Balashi: The Unspoken King Of Aruba
By Ryan, one of our loyal members. I am not a huge beer drinker, but when I find one I like, I really get excited about it. A year or so ago I tried a beer called Balashi and I have been a bit obsessed with it since then. I have had several beers that were more expensive, but they cannot come close to this one. Arubans like beer that is golden, clear, and smooth with a bit of an aftertaste, and Balashi fits the bill in every way.
The fact that this beer is the only beer brewed in Aruba and the brewery offers tours every weekday is more than enough reason for anyone to take a trip there. The brewery was founded in 1996, and the first batch of Balashi Beer was brewed in 1999. The beer is said to be special because it is made using only water from the island. The malt that is used to make this beer is from Scotland and the hops are sent straight from Germany.
Balashi holds a strong sense of pride for the people of Aruba. In fact, the citizens are the ones who named the beer. There was a contest held when the brewery was first introduced and this is the name that most of the public voted for. The name is a derivation of the terms "Balana" and "Bala Bala." The meaning of the name is "near the sea," which is great considering the fact that most people think of beautiful beaches and water when they think of Aruba.
I remember the first time that I tried Balashi. I was on my second trip to Aruba and I was enjoying the tropical feel of the country. I am from a much colder climate, so this was definitely a little slice of heaven. My friend and I were looking for something to do and the front desk clerk at out hotel suggested we go to the Balashi brewery for a tour. As I said before, I am not a huge beer drinker, so this idea did not immediately appeal to me. I only went because my friend insisted we should.
We went to the brewery with the full intent of having a tour, but we were told that we had missed it. That ruined our moods until we were told that we could go across the street and spend some time at the Balashi Beer Garden. This is a place where lots of tourists and locals come to get a bite to eat and enjoy some of this delicious beer. I wasn't going to have any, but once I tasted my friends I wanted one of my own. Not only was the beer tasty, but it complemented the food I ordered.
The following day we called the brewery to see if we could get a tour, but we were told that they had reached the limit of people they were taking on the tour. That was our last day in Aruba, so sadly we did not get a chance to go. We made a vow to one another that we would be back, not only because of the Balashi, but that was one of our reasons for wanting to return.
I am a little sad that I am not able to find Balashi beer in the US. Apparently it is not imported here, so the only way to get it is for me to go over there. In some ways this frustrates me, but when I think really hard about it, I am only more anxious to get back to Aruba to have more.