It may not be the first thing on your travel checklist, but if I am to be honest one of the top questions I had on my mind once I had applied for the web developer job at S.W.A.P. was: “What is the local beer like?”
Short answer: Brilliant!
Vailima is Samoa’s “Very own beer.” First brewed in 1978 it is Samoa’s only mass-produced local beer. It is a tasty German style lager created in a joint venture between the Government of Samoa and a German company Haase Braurei. Vailima is named after a small local mountain village near Apia and translated literally means “Water in the hand”.
There is nothing better than a cold Vailima during a hard day’s holidaying/programming in Samoa and all of the local bars, supermarkets and corner stores stock it.
Vailima comes it two bottle sizes, 355ml (12 FL. OZ.) or 750ml (25.4 FL.OZ.) and is also available on tap in various bars. Pricing varies immensely depending on where you buy it. The smaller bottles can be anywhere from $3-$5 Tala and the larger bottles $5-$8+ Tala. The cheaper prices are obviously available in places like local supermarkets and corner stores whereas the more expensive prices are charged in bars and high class resorts.
Weighing in at 4.9% Alcoholic content is has a decent kick, but pleasantly surprises with the lack of hangover the next day, which helps keep both the boss and me happy!
In controlled experiments I have also found that Vailima has greatly increased my programming productivity, but only If I adhere strictly to the Ballmer Peak theorem.
(Pilfered from XKCD)
Oh and by the way, two pieces of useful advice regarding Vailima.
- The bottles you get Vailima in could be green or brown, there is no difference, so don’t bother asking – you just look silly to the locals – as I found out today.
- Don’t throw the bottles away after you have drained their precious contents. They are worth money and the local friends you make here will be more than willing to take them off your hands and return them for a few Seni.
Next up on my must try “beer experiences” in Samoa is tracking down some homebrew beer, which can apparently be had for the ridiculous price of $15 Tala for 3-4 Litres. Wish me luck!