Britton: I recently spent the week with the President in the Dominican Republic. If you’ve been to the Dominican Republic, odds are you’ve spent some time with the President as well if you drink beer. Presidente is the beer of the Dominican Republic. In fact it is about the only beer in the entire country.
The moment I stepped off the plane I saw advertisements everywhere for Presidente. I didn’t see any other beer advertised which on one hand built up the anticipation to try this beer but made me nervous on the other hand. I was headed to an all inclusive resort. What if they only served Presidente and it turned out to be like most politicians – lots of hype but never really delivers?
After I got checked into my room, I headed down to the bar to see the beer selection that I would be enjoying for the week. And as I suspected – I ordered a cerveza and got a Presidente – my only option. The lovely bartender handed me a glass and I noticed its light, golden color. Based on the appearance I assumed I was going to be drinking the Dominican Republic’s version of a cheap, light beer. The smell was faint with a hint of corn and hops. The taste was crisp but nothing really special. The finish was a bit more bitter than comparable American lagers.
I wasn’t very impressed with my first glass of Presidente but when it’s the only thing to drink in the hot Dominican sun, it has a tendency to grow on you. It didn’t hurt that I didn’t have to pay for each one since it was an all inclusive. If you are going to try this beer, it tastes better when you are sitting in the hot sun. I got one at the airport on the way out to get a picture and it wasn’t nearly as good in that setting. For this beer, it is all about where you experience it. Grade: C
Taylor: My brother lives in Santo Domingo and brought me some Presidente on a recent trip home. I enjoyed this freezing Pilsner with a bowl of chili on a day when the heat index was over 100 degrees here in Chicago. There wasn’t much to the taste that I didn’t expect, other than the fact that I enjoyed it more than I anticipated. It was very cold, very crisp, and very refreshing. After finishing it, I didn’t feel any level of full. There are so many adjuncts out there and Presidente can’t possibly compete with craft beer, but as the token brew of the Dominican Republic, I’ve got to give it some props. I had a good bottle and really did enjoy every last drop. Grade: C+
My favorite words in this review are “all inclusive resort”. Yes please! And the beer sounds okay, too.
I was in the DR and a nun told me it was a sin not to try this beer. Go figure. My memory of beer experience was similar to yours – nothing special but refreshing nonetheless. Dominicans are better rum distillers than brewmasters.
Megan, all inclusives are hard to beat!
by the way, interview with Matthew Brynildson (Firestone Walker) about american craft beer:
I just tried Presidente for the first time. I drank a 20 ounce green bottle import….I loved it. It was a little watery, but had a great Kronenberg( I’m sure I mis-spelled that) like taste(I thought it was a lager). I usually prefer lagers to pilsner, but, Presedente is a new exception. I’m somewhat disappointed by America’s poor quality beer, America used to take pride in its beer, now its just cheap soda like swill. ( although, Mad Dog lager is pretty good). Presednte gets an A-
I, too, encountered this swill at an all-inclusive resort; and it really takes an awful beer to make Coors Light taste good. It got me to switch to mixed drinks for the duration of my stay.
This is, quite possibly, the worst beer that I have ever tasted. If I had nothing else to drink, I would have to chill this down to close to freezing to make it drinkable.