Famosa (Gallo) | Cervecería Centro Americana, S.A.

141 Reviews
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Famosa (Gallo)Famosa (Gallo)

Brewed by:
Cervecería Centro Americana, S.A.

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer is known as Gallo outside the US.

Added by kbub6f on 08-05-2002

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Reviews: 141 | Ratings: 247
Photo of rodbeermunch
1.68/5  rDev -27%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Really? This stuff is 'famoso'? Methinksnot. Truly has one of those equal parts light beer and water appearance going for it. Super weak yellow almost no head formation. Aroma was industrial beer spilled on a carpet.

Taste didn't have malt or hops. Carbonated water with a splash of beer in it. Whats worse is this stuff is still like $7 a 6 pack. I just can't see any context to ever recommend this beer to someone. Other than to see how bad it is. Or maybe if they need to hydrate.

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Photo of Ace_Edwards
3.68/5  rDev +60%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I drank this beer in Guatemala in restaurants, in a bottle, served in a branded frosted mug. The reviewers who said this is a good beer to drink in Guatemala were exactly right. Mine were very enjoyable. One restaurant served it in a narrower frosted mug, which helped the head last longer. I also tried one on tap and it was like college keg party beer. No bueno.

Again, the reviewers are correct who said this is an unremarkable beer compared to the zillion other beers available in the US. The look was light amber and clear. I don't have the vocabulary to describe the smell and taste notes, but it was fine for me. The feel was good too. I don't like to chew my beer.

If I found a Famosa beer in the US that was fresh, I would definitely try one, just for the fond memories.

Should you find yourself in Central America, I recommend it in bottles. In the Guatemala City airport, they sell to-go packages of Gallo to take on the plane. I'd bring home some 30 year old rum from duty free before I'd bring home the beer.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
2.54/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Straw to pale gold pour, with white cap that disappeared quickly; spotty lace at best; excellent clarity. Light corny nose and light corny taste. Lite watery mouthfeel with moderate plus carbonation. Odd bitter metal bite on tip of the tongue.

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Photo of MusaJames
3.2/5  rDev +39.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

So I saw this bottle in the supermarket and had to give it a try. Pours well develops a good head that doesn't hang around for long. Flavor and feel are pretty well just mundane for a lack of a better term. No thrills or spills this is just Beer. Its actually pretty damn good for what it is.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
2.85/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Possibly the most plain beer I have ever drank. Flavor is of corn, not too sweet, not really bitter, but at least it tastes all natural with no off-flavors or chemical preservatives.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
2.37/5  rDev +3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

From the 1 liter bottle, it pours a pale golden with a small head, replenished at a slow rate by a steady stream of bubbles from the bottom. Slightly grainy smell and very light flavor. Drinkable. Probably excellent after a day in the wilds of Guatemala.

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Photo of hardy008
1.46/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Found this at Total wine.

Pours a light yellow color with a small white head that vanishes quickly. Leaves no lacing. The aroma has corn, grain, and some skunk.

Tastes like it smells. and the skunk is even stronger in the taste than the aroma.

Thin and watery, and just nasty. Avoid.

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Photo of ordybill
2.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass at the World of Beer in Kennesaw, GA. This is a very pale straw colored beer with a slightly skunky aroma. This beer has a very weak beer taste and is completely unremarkable.

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Photo of jcbogantes
1.7/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Very Pale looking lager wish I don't think is very carbonated and like the other beers from gallo they don't produce head at all. Taste like a light beer again from the macro lager point of view I guess it is very expected knda beer. At least doesn't have any nasty off flavors.

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Photo of EMV
2.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I had this from a bottle in Guatemala. I may remember it slightly more fondly than it deserves as I drank it at the Tikal National Park. Pretty generic macro lager. Pale yellow and fizzy... low on the flavor. Highly carbonated and actually moderately refreshing if one finds themselves in a Guatemalan rainforest. Under no circumstances should this be consumed outside of some sort of ecotourism in Guatemala. If you find yourself in country... get yourself good and thirsty and go grab one. It's safer than the water.

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Photo of pat61
2.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

L: Brilliant straw under a 1” pure white foam cap. Lacy. S: Aromas are very low. Light grain and some spice.
T: The flavor is very light with grain, light sweetness at first then dries out, some apple. Apple flavors grow as it warms.
F: Light bodied with above average carbonation.
O: This is a straw colored liquid with little flavor or aroma. While not grotesque, this beer provides little reason to drink it.

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Photo of woemad
1.79/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

12oz can purchased at the north Spokane Total Wine for $1.79. A code of some sort has been stamped upon the bottom of the can, but there’s no obvious sign of freshness except for the sticker from Total Wine that states it was received by them on February 28, 2015. I purchased this solely as a ticker beer, since I’ve never had a beer from either Guatemala or Central America as a whole. I expect it to be ghastly, but, hey, sometimes Beer Advocacy can be hard work. Lonely are the brave.

