What is it about a local brew that ignites the same national die-hard loyalty as a local football team embarking into the World Cup?
While riding in our taxi from the airport in Mauritius over to Grand Bay, our driver points out the brewery for the local Phoenix beer with an understated pride. Our first touristic site! There’s even a statue of a phoenix at the roundabout facing the brewery.
When we arrive to a new country, trying the local brew is always top on our list – right up there with trying native dishes and mingling with the locals. The Phoenix is readily available across the country and we ordered our first glasses of it the day we arrived (and then several times after that).
We didn’t know where the name of the beer originated from but considering the volcanic roots of the island, a rising phoenix from the ashes is suitably representative of the young country and its optimistic outlook for the future. With a tag-line of “Nou Pays. Nou Labiere” (Our Country, Our Beer), it was made even clearer as to why our taxi driver had made a point of showing us the brewery.
Our review of the brew? Light and perfectly fitting for the island lifestyle. You really don’t want a heavy lager while lounging on the beach – especially enjoyable when it’s chilled and drunk right from the bottle (like any beer, I guess). We also spotted the beer’s premium “big sister”, the Blue Marlin, at a few bars but didn’t have a chance to try as the Phoenix quickly became our top choice.
The Phoenix might not have much local competition on the island, but hey – that’s also not such a bad thing when it’s this good!