Few beers go more hand-in-hand with their country of origin than Piton Beer does with Saint Lucia. The name alone immediately calls to mind The Helen of the West Indies. This, of course, is not by accident.
We have Heineken to thank for brewing Piton Beer in the first place. The Dutch brewing giant established its first Caribbean-based brewery in Saint Lucia in 1975. That brewery, the Windward and Leeward Brewery, Ltd., carries a long history of producing many beloved beers and soft drinks. Heineken, Amstel Bright, Guinness, and Vitamalt among them.
Piton Beer, though, is a relative newbie.
Windward and Leeward began producing Piton Beer in 1992. It was an immediate hit, of course, vibing, as it does, in name and image with Saint Lucia’s supremely iconic Piton Mountains.
So yeah, Piton Beer is La Biere St Lisi (The Beer of Saint Lucia) in name and appearance. Does it, though, live up to its pride of place in Saint Lucian society? I mean, is it any good?
What does Piton Beer taste like?
Piton Beer is a pilsener lager with a refreshing and surprisingly floral flavor profile. Windward and Leeward Brewing, Ltd. employ specially selected malt, hops, yeast, and maize in its production. This yields a light and pleasantly hoppy aroma/flavor underscored by very subtle notes of tropical fruits and florals.
This, of course, is very emblematic of Saint Lucia’s lush, tropical environs. Towering mountains and untamed rainforests here teem with fabulously fragrant wild flowers. Tropical fruit trees abound as well, benefiting from the island’s rich volcanic soil, freshwater rivers, and abundant sunshine.
Piton Beer embodies all of this; all that is Saint Lucia. If the island was a beer, then Piton is exactly what it would taste like.
As tasty as it is, is it any wonder that Piton has racked up an impressive array of awards in its short history? The honor roll of international prizes includes seven Monde Selection Awards – gold (2018, 2017, 2016, 1994), silver (2019, 1993), and bronze (2020).
Not bad for a newbie beer, right?
Can I buy Piton Beer in the US?
Sadly, Piton Beer is not distributed in the United States. You may on occasion, though, find it at a West Indian grocery store, particularly those located in the New York metro area and South Florida.
(You can, however, order this great Piton Beer t-shirt from Amazon.com.)
As it stands now, your best bet for enjoying a taste of Piton is to head down to Saint Lucia. I’d count that as a pretty nice side perk to enjoying a very special beer.