The Cayman Islands Brewery’s latest addition to their lineup, White Tip Lager, recently was crowned the best lager at the Caribbean Rum and Beer Festival in Barbados.
This is the second year running that the brewery takes the crown, as CayLight won the title in 2010. This year, it had to settle for second place behind White Tip. Ironshore Bock also took silver in the category for strong beers.
“With three international judges blind tasting 30 beers, that is quite impressive for us,” said James Mansfield of Cayman Islands Brewery. “Next time that we go to the brewers’ convention it will be interesting to see what they think of us now, as we are still only 4 1/2 years old, compared to other breweries like Banks Barbados, which is 45 years old.”
A unique aspect of White Tip Lager is that a percentage of the sales goes to the Department of Environment’s shark conservation programmes.
“The actual link-up with the Department of Environment was unique, and we will be cutting the first cheque in January,” Mr. Mansfield said.
The Department of Environment attended a recent team building event at the brewery to familiarise itself with White Tip Lager.
“We invited the Department of Environment down, it was a good afternoon – they were all drinking White Tip, which was good, and doing some team building and I think they are very proud of how the beer has been accepted,” Mr. Mansfield said.
Staff of the department joked it was quite a relief that White Tip turned out to be an award winning beer, as they felt they would have been obligated to drink it whether they liked it or not, due to the money it raises for conservation.
The link between the beer and shark preservation has not escaped the notice of the dive community either.
“We’re very happy with the amount of blogs that have been written in dive magazines about a beer – it’s phenomenal. It’s astounding that people are recommending that if you go to Cayman you should actually drink the White Tip because it benefits the environment with the donation,” Mr. Mansfield said.
According to Mr. Mansfield, the company was founded on being as environmentally conscious as possible and is constantly striving to cut down on waste or be more efficient.
“It is nice to pioneer things and get to a point where 40 per cent of the bottles are being returned. That’s pretty good, but we still have another 40 per cent to go to be like some of the other established brewers in the Caribbean,” he said.
“Now we’re doing aluminium recycling, so a lot of the bars where we have cans are getting on board with putting them in separate bags and sending them off to the Department of Environment to get crushed and sent away.”