Brewery tours becoming major tourist draw
The Cayman Islands Brewery is to construct an outdoor beer garden in response to growing demand from visitors.
Commercial manager James Mansfield said that the brewery, which produces Caybrew products, was looking forward to a busy tourist season.
“The brewery has grown quite dramatically in the last three years. We are getting quite a lot of tourists from cruise ships and overnight tourists coming. On a weekly basis we are probably doing two or three hundred people.”
Consequently, the brewery applied for permission to include a beer garden/park as part of the licensed premises. This was granted at the annual meeting of the Liquor Licensing Board of Grand Cayman. “It will make it a better experience,” said Mr. Mansfield, who said that the area would be constructed on the lawned area with hedges, plants and picnic tables on an area around 20 to 30 feet to the right of the building.
Construction of requested walls and other aspects had already been undertaken on advice of the liquor board, he noted.
However, at the annual meeting the board did not grant the brewery’s application to remove tasting restrictions from the licence.
“We have a retail licence with a tasting-only attachment to it which means we can only give samples away. After the tours, the idea was to open up the gift store and beer garden where people could purchase drinks as they have been asking.
“We host corporate events and are restricted to charging for a tour rather than any drinks. We don’t want to run a bar up to two in the morning with a music and dancing licence and everything; that’s not the purpose. On cruise ship days when we have tourists coming in, we want to be able to offer them a bit more than ‘two samples and you are off’. People come and do the 20-minute tour but they tell us that they then want to buy their favourite beer and have a nice chat,” noted Mr. Mansfield.
Mr. Mansfield added that the brewery intended to re-apply to the Liquor Licensing Board at the next scheduled meeting.
“We will put money into the landscaping and decking [of the new beer garden] so that they will see what we are trying to achieve. I have worked in a lot of breweries in the Caribbean and we are probably the only one which cannot sell beer.
“We are becoming more of a tourist attraction; there’s a bar in Dolphin Discovery, on a submarine but it seems that we are being restricted. It seems forward-thinking that a tourist attraction should be able to have the product for sale in a nice atmosphere.”