This looks like any one of the hundreds of its fizzy, yellow style-mates. You know how it looks: Chill-hazed, lots of tiny bubbles hurtling themselves to their doom at the top of the beer, fizzy white head that dropped with disturbing speed, no lace whatsoever.

Cereal grains and a tiny bit of herbal hop scent, very much in that order. No surprises or delights here, but at least it’s not particularly skunky.

Like with the aroma, you know how this tastes. There’s a tiny bit of dryness at the end, but otherwise this is totally unremarkable, other than it doesn’t seem spoiled. Once again, score one for cans.

Vaguely crisp-finishing, with a watery mouthfeel typical of the style.

While it’s not truly a bad beer compared to others of its ilk except for having virtually no character at all, the only reason to choose to drink this is if it’s all that’s available or you want to add to the list of countries you’ve had a beer from. At least Guatemala is forever mine in that regard, but if needing to settle for a beer of this style, I’ll continue to gravitate towards Oly, Rainier or PBR, both for price point and because all three are more interesting than this beer.

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Photo of LittleDog
3.54/5  rDev +53.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this problem when I reviewed music for a metal magazine. The editors always reviewed based on what they liked rather than what the band was doing. Here we have a perfectly fine example of an adjunct lager. For what it is, it's great. Nice "full" flavor for the style. Effervescent. Quaffable. It's not trying to be Heady. If you don't like adjuncts, you won't like this. If you do, it's first rate.

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Photo of d_czarnecki
3.72/5  rDev +61.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gallo (or as it's known outside of Guatemala, Famosa) is a decent beer for what it is in my opinion. The first time I had this, which was at the restaurant at the Hotel Toliman in San Lucas Toliman, I was given a frosted mug (which I wish more places would do!) which was a nice touch. Upon first pour, I noticed that it was a light yellowish beer, much to the likes of other beers like Miller, Bud, etc. I honestly didn't notice as much of a skunky smell to it as other reviewers have mentioned on here as much of a hoppy/corny smell. As for the taste, it doesn't have too much flavor, but that doesn't mean it"s all that bad of a beer. Honestly, the light flavor of it to me actually makes it a great beer to drink. I may just pick this up right when I get back into the States (as I was able to find it at a liquor store near me in MN, Total Wines & More) as it will be great to have just for the nostalgia of being in Guatemala as well as it being not all that bad of a beer (honestly, I think this beer tastes somewhat better than some beers like Miller and stuff, so that's saying a lot)

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.32/5  rDev +44.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this for about a week straight while in Guatemala the end of 2014. When compared to craft beers in the states, this obviously wont stack up very well. Yet, when considering what its supposed to be, and rating it that way, I think its a pretty darn good beer. Liking to maybe a Stella. Okay, not as quite as nice as Stella... but in the same category. Easy drinking, I never tired of these while on my stay in Guatemala.

Its a backpacker's beer. An adventurer's beer. I heard some rumors there that its a "for a good cause" beer.

I remember an old "drinkability" rating category here on BA that is now long gone. I'd nearly give it a 5 on that. If they sold it in the states, I'd buy it now and again just for the novelty of it. Good stuff.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.97/5  rDev +29.1%

Haha, everyone says this is "awful". Well this is the first Guatamalan beer I have had, and probably the last, so I'll give it my best shot.

Appearance (2.5) : It pours a 2 finger head but it disappears almost instantly. The body is pale, straw, bad municipal city water colored.

Aroma (2.75) : Lots of corn in lots of different configurations - tortilla, tortilla chip, dry corn kernels...you name it. The faintest earthy dirty hop leaf comes out if you whiff hard enough.

Flavor (3) : The hop actually comes to the forefront with earthy flavors and a stinging carbonation. Behind it lies a malty corn body and ends with a sour hop leaf and distant morning breath.

Mouthfeel (2.75) : Imagine a bomb is tied to your tongue and inside is carbonation. The minute the beer touches your lips it explodes and waves of carbonation induce your palate into a stupor that you've never experienced. Underneath that is a smooth creamy body.

Overall (2.97) : If I were in Guatemala I'd have this. But here in America there are better choices and I'd have to say Famosa is a fair beer, but not a good one.


 1,107 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
2.75/5  rDev +19.6%

Bottle from colonial Spirits labeled Famosa.
Pours a crystal clear deep straw/light golden color with a huge frothy tightly bubbled head that lasts forever. Aromas of skunk at opening faded quickly. Light ashy mineral aromas with faint sweet malt and hints of apple and hops. The flavor is non descript fruity sweet with a hint of caramel. Little to no hop flavor or bitterness. Nothing horribly objectionable, but nothing exciting either. If I were baking in the Guatemala sun an ice cold Famosa just might do the trick.

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Photo of simplejj81
2.25/5  rDev -2.2%

When in central America, this is the best of the macro beers that are typically available. That's not saying much, but i have had some dreadful beer out of clear glass bottles in Honduras, and in comparison this is totally fine! Easy to drink but relatively tasteless.

