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

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Famosa (Gallo)Famosa (Gallo)
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.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 152 | Ratings: 272
Photo of VoxRationis
3.72/5  rDev +59.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle into a custom taster pint glass; no production stamp.
A: Pours a crystal clear, dark straw color with less than one finger head formation, spotty retention, but partial rings lacing.
S: Aromas of corn, caramel, and grasses predominate the nose.
T: Semidry. Palate follows the nose, but slightly grainy. Light bitterness contributes a very clean finish.
M: Light bodied with low effervescence.
O: A nicely constructed AAL. Drinkable and very enjoyable.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.37/5  rDev +44.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz cans run $7.49 USD per sixer at some grocers in Austin, TX.

"Lager beer." "Contains sulfites."

Pours a dull depleted yellow body. Clear/obviously filtered, but lifeless.

Head is thin and a bit weaky, but pleasantly fluffy.

AROMA: Mineral water, faint 6-row, obvious maize, a hint of starchy grassy hop character. Marries its adjunct to the rest of its profile decently, but the corn would be obvious even in a blind tasting. Suggests a skullable neutral lager with an inoffensive taste.

TASTE: Pleasant 6-row and corn sweetness is the name of the game in this simple lager, but a bit of fringe grassiness from limited hopping does surface as well.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, clean, refreshing, and approachable. Light-bodied. To give it credit, it's not a watery or syrupy brew like so many budget lagers. A little soft. Its texture is probably the best executed aspect of it.

OVERALL: A step up from most adjunct lagers and Euro pale lagers out there, with a refreshing taste and enough flavour to make it worth pairing spicy food with. Would make a nice table beer not to think too much about, but it's not worth seeking out. Within the style, it's generally well-executed. I could pound a sixer in a sitting.


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Photo of beertunes
2.79/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Quart+1.8oz (that's a liter in metric) bottle poured into 14oz teku. Poured a very hazy uric yellow with over an inch of white head that moderate retention and light lacing.

The aroma was low grain, low hopped, and a lot of skunk, despite the brown bottle.

The flavor was a big step-up, the skunk was almost non-existant, the grains had a gentle background, and there was a touch of floral hops.

The body was light, crisp, smooth, almost refreshing (and probably would be in a humid or beach side environment), and finished much drier than I anticipated.

Drinkability was fine, I knocked off that bottle with no problem. Overall, about what I expected when I grabbed this $4 quart+. If ya don't try it, you're not missing anything. But, if you're on the lookout for a lawnmower/beach/river/lake/chore beer, ya could do worse.

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Photo of detgfrsh
2.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

From a bottle. Pale golden color with fluffy white head. Sweet malt and straw smell. Light feel. Sweet malt flavor with just a hint of floral hops. Just your standard AAL, nothing really stands out. A way to check Guatemala off your list, but that's about all to recommend it.

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Photo of Beginner2
2.92/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poor perhaps, but certainly not as poor as these average ratings.
Let's not have high expectations for this beer. It is made to be refreshing in a tropical climate. If it is expected to go with the native kitchen, it is somewhat spicy which requires a modestly soothing beer... which Famosa is. And the brewer has been in business for 125 years in a small country, which means (to my cynical mind) that the brewer is in tight with the powers-that-be and doesn't have too much competition... and so doesn't have to get better.

As for Famosa, it does not have good Looks. It Smells better as I get mostly malt. Tastes are balanced by hops. It finishes clean and refreshing, tho not full.

Would I have it again? Well, I have no choice. I bought a sixer. Maybe I should become a trader. I am nonetheless glad to add another country to my list... and move on.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
3.18/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into glass. Undecipherable stamping on bottle neck.
Clear, straw colored body. Half a finger of white head upon pouring, which eventually disappeared. No lacing.
The skunky aroma was immediately apparent upon opening, which is unfortunate because the real beer smells show sweet malts and spicy hops.
Taste is also skunky, but there is a sweetness to the malts and a spiciness to the hops that is not generally found in "Mexican" lager beers.
Thin to medium mouth feel. Good carbonation. Besides the skunk, this beer is more refreshing than smooth.
I liked the heightened flavors of sweet malts and of spicy hops. If I can find this beer in the can, I will try again and report back.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.16/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

