At the end of the 18th century the first brewing industry was being established. The New Jersey/ Santo Domingo Brewing Company was formed with permission given to Simon J. Flatow by president Ulises Heureaux. This factory made beer, ice and the packaging. But, within a short time, the business closed because it just couldn't survive.

Beer was the second largest item being imported by Germany (Tobacco and Cacao were the largest items being exported at this time) in 1901. The German brands of beer being consumed at this time by the Dominican people included Beck's, St. Pauli Girl (called "Niña" here), Daisy and Holsten. Coming from USA were the brands Pabst Blue Ribbon and Malta Nutrine. From Bremen came Machete and Boya. The Dominican businessmen realized a change had to be made.

Charles H. Wanzer, a US industrialist, along with other business partners funded la Cervecería Nacional Dominicana/Dominican National Brewery (CND) with US$ 350,000 in 1929 (during the Trujillo years). The first beverages produced  by this new corporation were Beer Columbus, Beer Reina and Maltina Reina. The new era of the Dominican brewed beer arrived.

In 1952, with the acquisition of the Sociedad Cervecera Antillana, this became part of the CND and started making and marketing their first beverage, Malta Morena.

October 1977 the Cervecería Vegana the city of La Vega where Bermúdez rum was created and also Quisqueya Beer (Lager, 6% alcohol) was inaugurated.

In 1981 the Cervecería Cibao located in La Vega closed. They reopened with all new and modern equipment and joined forces with the Cervereria Vegana. With the new equipment they became very competitive and were making the sweet malted drink Malta India, making and marketing  Brava beer, en 1990 la  Dry beer, in 1993 they got the license to make and distribute Guinnes Extra Stout, in 1995 they sent the  Extract of Malta Maltina, and in 1996 the  red beer Soberana (has mild aroma, with a lightly bitter-sweet beginning and a sugary body. Needs to be served really cold).

Another change happened in 1983 history took a new turn. E. Leon Jimenes,C. por A . got involved in the brewing businesses when he became partners with one of the greatest and old breweries of the world, the Miller Brewing Company, a subsidiary of Philip Morris. They were involved in cigarette manufacturing also and decided to start a brewing and production businesses in Dominican Republic. This was the start of  the Bohemia Brewery, S.A. (CBSA).

The beer President Especial was first introduced to the public May 1935 by the Dominican National Brewery The Dominican people didn't like the high hops content of the European beer and they found the  North American beer to be too refined with little body and low alcohol content. So now the people had a beer that was made special for them and their preferences.

In 1950 beer consumption surpassed, for the first time, that of rum, the traditional drink of the country. The facilities on Ave. Independence were inaugurated in 1951 where the Cervecería Nacional Dominicana still located today.

