Cayman’s history is riddled with legends of shipwrecks and rumours of treasures hidden away by pirates plying their trade in the waters of the Caribbean. No surprise then that Cayman’s signature event is called Pirates Week and draws those with a passion for the adventure and drama associated with the romantic image of silver screen pirates.
A signature event deserves a signature brew, and this year Pirates Week will have its own limited edition beer, thanks to Cayman Islands Breweries.
Pirates Gold will only be available from October to December, featuring unique cans with strong Pirates Week branding – black cans, to be precise, with a smiling gold skull and crossbones. Far from being just a limited edition packaging for one of the brewery’s familiar products, Pirates Gold lager is an all new brew as well.
“The Pirates Gold lager has a sweeter aftertaste which embodies the history of sugar cane in the region, and reddish tint to reflect the blood spilt in the Caribbean. This beer has been Swashbuckled in the Cayman Islands. At 4.5 per cent this is not for Landlubbers,” says James Mansfield of Cayman Islands Brewery.
The beer will bring something unique to the festival, and the idea is that it will be a hit with visitors to the island as well. As part of the marketing role that the beer plays for the event itself, each can features a QR code that, when scanned with a smartphone, links directly to the Pirates’ Week website, where all the information on events will be right at hand.
The sales of the beer will also support Pirates Week, with $2 going to the Pirates Week committee for every case sold.
Being the local brewery, Cayman Islands Brewery looked forward to the opportunity to contribute a unique product to the National Festival. The size of the brewery means that it can do limited production runs for an event like Pirates Week, which would not be possible for big multinationals to accomplish. James sees this as another step in the brewery establishing itself as an integral part of the Cayman Islands community, coming up with unique products for a unique island.
Pirates Gold follows in the footsteps of another innovative Cayman Islands Breweries product, White Tip Lager. White Tip was launched as a conservation beer, with a percentage of sales going towards the shark preservation programmes of the Department of Environment.
The can itself also contains information about sharks and a QR code that links to information on the Department of Environment website regarding shark conservation. Since its launch the beer has outpaced all anticipated projections, giving the coffers of the Department of Environment a healthy boost and raising the profile of shark conservation efforts in the process.
Of course, conservation is more than just a QR code on a can, which is why the brewery has numerous eco-friendly initiatives as well, including the reusing of Caybrew, Ironshore and White Tip bottles, a water purification system for all waste water generated at the brewery, and even a programme whereby spent grains are made available to local farmers to use as cattle feed.