$ 2.13 (Including tax)/12 oz can ($ 0.177/oz) from World Market, The Forum, Live Oak, TX. Reviewed 11/17/18.
“XF WB XH C 1412 XF WB XI”” on can bottom. On shelf in the store. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 42 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.
Body – Light yellow, clear, very slight effervescence.
Head – Average (Maximum 3.5 cm, aggressive center pour), white, medium density, good retention, diminishing to a four to seven mm ring slightly fed by effervescence and a thin complete layer. Head retraction leaves a few small islands of tiny bubbles and a nearly complete ring of thin lacing.
Lacing – Very good. Volume reduction leaves a wide raggedy band of tiny bubbles with stalactites and connecting columns to the next band.
First pour – Light yellow, nearly colorless, clear.
Aroma – 3 – Dimethysulfide.
Flavor – 3 - Not much. Some corn and a very slight bitterness. No alcohol (5 % ABV), no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3 – Thin, watery, soft carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 3.25 – Very much better than expected. Lacks the skunkiness of mercaptans which I expected. Seems a little less crisp than US AALs but otherwise very drinkable. I can definitely see this being desirable when working or eating in the Yucatan or southward area.

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Photo of abarquerov
1.75/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Easily the worst beer I've had. I've only had it direct from the bottle so I can't judge the look. The taste is where it really gets bad. It felt like an alcohol-free malt drink. No personality, no good malt flavor, no bold colorful hops. Horrible aftertaste.

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Photo of jmdrpi
1.95/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

350 ml refillable bottle in Guatemala

clear yellow straw color, white head. aroma is a bit grainy and sweet. taste isn't bad when cold but as it warms it's not very good even for an adjunct lager. thin and fizzy mouthfeel.

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Photo of Brolo75
2.9/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Big bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a very clear pale straw color with lots of carbonation, no head, no lacing, looks really light and watery. Tons of sweet corn, grains, light honey and pepper, not very appealing. Taste does not follow the nose, there is flavors of sweet corn and gain but the honey and pepper shine a bit more on the flavor, light lemongrass hoppy note as well, finish is crisp, clean, and dry, lingering notes of lemongrass, honey, and pepper are in the finish.

Overall, better than I thought it was going to be, appearance and aroma are not good but for what it is, the taste and mouthfeel are pretty solid, I would enjoy one of these on a hot summer CA day while outside grilling or just relaxing, it's fairly tasty, light, and easy to drink but keep it cold!

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Photo of biboergosum
2.74/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle - sometimes, ya just gotta reset your palate after all those IPAs, stouts, Saisons, and sour brews, eh?

This beer pours clear, bright pale golden yellow colour, with one finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy dirty white head, which leaves some scratchy coral atoll lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of musty mixed malt (the corn kind of jostling with some pale graininess), stale apples, a weak minerality, and some very ephemeral weedy, dead grassy, and skunky green hop bitters. The taste is gritty and grainy pale malt, corn pone, a bit of phenolic yeastiness, overripe pome fruit, and more understated skanky, weedy, and wet leafy 'hop' bitterness.

The carbonation is adequate in its structurally mandated frothiness, the body on the medium-light side, and sort of smooth, as an indeterminate acridity exacts a minor tithe here. It finishes off-dry, the wan malt essentially ushering us out the door.

Overall, this is by no means good, but is hardly the worst example of the style that I've come across. Very plain, unassuming, and yes, likely something that if you were drinking it very cold, with some spicy local cuisine, would work just fine. However, as a one-off, display your national brewing prowess sort of thing - not so much.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
1.68/5  rDev -27.9%
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 +57.9%
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 +9%
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 +37.3%
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 +22.3%
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 +1.7%
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 -37.3%
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 -4.3%
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 -27%
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 +12.9%
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 +7.3%
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 -23.2%
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 +51.9%
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 +59.7%
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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Famosa (Gallo) from Cervecería Centro Americana, S.A.
Beer rating: 2.33 out of 5 with 272 ratings