We’ve never seen this corroborated with actual numbers, but we’ve heard that Jamaica consumes more Guinness per capita than any other place. If that’s true, that would somehow mean that Jamaica consumes more Guinness than Ireland. And that can’t be true. But our own uncorroborated rum-bar observations suggest Guinness is the most popular Jamaican beer, with Red Stripe and Heineken coming at a distant second and third. (And Dragon Stout, Jamaica’s own homegrown answer to Guinness, somewhere behind them).
The thing about Guinness in Jamaica is that it isn’t just for drinking and getting loose. Stout is also prescribed by many Jamaicans as a cure-all, used for colds, coughs and hangovers, kind of the way some Latin Americans swear by Vicks Vapor Rub (“Vivaporu!”). Jamaica also celebrates Arthur Guinness Day as if the beer baron was some sort of yardie founding father. And it’s become the basis for several different desserts, including a popular punch said to make men more virile.
We’re not sure where making ice cream with Irish Stout originated but it seems to have been popularized at Devon House I-Scream, the popular concession at one of Kingston’s most popular historical sites. (Devon House was the home of George Stiebel, the island’s first Black millionaire). Devon House I-Scream markets the flavor as “Devon Stout,” keeping us guessing at which stout they actually use.
Pictured: Taste The Tropics (1839 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn; 718-856-0821)