The Best Beers In Puerto Rico

The blossoming beer scene in Puerto Rico has a lot of momentum. While not close to bountiful beer states like California or North Carolina, you could more accurately compare the island to states like Mississippi.

I say this with recency bias, having just spent some time in the southern state where only in the last several years has it become legal for breweries to have their own on-site taprooms. You read that correctly. You could not actually drink beer at a brewery where it was made. Yeah.

But that has changed, and now breweries are gaining more popularity and industrious homebrewers are racing to make the leap to professional brewing.

The progression in Puerto Rico is not quite the same, but the current:beer landscape is nearly identical.

There's a few breweries making a name for themselves, and some hidden gems that can be found. Craft beer bottles in stores are not ubiquitous, but not uncommon either, although the freshness is often questionable. You may find a brewery in a town, or you may find out they're just an elaborate homebrewer in transition. There's some amazing beer, but there's also a lot of inconsistent attempts by those who assume if they have the right portfolio (an IPA, a stout, a fruit beer, etc) then that alone qualifies them as "craft."

Let's jump to the best beer in Puerto Rico.

Ocean Lab Brewing

This is the craft beer you'll probably see and enjoy the most. Between all the bottles I drank, and a stop into the taproom just a few hours before my flight out, I tried at least eighteen of their beers during my few weeks in Puerto Rico.

I'll go right ahead and declare their Hop Diver IPA as my favorite beer in Puerto Rico.

Their other beers ranged from a blood orange blonde, a brown ale, a cookie dough stout, a blueberry ale, a harvest IPA and many more across the board.

Their wide range of styles, generally good quality and common availability at bottle shops and taps makes them the top brewery in Puerto Rico, in my opinion.

The other notable beers in Puerto Rico

Some of the other beers I tried came from FOK, Boxlab, Boqueron, Senorial, Del Oeste, Old Harbor and Zurc.

FOK is quite prevalent as well, and their IPA was drinkable.

Boxlab and a satelite taproom in the west called "Beer Box" which has theirs and other Puerto Rican beers on tap. Of their two IPAs, one was quite good while the other tasted a little dry and stale. I liked the vibe in taproom and the relatively large selection.

From Boqueron I most enjoyed their Crash Boat IPA, which I did not see much of, but jumped at the six-pack of cans when I finally got the chance.

Senorial made a halfway decent porter, and a triple with honey... a little to sweet and syrupy for my taste.

Del Oeste makes an Oktoberfest, but frankly it tastes lie a dull commercial version of what it could be. I didn't get a chance to try their other offerings.

Beer in Puerto Rico is getting better

My one big take away is that the craft beer scene is on the rise. By the next time I go to the island I'm sure there will be even more to try, quality will improve, taprooms will pop up and bottles will be easier to find more prevalent.

Good beer is spreading around the world, and that makes my travels happy.