Tours Travel

Aruba’s Golden Brew

After spending a few days in Aruba, you may notice a unique brand of beer that is served in every bar and restaurant on the island. Balashi, Aruba’s favorite local beer, is one of the most popular products produced in Aruba. Starting small just ten years ago, Balashi Brewery has grown into one of the most acclaimed beers in the world. Meanwhile, Balashi Brewery has built a truly state-of-the-art facility complete with European-style beer garden that has quickly become a favorite destination for traveling families and locals alike.

As the island of Aruba retains much of its Dutch colonial charm, it makes sense that Balashi has always been produced using the best European brewing traditions. Klaus Eckert, the renowned German brewmaster, experimented with beers during Balashi’s early days, eventually developing the brewery’s flagship beer. The resulting pilsner variety exhibits a deep golden hue, minimal bitterness, and the distinctive aroma of fresh hops. Balashi’s world-class flavor is created using hand-selected Scottish malt and German hops, allowing the beer to compete with Europe’s best beers year after year.

While many beers have earned the favor of judges and beer lovers around the world, few have earned as much respect as Balashi in such a short time. While the Balashi brewery’s parent company, Brouwerij Nacional Balashi, was founded more than ten years ago, the first batch of Balashi wasn’t brewed until May 1999. It only took two years for the awards to start rolling in. prestigious brewing competitions, beginning with the 2001 Gold Medal at the Monde Selection in Brussels. Courtesy of a state-of-the-art brewing facility valued at $12 million, Balashi’s consistent quality won the Big Gold medal in 2004.

If you visit the facilities, you will have the opportunity to participate in the free daily tour. Visitors are guided along a walkway above the brewery floor as the guide describes the complex process of brewing, from the earliest stages of fermentation to bottling and packaging. As Balashi has become a source of local pride, the tours are always energetic and provide an atmosphere the whole family can enjoy. Free one-hour tour runs every weekend at 10am

After touring the Balashi facility, you should definitely take some time to relax in the brewery’s famous beer garden. Modeled after the cozy patios of Holland, Aruba’s motherland, Balashi’s beer garden has quickly become a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike. In addition to getting the chance to sample Aruba’s award-winning beverage at its freshest, you can enjoy incredible views of the island’s unspoiled countryside from every seat in the beer garden. Kids can try the brewery’s special non-alcoholic beer, a healthy drink known as Malta. Brewed in the same way as Balashi beer, the malt is not fermented and the end product is a slightly sweet, dark-colored beverage unique to Aruba.

Oddly enough, just a few years ago, ordering a “Balashi Cocktail” at a restaurant or bar in Aruba would have netted you a glass of fresh drinking water. Named for the island’s desalination plant located in the region known as Balashi, the water has since become an integral part of Aruba’s brewing success. Since the name Balashi comes from a pair of native Aruac words meaning “near the sea,” it seems an apt title for one of the Caribbean’s most famous beers. Also, since the brewery is located among the remnants of a once-vibrant gold mining industry in the Balashi region, the distinctive sparkle of Aruban beer seems more connected to the unique history and landscape of the island. .

As sampling local produce is often one of the great joys of travel, be sure to visit the brewery that has quickly become a source of national pride for all Arubans.

Justin Burch writes Aruba travel articles for Marriott Resorts

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