New locally brewed craft beer a hit with customers
April 30, 2015
New locally brewed craft beer a hit with customers

“We’re running out of product already!”

When Andrew Williams and Kristopher Abbott teamed up to produce Krew Beer, they probably didn’t imagine that it would be so popular with customers. Just over two months since the soft launch, the demand for the alcoholic beverage seems {{more}}to be outstripping its production.

Williams, the owner of Flow Wine Bar and Restaurant, first decided to venture into craft beer production in the face of challenges he had encountered in importing foreign beers.

“After all the headaches of dealing with import licences and… certificates for Bureau of Standards, I decided well let me try and make my own beer,” he recalled.

“So, I researched, found this piece of equipment, and started making my own beer.”

After producing a few batches on a small scale, Williams increased production when Abbott, co-manager at S.G De Freitas, joined in – and thus, Krew was born.

A combination of the first two letters of Abbott’s first name and the last two letters of Williams’ first name, Krew beer is available at Flow Wine Bar in Kingstown, and Flowt Beach Bar in Ratho Mill; but the beer-making duo have plans to eventually increase production to be able to supply it to a few other establishments.

With their current equipment, Williams and Abbott are capable of producing 75 – 80 gallons of the beverage at any one time, but so far have never done a full brew.

Williams explained: “We both have other jobs… it’s a labour intensive, time-consuming thing… If we were to do a full brew, it would take us at least six or seven hours getting it ready. After that, another 3 weeks to a month before we serve.”

With ten recipes so far, Abbott said that he and Williams intend to develop two signature beers that will always be available, and make the others available seasonally.

“One of our ideas was… we come up with one or two recipes that would be a permanent fixture, and we continue developing new recipes that would be seasonal… Two beers will be our signature brews – that’s what we will be known for,” enthused Abbott.

The Krew beer recipes that have been developed so far include Duppy Conqueror (brown ale), Foreplay (Belgian ale), Snapper (Irish red ale), Vagabond (amber ale), Isle P.A (amber pale ale), 3-Hour Tour (pale ale hybrid), West Side (Californian common ale), Pointer (summer ale), Morph (another Belgian ale), and a cider called Right Cider.

With Krew being brewed in a converted garage at a secret location, Williams and Abbott said that they are aiming to take production from being a hobby to a full-blown brewery production.

“It’s not at the point where we can make living off of it, but it’s selling well!” explained Williams.

He, however, was mindful to point out that it is not the duo’s intention to make Krew into a competitor beer to Hairoun, which is produced by the St. Vincent Brewery Ltd.

“Even if we get close. It’s two totally different kinds of beer,” he asserted. “Krew is a ‘sit down and enjoy’ kind of beer – especially for $12 [per drink]. It’s not every time you’re gonna want to say let me drink a Krew.”

He further joked: “Even me sometimes, I’m like let me drink a Hairoun, you hear!”

Williams and Abbott said that they are hoping to be able to reduce the cost of the beverage in future, through government incentives and producing larger volumes of Krew.

“It would be great to get to control the cost more. Because it is craft [beer], we use the best ingredients we can get, so it’s a lot more expensive to produce,” Williams pointed out.

“We use all malt, and we use speciality hops rather than just the cheap base hops.”

Williams said that there has also been encouraging feedback from persons who know about quality beers. They have been so pleased with the Krew recipes they have tasted so far that they are expecting it to win awards with the regional and international food and beverage industry.

Williams added that while he and Abbott would be pleased if Krew won awards, the aim is just to keep producing good beers that people enjoy.

“We will grow slowly… it’s just a matter of getting the time, keep making good beer, getting the word around, and from there we can just keep going.”