Tipping a new Belikin beer in honor of Sir Barry

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Three tanker trucks collide on a highway and their skins split open and pour their contents onto the road. One is filled with peanut butter. Another is filled with chocolate. The third is filled with marshmallow.

 The result is the creation of a universally beloved candy bar. (And everyone survives the crash, including a little baby found on the scene but apparently not connected to the accident. The Miracle Baby, nicknamed Sweetness, becomes the face of the new candy bar and .000001 percent of all profits go into her education fund for college.)

 The combination captures the public imagination and pretty soon the Internet is flooded with recipes for chocolate-peanut butter-marshmallow brownies, cookies, sandwiches, facial cremes, bath-ware and T-shirt designs.

A famous interior designer centers his whole creative season on this color scheme, as does a well-known, but recently unappreciated, fashion designer.

 Several years later, Detroit’s car makers offer this color scheme on a limited number of vehicles for an extraordinarily high premium fee. Japanese automakers have been offering the same color scheme for free only a week after the now-legendary collision.

 The San Diego Padres adopt the brown-tan-and-white color scheme for their uniforms and within a year manage to rise one position above last place in their division.

 

The Altun Ha Mayan ruins are the logo and label of Belikin beers, symbolizing the deep ties of the brewery to the national identity.
The Altun Ha Mayan ruins are the logo and label of Belikin beers, symbolizing the deep ties of the brewery to the national identity.

Okay. None of this has happened. As far as I know.

It started this morning as I was thinking “Gee, a great narrative can really spark the public imagination and move product.” In other words, a good story sells.

Oh sure, you can be cynical about it and make up a good story, as I just did. But I prefer a true story. Most people do. And if it moves people and inspires them to buy a product, so be it.

Take beer. There aren’t many great narratives out there behind popular beers.

Oh, there’s the one where Alexander Graham Bell accidentally spills orange juice into his beer and shouts “Holy, shit, Watson come in here and taste this!  And hurry up, you’re missing the game.”

This morning, though, a San Pedro Scoop blog post from Belize – bet you were wondering if I would ever get around to it –about a new beer almost had me teary eyed.

Not the part about the unveiling of the 2014 Belikin Beer swimsuit model calendar.

The late Sir barry Bowen, a photo from 2010. His memory will be resurrected in honor of his daughter's wedding with a beer crafted from his favorite hops/
The late Sir Barry Bowen, in a photo from 2010. His memory will be resurrected in honor of his daughter’s wedding with a beer crafted from his favorite hops.

The part about a special limited distribution batch that is being brewed in honor of the May 2014 wedding of the youngest daughter of the late-owner of Belikin beer, Sir Barry Bowen, by her brother Michael.

Bowen and Bowen Ltd. distributes just about everything that is imbibed in Belize – Crystal bottled water, Belikin beers and Guinness, Cocoa-Cola products, among them. Sir Barry was also into national politics, eco-tourism, organic farming, aquaculture and cocoa and coffee growing.

Several years ago, the very popular Sir Barry died when a small Cessna plane he was piloting crashed on approach to San Pedro Town’s airport on Ambergris Caye. He was only 64 years old. The tragic crash killed four others in the plane. Sir Barry, a seventh generation Belizean, was accorded a state funeral attended by the prime minister, among other dignitaries.

Now, as youngest daughter, Courtney, prepares to marry, her brother Michael is using their father’s favorite strain of hops to brew up a special beer for her and the public, in memory of their father. For a limited time.

I found this  moving. And since we shall be living in Belize well before May I intend to acquire some bottles of this brew and drink them in honor of the Bowen family.  My impression is that the Bowens are as close to a royal family as Belize will ever have.  And as a former British colony, I suspect Belizeans embrace royal weddings as much as the English do.

Well, we’ll find out, won’t we?  Meanwhile,  what I can say, from first-hand experience, is that Belikin beer is the perfect beverage for Belize – light, sunny, breezy and refreshing. And cheap.

Although the 12 ounce bottles are pretty damn small for real beer drinkers.

Expat

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3 thoughts on “Tipping a new Belikin beer in honor of Sir Barry

    Emily said:
    October 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Lovely post. But the Belikin bottles are not 12 oz and do not even pretend to be. They are measured in ml; I can’t remember how many, but when we lived in San Pedro I did the calculation and recall that they were quite a bit less than 12 oz, sadly. The glass is so heavy that you assume you’re getting a 12 oz. brew, but it is sadly not so. Of course Lighthouse is even smaller. I suspect some of your readers currently in Belize can provide the exact measurements.

    Enjoying your beautifully written blog!

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      October 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      You are so right, Emily. I just double-checked: 12 oz. bottle, 9.6 ounces of beer! One reference says the local joke is there is as much bottle as there is beer in a Belikin ….
      I can attest to the thickness of the bottles. The handle on a six-pack broke and it all crashed to the concrete floor. Not a single bottle broke, or even cracked. The clerks in the store started laughing as one guy said, “That’s Belikins!”
      Thanks for reading the blog, Emily! Did I read correctly that you guys are back in the states now? Are you planning on returning to Belize some time? Our goal is to travel a lot, too. We’re hoping that a less-expensive lifestyle in Belize will make that possible.

      Like

        Emily said:
        October 27, 2013 at 2:47 pm

        Hi Robert…I am not sure why the smaller bottles in Belize. Carib even had to make a smaller size for the Belize market (I guess in order not to over-compete with Belikin). In the BVI, Caribs are a full 12 oz. The thickness of Belikin bottles came in handy, though, when we had to return a bunch of them on our bikes. I’ve heard tell that they are thicker to keep the beer colder in such a hot climate, but it still seems to get warm way too fast!

        As for your question, yes, we moved back to the US in March. You can read our final Belize blog post if you didn’t see it before on http://bebelize.weebly.com/. We have fine memories of Belize but ultimately decided that we needed a larger playground — full-time living on an island was just a bit too limiting since we wanted to travel a lot more, and we have been! But we will definitely be back to visit!

        Your blog is a gem, and I look forward to keeping up with your future adventures.

        Like

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