When you live on a small island you get used to the fact that everything, especially the good stuff, has to be imported. But no more! Since 2007 Cayman’s alcoholic beverage industry has flourished with new companies opening up and a ton of thirst-quenching products hitting the shelves. These boozy businesses include industry pioneers, award-winning brands, and the newbies who are shaking things up. They continue to thrive because their quality products are enjoyed by visitors and residents alike. Read on to learn more about the products, tastings and tours offered at #caymansbest local distillers and brewers. Cheers!
Cayman Islands Brewery
The Cayman Islands Brewery (CIB) launched in 2007 as Cayman’s first brewing company. Their 18,000 square foot facility consists of a state of the art brewery and a spacious taproom for guests to unwind. Their inaugural beer Caybrew gained notoriety quickly, especially after they won a Gold Medal at the Monde Selection Awards in 2008 (and a few more times after that). Today they offer over 10 different beer brands in the form of kegs, bottles and cans and you will always be able to find at least one of their products at any restaurant or bar on island. Some of the more popular brands include the malty 7% Ironshore Bock, the fruity 4.8% Mango Tango, the coffee-noted 4.2% Nitro Stout, the light-bodied (and gluten-free) 4.2% Freestyle, and White Tip, a crisp 5.2% beer where 5 cents from every bottle is donated to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. Look out for their seasonal brews including their Pirate’s Red and Gone To Helles Cayman, which are guaranteed to get you party ready as we near Pirate’s Week. They also have some incredible deals, such as renting out kegs from CI$65 and offering a two hour all-you-can-drink deal for CI$25 for groups of ten or more who visit their taproom. Clearly the CIB clearly has a lot to going on, but one of their greatest accomplishments is their successful recycling program where customers are encouraged to return the company’s bottles to the brewery and receive CI$2 back per case (i.e. 24 bottles). Tours of their impressive brewery take place Monday to Friday from 10am-4pm (starting on the hour) and you’ll see the entire facility and enjoy 5 beer samples for only CI$8. Book a tour on their website or email them at email@example.com for more information.
1981 Brewing Company
1981 Brewing Co. was established in 2018 and is known for their selection of specialty craft beers. Their three flagship brews include Island Sessions, a 4% Kolsch-style beer that is the lightest of the bunch, Cayman Blonde, a 5% smooth and gently hopped beer (making it one of my favourites), and finally the Tropical IPA, a balanced 6% hoppy brew with citrus notes. These three beers are distributed to bars and restaurants in kegs, but bottles and growlers can only be purchased at their taproom. Once you’re there try a few of their other brews, such as the lightly hopped Pale Ale, the coffee-noted Amber Ale or their seasonal beer. The seasonal beer is uniquely Caymanian because they always utilise local ingredients such as guineps, mangoes or sorrel. Tours are offered on Saturdays at 1pm or 3pm for CI$25 and includes a walk through of their microbrewery with a beermaster, followed by a beer tasting flight and a full pint of your favourite 1981 beer. Book a tour by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more about them on their website.
Cayman Spirits Company
Cayman Spirits Co. may have started as an experiment between friends, but it has grown into the largest distillery on island. Their inaugural rum, Seven Fathoms, officially launched in 2008 after the owners decided to age their rum via the rocking waves at seven fathoms deep (42 feet to be exact). Over the years they have continued to develop their brand and even moved their production into a 5000 square foot distillery, allowing them to reach a global market. They distill over a dozen different products that fall under the branding of Governor’s Reserve Rum, Gun Bay Vodka and the H.H. Hutching’s Liqueurs. In 2019 they dove into the canned cocktail industry and their Rum & Cola is already becoming a favourite amongst residents. Check out their wildly popular distillery tour Monday to Saturday at 11am, 1pm or 3pm for only US$15. Not only will you try all of their products (yes, all of them!), but you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look of their production process from beginning to end. You can book a tour with them at email@example.com or visit their website for more information.
Anchor & Den’s Gin
Anchor & Den’s food & beverage management team decided to bring us Cayman’s first locally produced gin. Self-proclaimed gin fanatics they decided on this spirit for many reasons, some of which include their goal to stock the largest gin selection on island, their love of botanicals and as an ode to our island’s British heritage. In 2017 Anchor & Den’s lead bartender created a flavourful and balanced recipe and their friends at Cayman Spirits Co. helped put it into production. Their obsession with gin runs so deep that they produced the Gin Tasting Booklet which features the 40 different gins from around the world. For the gin lovers out there this booklet will tell you the origin, tasting notes, style, history, as well as the recommended garnish and the best tonic to pair with every gin, including their own. You can only purchase 750ml bottles of their eponymous gin from Anchor & Den so reach out to them via Facebook, Instagram or call the Marriott at (345) 949-0088.