Introducing ‘Islanders’ Hard Ginger Beer – made in Grand Turk!

On my most recent trip over to the capital island of Grand Turk (respect and shoutouts to my GT crew!), I was once again amazed with just how friendly, laid back and relaxing life and living is on that island. When you visit and see the donkeys and horses just roam the streets, you’ll see that even they are chilled to the max.

“Huh? Since when did anyone brew alcoholic Ginger Beer right there on the island?” I asked Dennis and Peggy.

I was luck enough to catch Duke Street at a time that a local fundraiser for the TSPCA was going on (which of course I signed TCR up to be a member), and met up with a pretty ‘happy’ set of islanders that was just hangin’ at Sandbar Restaurant listening to some tunes (Mitch from Blue Water Diving plays a mean guitar!).

Tanya was serving at the bar, and was super surprized to see a Lime green bottle with ‘Islander’ Hard Ginger Beer made in Grand Turk. Huh? Since when did anyone brew alcoholic Ginger Beer right there on the island? Again I lucked out as … you guessed it, Dennis and Peggy – the ones who actually make it – was right there next to me.

I made it over to their house and we shared stories about the differences in living in Providenciales vs Grand Turk.

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Story compliments Free Press by Chris Morvan

All the rage on Grand Turk: Islander Ginger Beer

Written by Chris Morvan
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 17:05

A new drink made on Grand Turk has found immediate success in the island’s bars and restaurants.

Islander Hard Ginger Beer began to appear in May and was quickly embraced as a lively alternative to beer. “Hard” means it contains alcohol (5 percent).
The drink is the brainchild of Dennis Maynes, who moved to Grand Turk last December with his wife Peggy after having fallen in love with the island during several visits.

Although he trained as a chef, Maynes’ recent career in the couple’s native Vancouver, Canada, doesn’t suggest brewing as an obvious next step — but it does mark him down as a man of vision, prepared to take a gamble. The business he sold in Vancouver to finance the move used hawks and falcons as a means of pest control.

Having made the decision to relocate, he found premises in the heart of Cockburn Town, and had them renovated with the factory on the ground floor and living accommodation above.

But why ginger beer?

Dennis – the mastermind behind ‘Islander’ hard Ginger beer

“It has a history in the Caribbean,” he says, and indeed there is evidence of ginger beer going back as far as the 1600s. Today there is successful non-alcoholic ginger beer made in Bermuda, but as in most parts of the world, alcohol was not part of it until now.

In the U.K., Crabbies, better known for their ginger wine, recently started producing ginger beer with alcohol. However, there is a vast difference between that sweet, rather floral product and Islander.

The Grand Turk drink is light and refreshing, with a nice fizzy zing and a definite peppery ginger kick. Maynes serves it in large, sturdy beer glasses filled with ice and a wedge of lemon, although many people drink it straight from the bottle.

“It has to be very cold,” he emphasizes.

Made in equipment brought in from Canada and using recycled beer bottles, the recipe is surprisingly simple: sugar from the Dominican Republic, lemons from the U.S., ginger from China and water from Grand Turk. It is fermented by champagne yeast.

Islander can also be used in cocktails, and it is surely only a matter of time before an enterprising bartender comes up with a unique recipe. At present the most popular are the Moscow Mule (ginger beer and vodka) and Dark & Stormy (ginger beer and Gosling’s Black Seal rum).

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Here’s to ‘Islanders – Hard Ginger Beer made in Grand Turk’ congrats on your opening, we wish you many successes.

Want a taste? Stop by the our office in Saltmills Plaza and we’ll crack open a bottle.

Article provided by: http://www.fptci.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3733:all-the-rage-on-grand-turk-islander-ginger-beer&catid=28:lifestyle&Itemid=72 (credit to Chris Morvan).

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