It’s one of the oldest arguments on the island. Of the two major Canarian beer brands available on the islands, which one tastes the best?
If it comes to age, there’s no argument. Tropical is the oldest brand, established in 1924 on Gran Canaria. Dorada was founded in 1939, but didn’t produce any beer until the blockade on German equipment ended with the end of the war.
Although both brands are now owned by the same company – the Compañía Cervecera de Canarias – they are still manufactured on separate islands. Dorada’s logo features Mount Teide, reflecting its Tenerife origin, Tropical bears the head of a mastiff, one of the emblems of Gran Canaria.
As a result, there is a bit of inter-island rivalry between the brands. Tropical sells more beer overall, probably because the province of Las Palmas has more tourism, but Dorada dominates on Tenerife, the island that drinks most beer.
Tropical’s range is limited. There’s a normal pilsner, a non-alcohol version and a lemon flavoured beer, and the image it projects is one of fun, beaches, and sunshine. The company once sent a can of beer 30 kilometres into the atmosphere for a publicity stunt and claims to have created world records for the largest beach towels and inflatable mattress.
Dorada appeals to more serious drinkers, also offering zero alcohol and lemon versions, but also an “Especial” range of red, dark, wheat and extra malt beers, which have performed well in the island’s gourmet beer market.
After decades of competition, the two brands launched a joint publicity campaign shortly after the Covid pandemic started, calling for unity among the islands, and this continued as they supported La Palma during last year’s volcanic eruption.
But we still haven’t answered the burning question: which is best? We asked Gazette readers online to vote on the issue, and the result was close, with the Canarian beers running neck and neck for most of the time. However, in the final straight Dorada just squeezed ahead of Tropical by 39 votes to 34.
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