Until Great Britain took up mash paddles, brewing was a continental endeavor. But once it spread from ancient Sumer (present-day Iraq) to the lands of Bavaria and Bohemia, it didn’t take long for the know-how to leap across watery barriers to the United Kingdom and, obviously, the United States. When cold and rainy winter months call for us to make a hop to a welcoming island, why not make it one that has developed its own brewing scene?
Rum-based drinks are often the beverages of choice on islands, and tropical fruit garnishes with little paper parasols most certainly have their place, but beer remains the ultimate thirst quencher.
Rum-based drinks are often the beverages of choice on islands, and tropical fruit garnishes with little paper parasols most certainly have their place, but beer remains the ultimate thirst quencher. And odds are pretty good you’ll find some brewed with indigenous fruit or other ingredients. Take Hawaii for example. Maui Brewing Co. makes Mana Wheat using local pineapples, and Kona Brewing Co. employs its famous local coffee beans in Da Grind Imperial Stout found at the brewpub.
US Virgin Islands
Only a handful of Caribbean islands allow you to leave your passport at home. And Puerto Rico doesn’t have much a craft beer scene yet. While the better beer culture in the Virgin Islands—consisting of St. John, St. Thomas, and St. Croix as well as teensier ones—isn’t huge, it is growing slowly. That’s fine, because in the time since the U.S. bought the islands from Denmark nearly a century ago, R&R on the islands has been more about soaking up UV than ABV. Virgin Islands National Park comprises two-thirds of St. John—over 7,000 square miles, making for superb hiking and diving.