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Photo of Samp01
1.78/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

Poured a pale yellow with a medium white head. Aroma and taste of grains and cereal, corn and light fruity notes. A light body with moderate carbonation, a bit watery. Finish the same as taste with a bit of a bitter grain ending. Best served cold and drink fast, as it warmed up aroma and taste begin to deteriorate. There are a lot of good brews out there, this is not one of them.

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Photo of EHopkinsi
4/5  rDev +73.9%

LOVE this beer, but for pretty much sentimental reasons. Back in the mid 90s, when the civil war was still on in Guatemala, that little nation somehow became the darling of the backpacker and hippy-expatriate set. Some friends and I bummed around the country for three weeks. This was the only beer I saw the whole time there. Honestly, it's not great tasting, but it easy to drink, and reminds me of an awesome adventure, some great friends, and a fantastically beautiful country full of wonderful people.

So I score it higher than its taste merits, but for me, the Gallo is about more than just its flavor.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
2.56/5  rDev +11.3%

Poured from a can into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a light straw amber with a half finger white head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of sweet malt, adjuncts, hints of sulfer and a mild tartness. Flavor is sweet malt with somewhat rough grainy character, like biting into a wheat grain; not unpleasant, but unrefined. Finishes with light grassy hops and some residual unrefined graininess. Light bodied with good carbonation. Although American adjunt lager is not a style I seek out, they usually are so mild and bland that it's hard for me to fault them for being exactly what they are designed to be, a pleasant lowest common denominator. The seem fairly uniform around the world. This one is particularly rough around the edges, with more graininess and undefined light bitterness that does not seem like it's attributable to hop flavors. I had no problems finishing this can with lunch, but I would hope there is something better in Guatemala to turn to. Adequate, but unfinished. I'm glad I got this in a can; the reported skunkiness from the bottled version would have not helped this beer at all.

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Photo of flagmantho
2.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Here goes!

Appearance: light yellow hue with no haze and a strong effervescence. Head is two fingers of frothy white foam with not a ton of retention. Still, a nice enough example of the style.

Smell: sweet malt with wet grain and not a lot of other character. Not horrible, but ... not great, either.

Taste: sweet, with some adjuncty plastic and, again, a fair bit of wet grain. There is some bitterness here, so we know it's not hop-free. Not a great beer; probably passable, though, in the Guatemalan jungle.

Mouthfeel: light body with lots of fizziness. It's fine.

Overall: this is not a totally disgusting beer, but it is one I shan't seek again.

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.5/5  rDev +52.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked this beer up at my local Assi ( a Korean super-grocery). I liked the rooster motif!

Appearance 3.0: Pours out a very pale yellow. No head. No lacing. Disappointing.

Smell 3.5: Very nice bouquet. Distinct and lovely lager bouquet with hints of adjuncts.

Taste 3.5: Front is gone, just a hint of alkaline hops. Middle is where the taste kicks in: barley, slight sweet malt and that distinct lager corniness. Finish is smooth and pleasant with more of the barley and malt. Aftertaste is of medium length and features a very satisfying lagery hint before a silky-smooth fade out.

Mouthfeel 3.75: Great for the style. Medium level of bubbles. Refreshing.

Overall 3.5: Great lager. Let's face it, lagers are pretty much universally overrated. if you have ever brewed beer, you'll know that the appeal of lagers to large breweries is that you can control the temperature and produce a consistent product. Also, if you've brewed a lager you'll know that the "adjunct!" flavors that so many harp about are going to be there even with an all-grain brew. Just something about the style and the "corniness." These things considered, Famosa does what it does and does it darn well: a tasty lager that is 100% within the boundaries of the style. Now if they could only add some 20L caramel malt to their mash to correct that color thing... .

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Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
2.01/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I have had this beer on several different occasions, with most recent in San Salvador of December 13. To me this beer taste is similar to Miller Lite, but has stronger and better taste. It pours light pale yellow/straw, with a petite head, and has sparkly appearance because of carbonation and heat of the country I was in. It leaves the mouth dry, unquenched, but it does have a unique hint of citrus. It is also light filling and can put back many in one sitting.

This is sold under the name Famosa in the United States and I have procured this from Binny's Beverage Depot in Chicago (IL), Holiday Liquor in Edinburg (TX), various locations in Guatemala and El Salvador.

Guatemala March 2013 and El Salvador December 2013.

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Photo of Billolick
1.35/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12 ounce bottle

Pours super light golden, clear next to no head, no film, collar or lace.

Perhaps a trace of corn on the nose.

Super light and lacking any and all tasty

What can be said...one of the worst beers I've ever sampled

A waste of some probably decent water

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Famosa (Gallo) from Cervecería Centro Americana, S.A.
2.3 out of 5 based on 247 ratings.
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