In early 2001 I became aware of Red Stripe for two distinct reasons. The Diageo company began to aggressively market Red Stripe in the United States by way of television commercials featuring a Jamaican comic and the slogan "Hooray Beer."
The other factor which increased my awareness of Red Stripe was that it began to appear in kosher restaurants which served beer. This of course was not based on the fact that it was under kosher supervision. Rather, the Red Stripe was featured based on the chazaka which allows for the presumption that beers which do not have flavorings or additives can be assumed to be kosher as the basic four ingredients (water, barley, hops and yeast) are generally acceptable.
While Red Stripe has seen a gradual increase of market share from the late 90's to present, they have now made an attempt to reach out to the kosher market as they are not certified kosher by the Star-K (although like many of the kosher flavors of Samuel Adams, they do not have the Star-K on the label).
The Red Stripe is a lager which bears a strong similarity to many domestic macro lagers. The beer pours a pale yellow with a good amount of foam. It is an easy drinking beer (4.7% abv) which would not clash with any dish, but also has no distinctive characteristics of its own. If you are looking for a basic lager you could do worse, but there are better lagers which are readily available.
Red Stripe Jamaican Lager is certified kosher by the Star-K, although like many of beers certified by the Star-K, there is no kosher certification on the label. If you would like to see the Star-K's LOC click here http://www.star-k.org/loc/kosher_letter_12831_redstripe.pdf.
For the experts take on Red Stripe Jamaican Lager, please click here http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/221/689. As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.
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