Beer brewery back up

Stingray Brewery has begun producing beer again at its Prospect site.

Brewmaster Andreas Moerl said all three of the brewery’s beers are available for sale once again, in bottles and kegs.

‘We’re still selling them at the pre-Ivan prices,’ he said.

The brewery suffered extensive damage during Ivan as a result of the loss of part of the building’s roof and from storm surge flooding.

Mr. Moerl said the brewery’s beer tanks and other equipment were salvaged, but all pumps had to be replaced because they had been submerged in sea water.

Mr. Moerl said he had no way to chill the beer in stock after the storm, so he gave away a lot of it, and ended up discarding more than 100 cases. All Stingray beer now being sold has been freshly brewed, he said.

Although the brewery is producing beer again, the gift shop will not be opened again until mid-January. ‘People can still buy Stingray merchandise at Jack Rackham’s though,’ he said.

The brewery’s bottle recycling programme is still in place, said Mr. Moerl. For every case of empty bottles returned, Stingray gives customers a $2 credit on future purchases.

Because many bars and restaurants had damage to their keg coolers, Mr. Moerl said there is very little draft beer available on the island. He also said there is also a lack of space behind many bars to accommodate keg coolers.

‘We have some new, smaller coolers arriving next week which will solve the space problem,’ he said.

Mr. Moerl said the brewery is producing enough beer to meet the demand, even though it will not be up to full production until the first week of January. ‘We really depend on overnight visitors, so the demand is down right now. We hope locals will start drinking our beer, too.’

Even though some of Stingray’s hotel and restaurant customers might remain closed for some time yet, Mr. Moerl thinks the outlook for 2005 is improving.

‘The owners and I are confident that it will turn out to be a fairly good year for sales,’ he said.

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