Bahamian Brewery Tour: On-Site Grand Bahama
As I’ve noted before, I was impressed with the array of great beers I encountered in Grand Bahama Island. I was so impressed, in fact, that I made sure to check out Grand Bahama’s Bahamian Brewery. That may not sound like any kind of unusual travel activity. In Grand Bahama, though, it kind of is.
Reason: The Bahamian Brewery is not on the GBI’s well-trod tourist path.
Grand Bahama, and more specifically the Freeport area, was planned and developed around industrial concerns. The island’s once burgeoning lumber industry was chief among them. This is why you won’t find as many scenic seaside roads here as you do in other corners of the West Indies.
Freeport’s roadways are primarily designed to best serve the island’s commercial sector. When you’re driving between the island’s resorts and, say, the airport, this type of industrial facility is mostly what you’ll see…
Not many tourists stopping here, which true to Uncommon Caribbean form, made it perfect for me.
That this is also the place where all of Grand Bahama’s great beer comes from helped too, of course…
Touring the Bahamian Brewery
Inside, I met Hazel Springer, a 32 year-old local Bahamian who has a job any beer-lover would love – quality control.
It was Hazel who told me the story of Jimmy Sands and Sands Beer that I wrote about here. Hazel also told me about the local market research they conducted to arrive at the formula for Strong Back, the manly stout made just for girls. She also shared a few secrets about High Rock, another fab Bahamian Brewery brand.
The most interesting thing Hazel told me, though, was this: THEY TAKE IN VOLUNTEERS!
That’s right, if you’re studying the brewmaster’s art, you can apply to apprentice here and get some hands-on training!
If you decide to give it a go, you’ll find yourself working in what is undoubtedly among the most modern and technically advanced breweries in the West Indies. Everything in here is sparkling and new, with storage and fermentation tanks that glisten with the promise of the golden treasure inside.
Sorry, I just drooled on myself a little at the memory of touring this place.
Meeting Hazel and seeing where all the Bahamian Brewery beers are produced and bottled was great. My favorite part of the tour, though, was visiting the VIP bar at the end. There, we had a chance to relax, enjoy some taste-testing and just talk beers. As you can imagine, for me, it was the perfect ending to a great trip!
To get in contact with the fine folks at the Bahamian Brewery about apprenticeships, tours, and beer, click here to visit their website.