Real beer - on Isla? Huh!
Yeah, I know I have had a few hundred gallons of beer here on the island, but that was, you know, just a cold drink for a hot day. Now we have a real microbrewery on Isla featuring naturally fermented beer brewed to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516. What the hell is the Bavarian Purity Law you say? It’s real simple. Only four ingredients are allowed: barley, water, hops and yeast, and oh yeah, lots of love and effort.
|Jeff McGahee - closer to realizing his dream|
Let me tell you about Isla Brewing the brain child and passion of Jeff McGahee. Originally from Asheville North Carolina, Jeff and his family are now well-known islanders.
Jeff has been working on his dream for the past two plus years, and the results are worth the wait. I was offered a sample of the pale ale the other day. Very yummy! Do not confuse this ale with Budweiser or Corona. These ales are not a mixture of fermented rice and corn syrup used by the commercial breweries to make what they call beer. This is ale - made with taste, lots of taste.
Brewed in very small batches of around 360 liters these ales have body, a hoppy taste, and subtle carbonation. Initially Jeff plans to make a Pale Ale, a Blonde, a Mica Ale, and a Porter. I can hardly wait to try the other flavours. Now I will be able to enjoy a local beer that doesn’t get beat up by the spiciness of our traditional Mexican food.
Lynda is anxiously waiting for her favourite, a hoppy IPA, India Pale Ale.
As for building a brewery on an island in paradise, it has not been easy. Jeff has had to create much of the equipment here in a true DIY fashion. If you get a chance to visit the brewery, check out the grain grinder – it’s powered by a ¼ inch drill. Amazing. Most of his brewing ingredients except the water have to be imported – sacks of barley, hops and special yeast. Hell, I even brought down some live yeast from our friends’ brewery in Penticton BC, Canada - The Cannery Brewing Company. Sure, I declared it.
|Jeff's creative dad built the control panel|
Microbreweries are the hottest trend in the liquor business, and the huge demand for better product is prompting the Big Guys to want to play in the game. It takes more than just a funny name and a jazzy label to make a great beer. The beer has to be made by the rules. Too bad for you Big Guys but good for us; we now have Isla Brewing to satisfy our craving for great tasting ales.
To find out when and where the ales will be available give his Facebook page a [Like]. He’ll keep you posted on the latest developments.
Soon your visit to paradise can include great tasting ales from Isla Brewing.
Lawrie & Lynda
|A little while ago when the equipment arrived|