Breweries "Visited"

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

No More Love on the Run

Beer #304 Piton Lager / Windward & Leeward Brewing Company, Vieux Fort, St. Lucia

Old man basketball happening at 8:30 tonight, which means I'm getting ahead of some posting before I head out to thunder dunk on some fools miss some jump shots.

Tonight's beer is a rare and rather welcome selection - Piton Lager, from Windward and Leeward Brewing Company in sunny and warm St. Lucia.  This one came to me from a very generous and incredibly kind co-worker who brought some back after her recent honeymoon.  This is important, because unless you're sitting in a bar on a Caribbean island, you aren't ever going to be drinking one of these beers as they don't ship stateside.  Score one for the world famous beer bloggers!

This lager pours with a clear gold color, and a thin wispy white head.  When you inhale, you get an aroma of grain, and the taste is crisp and clean, with grain notes and very mild hints of citrus.  Hits just the right spot at 5% ABV.  But is it any good?

The word "terroir" exists in wine circles, and it's a French word that roughly means "sense of place."  There's no exact translation to English, but the phrase accounts for all of the surrounding things that influence a bottle of wine - the soil, the climate, the air, the whatever goes into the grapes.  It's how the same grapes grown in two different places give you rather different wines.  I bring this up not because you care about wine (maybe you do), but because on merit alone, Piton isn't a terribly great beer.  It's very plain and simple, with zero happening in the complexity department.  Yes, it's better than Budweiser, but seriously that isn't too hard to do.  That being said, I believe "terroir" applies to beer as well, as you need to consider where this beer is made and what goes into and who their audience might be before you judge this brew.  In fact, this beer is downright fantastic when consumed in the right place at the right time.  Such as, while lounging a swim up bar as part of an all-inclusive package (thanks, Sandals Resorts!).  Or while on a clean, quiet, warm, sandy beach, staring at the crystal clear water you just went snorkeling in.  If you think about the sense of place for this beer, it all makes perfect sense and becomes quite delightful.  Would love to have a few more bottles of Piton, but I guess that's going to require me to fly to the islands - which sounds like a perfectly good idea right about now, quite frankly.
Close your eyes, and listen to the waves
This brewery was opened in 1992, and is majority owned by Heineken.  The beer itself was named for two mountains (Gros Piton and Petit Piton) that rise up majestically on the western coast of the island.  In addition to being shown on the beer label, the Pitons are depicted on the national flag as well:
Flag of St. Lucia
Piton was originally only sold on St. Lucia, but capacity increases at the brewery now allow the beer to be sold in other delightful places such as Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, and Trinidad and Tobago, to name a few.  On vacation in the southern Caribbean?  Drink a Piton.  Trust me.

Thing to Think About Today:
There could only be one possible thing to think about when drinking a beer from the Caribbean.   Exactly one thing, exclusively one thing, and you know it and I know it, so let's just get on with some Caribbean Queen from Billy Ocean!

"She said I was the tiger she wanted to tame...."

P.S. - what's with the woman in the red flannel sitting in front of Billy.  What's that all about?

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