Just returned from Aruba, kicking and screaming all the way. After six days in a beachfront room at the Tamarinj All-Inclusive, suddenly it isn’t blue out the window any more. So here I am reluctantly starting the re-compression process. I must say that I would visit Aruba again in a heartbeat, having greatly enjoyed the snorkeling, especially at Baby Beach and at the Antilla shipwreck. The water is wonderful, as is the sheer beauty of the beach at Tamarijn and the neighboring Divi All-Inclusive.
As you might expect, rum is very much a part of the Aruba experience, and I discovered the pleasures of Myers Dark Rum and Seagram’s Ginger. But I digress.
In the spirit of the mission of the NBPLF, it was necessary to repeatedly sample Balashi, the principal product of Brouwerij Nacional Balashi and the only beer brewed in Aruba. This is a pilsener, predictably in a Dutch style (since it’s a Dutch island). It’s a very straight-forward pilsner, quite clean with a slight dusty aftertaste. I am literally writing home about it, but it’s not something that I would really seek out off-island. Since it isn’t shipped beyond the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao) this isn’t really an issue.
I also tried Chill, also from Balashi. I like this a bit more. It’s very much a New World lager, reminding me tremendously of Corona, and served with a slice of lime. I’m skeptical of beers improved by the addition of slices of citrus, but I have to say it’s quite refreshing.
At the airport on the way out, I finished up with Chill and then a nice big Stella Artois. Obviously this is more commonly available, and is a very clean and tasty pilsner. We have crossed the cultural border between Dutch territory and Belgian. Most satisfactory, and this is precisely what it looked like: