“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”― Abraham Lincoln
Cerveza India, a historic beer
In the early, to mid-90s I was a teenager transitioning from a rural town and highschool to college and various cities including San Juan. Those years were my revolutionary years. The revolution of self-identity perhaps. I guess I was looking to pave my own road without having a clear picture of where I was going.
I remember the Cerveza India commercials in those days. They presented young people who were also looking to write their own destiny and break away from the norm. So the commercials really got to me.
When I moved away from my parent’s house in the rural mountain town of Utuado, I was sure I was never going back. Years later, destiny took me one more time there for very special reasons and against my own will. I worked in a known steak house in the Condado District of San Juan and my hangouts back then varied to how much money I had and with whom I hung out with. Cerveza India was not part of my drinking days. So I really never drunk the beer on a regular basis.
A couple of years later I ended up in New Orleans, so I totally forgot about it. I found it again when I visited Puerto Rico during my vacation days, but that was it.
Limited Edition, in time for the Holidays
It wasn’t until November 2019 when Cervecera de Puerto Rico announced the launch of this Puerto Rican beer, some 81 years after it was first introduced.
The new launch, after around 20 years after it went out of the market, was a limited one. The company announced 50,000 cases of which I have gotten six. Four in Trujillo Alto and two in Utuado. After a tip from one of my best friends that WhatsApped me the spotted locations.
Just in time for the Holidays! (And that is why this blog post made it to the Holiday Series).
Launched in 1938 in Mayaguez, a west coast city, this lager style beer was the beer that initiated beer culture in Puerto Rico. Brothers Alfonso, Sabino y Ramon Valdes Cobian built not so much a company as they did a tradition. The beer was featured as a sponsor in many tv shows as well as sporting and cultural events.
This beer has a hint of sweetness and is stronger than its sister Medalla Light. Some find hints of corn and mild malt taste with moderate hops. I find it refreshing and easy to drink. Some people complain about too much carbonation, however, to me, it’s what makes it refreshing. With a 4% alcohol minimum, just three or four will relax you enough to enjoy the evening.
So this year for our Holiday celebrations, India was the beer we were drinking. We had it with several heavy Puerto Rican holiday dishes like roasted pork, pasteles, cabrito, fried finger foods, and even for the BBQ grilled Thanksgiving turkey.
Hopefully, they’ll do another limited edition next holiday season and so on. That would be a really great tradition!