Beer in Bahrain

Month nine. Beer selection is lacking diversity; F*%#king expensive.

I could stop there. I won’t stop there, but I could. Bahrain is about what you would expect from an Islamic nation. Alcohol, while legal, is not for the locals. Alcohol is for the me and the you, who are visiting this island for a bit. I am luckier than most as I have access to the Navy base here, which does its best to stock more than just Carlsberg, Bud, or Heineken. Why, just tonight, I had a Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye, a Warsteiner, and now I’m polishing off a Kona Island Lager. If you aren’t as lucky for me, may I suggest catching the next flight to a more beer friendly nation?

All hope is not lost, however. The British have been here longer than those pesky Americans, therefore there is more catering to British tastes than American. That means at more than one bar I have found Wells Bombarider ale. One pint was good, one was god-awful (for those counting, that means I’ve found it at two bars).

Which brings me to the other problem with finding good beer in a country that does not have a friendly relationship with booze: proper care and attention. Since many of the owners and bartenders in Bahrain don’t drink their offerings, how can they be expected to make sure their product is properly taken care of and in servable condition? They can’t. I don’t hate them for it, that is their right. But, hire someone who does drink and who knows how to take care of draft lines, how to keep kegs fresh, how to not make me want to throw a pint of ale against the wall. Please?

There really isn’t a point to this, other than to give you an idea of this country and it’s beer habits. The basics are:

  • Beer can be found at a vast number of hotel bars/restaurants
  • Carlsberg is the most popular beer
  • Cider is more common than I would have ever expected (Strongbow, Somersby, Savanna)
  • Poor imitations of the Irish Pub theme are rather common- this one actually makes them similar to many other beer drinking nations
  • Cheap beer is expensive. 3BD is common. 1BD = $2.6 Yikes.
  • On certain days and in certain bars you will find yourself drinking among many Saudis. They like booze.

I’ve crossed Bahrain off the short list of locations to open my eventual brewery.


One thought on “Beer in Bahrain

  1. Abdul

    Hey Sir,

    I enjoyed reading some of your posts! I’m an inspiring home brewer not in action yet, as I just moved from Socal to Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

    I have been dying to have an IPA, I went to Bahrain and I was disappointed for the limited beer selection offered in most bars, where could I find an IPA like Sculpin in Manama?


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