UPDATED: Dart buys major stake in Cayman Islands Brewery

UPDATED SUNDAY, JULY 21: The Dart group has confirmed it has bought a stake in the Cayman Islands Brewery, which produces the island’s signature beers Caybrew and White Tip, among others.

The brewery recently underwent a $1 million expansion adding a new warehouse, two new tanks and an expanded taproom to meet growing demand for its beers.

Matthew Bishop, CEO of Dart subsidiary Cayman Distributors Group, confirmed in a statement to the Cayman Compass that the group was investing in the brewery. Neither Dart nor the brewery’s board of directors have revealed at this stage the level of Dart’s investment, or whether it has acquired all or part of the company.

Bishop said in the emailed statement that he sees significant opportunities for future growth, both for the business and its brands.

“We aim to build on the success of the brewery and help the business to grow even further. We see a huge amount of potential in this company and we look forward to being a part of its future,” he said.

Founder and chairman of the Cayman Islands Brewery board of directors Stephen Webster was also quoted in the prepared statement welcoming Dart’s investment in the business.

He said, “Over the last decade we have built a truly special business and we hope this will take the company into the next phase of its growth. We are confident there is a very bright future for the brewery.

“We see this investment both as affirmation of all we have achieved over the past 12 years and as a welcome opportunity for even further growth.”

He said the daily operations of the brewery will not be impacted and that the leadership team would remain unchanged.

Bishop said Dart’s investment would provide opportunity for the brewery to grow even further.

“Cayman Islands Brewery has had to fight for every inch of market share against a host of well-established and well funded, imported brands,” he said

“The fact that Caybrew is now firmly entrenched as the national beer of the Cayman Islands is testament to the quality of their products, the dedication of their employees and of course, the loyalty of their customers.”

In an interview with the Compass earlier this year, Webster said the brewery was going from strength to strength on the back of Cayman’s strong economic position and increased tourism.

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

“We are moving onwards and upwards.”