Dominican National Brewery/ Cervecería Nacional Dominicana and Bohemia Brewery have more than 2,500 employees.They have an annual  production of 500 million liters of beer that reach more than 4 million consumers. Producing Presidente, Presidente Light, Bohemia Especial, Heineken, Ambar, Malta Morena. Importing Löwenbräu, Smirnoff Ice and Miller Genuine Draft.
picture/image bottle amber beer
picture/image bohemia especial beer bottle
picture/image bottle malta morena
picture/image bottle presidente beer
Cerveza/ Beer - A Little History
Some helps for drinking in Dominican Republic (opens in new window)
puddle-JUMP!- helps for drinking in DR
Bohemia Especial (also Bohemia Light) is a Pilsner type blonde beer that was introduced in 1983. The ingredients are water, malted barley, refined corn, hops. This combination gives this full bodied slightly fruity beer an alcoholic content of  5% per volume. It can be purchased in 12 and 22 oz and liter bottles and is best served really cold at about 0° C. It is a little less expensive than Presidente beer. In my opinion, if there is no electricity and you cannot find a really cold beer, Bohemia does not taste that bad if it is not quite as cold as it should be.
Presidente Cerveza is an icon of the Dominican Republic since its creation in 1935. It is the beer people think of when they think of this island in the Caribbean. It is always served cold, very cold (best served at -2° C) which is why it has the nick name "vestida de la novia" (dress of the bride) because of the coating of white frost covering the bottle. Enter any establishment and ask for a beer or a bien fria (cold beer) you will automatically be given a Presidente in the green bottle. Since the introduction of Presidente light you may be asked if you want an original  Presidente (which they call Presidente normal) or a Presidente light. This Blonde, Pilsner type beer is made with water, malted barley, refined corn, sugar and hops and has 5% alcohol per volume. They always use top quality ingredients for this Dominican icon. It is known for it's aroma, excellent flavor and fullness. One can find Presidente in 7, 12, 22 oz and liter bottles also in 12 oz. cans and plastic bottles. Presidente is known for its aroma, excellent taste and fullness. It is known throughout the Caribbean and is even found many locations throughout USA, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean, maybe even the world.  Presidente web site:
Ámbar is the first dark lager beer produced in the country in 2002. Made with water,a spicy malted barley, refined corn, sugar, hops and it's feature-defining low temperature active yeast. Ambar has an aroma, taste and color different quite different than blonde beers that were always found in Dominican Republic. With a higher alcohol content of 5.3% per volume, this heaver dark lager is available in 12 oz. brown colored glass bottles and should always be served ot a temperature of 0° C. Amber is a nice change from the normal blonde beers.

Heineken, a lager originally brewed in Amsterdam, is being produced by the Cervecería Nacional Dominicana under strict licensing since 1986. Using the original recipe of  water, Heineken's exclusive A-type yeast, malted barley and hops produces a beer with a fresh, fruity aroma with a slightly bitter taste having an alcohol content no more than 6% per volume. This beer can be found throughout the country.

Malta Morena is a delicious refreshing, nutritional and natural non-alcoholic beverage. This sweet malt beverage
made from water, malted barley, sugar, hops, corn semolina and caramel color is a drink preferred by those who do not want an alcohol beverage of may need a little boost of energy.


President Light is the first light beer to be made in Dominican Republic. It has the flavor of original Presidente beer but with a lighter taste. Introduced in February 2005 it has become very popular placing third only after the original Presidente (it is fast gaining popularity and most of the time now when you ask for a Presidente you will usually be served the light beer) and Bohemia in sales. This aromatic, full flavored beer is made from water, malted barley, refined corn, sugar and hops with an alcohol content of 4.3% by volume. Like the original Presidente it is sold in 7, 12, 22 oz and liter bottles and 12 ounce cans.
The One is a pilsner beer new to the market. It is a smooth beer with a slight taste of hops and an alcohol content of 4.7%. The One web site

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picture/image bottle of La Fuerza Vino
La Fuerza
There are not really many wines produced here in Dominican Republic. Here on our island they are not known for their grape crops. But they do have a wine that is typical for here. It is a red vine/ vino tinto called La Fuerza. This wine is made in Puerta Plata and is 9% alcohol by volume. It is the preferred wine to be used in the Mamajuana mixture.
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brahama beer
Brahama Beer - (Regular and Light) Made of water, malted barley, refined corn and hops.  A light pale beer with an alcohol content of 5% per volume. It is a Brazilian beer made here in Dominican Republic by AmBevDominicana and the price is lower than Presidente beer. It comes in Light and Ice also. Their slogan is "Tu puedes brindar mas" (You can share more).

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The group of companies of Leon Jimenes, known for manufacturing cigars/ cigarros and cigarettes/ cigarrillos installed  the Bohemia Brewery. Partnering with the Miller Brewing Company, a subsidiary of Philip Morris, with whom Leon Jimenes had been associated with since 1969, there were improvements made to the brewery to make it a state of the art brewery. Three years later, in 1986, the Groupo Leon Jimenes acquired most of the brewery in 1986 and made  the business stronger. 

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