Brewery toasts Cayman’s success with $1 million expansion

Stephen Webster, chairman of the Cayman Islands Brewery, looks up at new tanks recently installed at the brewery as part of its $1 million expansion. – Photo: Taneos Ramsay
One of the new tanks is dropped into place at the Cayman Islands Brewery. – PHOTO: SUPPLIED

At the Cayman Islands Brewery, the glass is half-full. Amid increasing sales and optimism about the island’s economic future, the brewery is in the midst of a $1 million expansion to meet growing demand for its beers.

A new warehouse, two new tanks and an expanded taproom, scheduled to open in March, are part of the brewery’s growth plans.

Stephen Webster, chairman of the brewery, said the business was part of Cayman’s recent success story. He said increasing tourism, as well as demand from locals, had prompted the brewery to reinvest its profits in expanding its operation.

Growing demand internationally and locally for craft ales is also fueling the business plan, with a range of new craft ales planned.

The brewery recently launched a low-carb, gluten-free ale, Freestyle, and has also had success with its Shell Shock IPA and Seven Mile Wheat Beer.

“We are looking at what the market wants and getting our product in line,” Mr. Webster said.

The company has modest export plans for its White Tip lager, leveraging its association with artist and conservationist Guy Harvey. But its core business remains thirsty tourists and residents. Mr. Webster believes the company’s signature brands CayBrew and White Tip have developed a loyal following.

“Tourists want to try the local beer and the residents all see it as their beer,” he added.

Newer creations like Mastic Pale Ale, Gone to Helles and Pirates Red are also proving popular.

“We have now got 11 different beers. We have to have more flexibility, which is why we have added more tanks for the smaller batches. We are trying to respond to changes in demand.”

Cayman Islands Brewery’s commercial manager James Mansfield, left, and brewery chairman Stephen Webster show off a truck from which beers can be sold. – PHOTOs: TANEOS RAMSAY

The new-look brewery also plans to offer tours, and will host events and office functions, as well as offering 20 different brews to customers at its expanded taproom.

“We are moving onwards and upwards,” Mr. Webster said. “We are constantly upgrading and adding new things. All of our profits go back into investment.

“Cayman is really busy now and our sales have grown consistently.”

The expansion includes 6,500 additional square feet of warehouse space for beer storage, and new office space to house its increasing staff roster, which has doubled over the last five years.

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