Where When How — March/April 2017
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Featured Excursion Turks Head Brewery Tastings & Tours
Sophie Newstead

Turk’s Head - The TCI has a precious set of resources that are completely unique to the country and indispensable staples to the culture: conch (we have the only conch farm in the world), conch pearls (prized gem stones found in one of 15,000 shells), and beer. Yes, beer.

Brewery - Turk’s Head, the nation’s much-loved one-stop shop for freshly brewed barley and hops, has a clean and crisp taste that until now, has only been enjoyed within the confines of bars, restaurants, and the odd stocked fridge at home. One for the books then, seeing as a new way to enjoy Turk’s Head has joined the social circuit: tastings and tours at their actual brewery. Launched in February 2017, Turk’s Head Brewery is now decked out with a bar, and merchandise shop, offering a niche alternative to going to the beach. Mike Bozzer, our guide, distils the new additions. “We’ve built a high-rise catwalk above the equipment and machinery for the tours, so visitors can see what’s going on as it happens, when the brewing process is in full swing. We’ve also built a brand new bar for the tastings overlooking the brewery, with a small shop selling merchandise from t-shirts to coasters and beer cosies.”

Tour - The tour gave a breakdown of the process, the scale of their operations, and the corresponding equipment used to make their four types of beer: Lager, Amber Ale, Light and IPA (India Pale Ale). What was immediately apparent, apart from the delicious smell of bubbling beer, was the realisation that the two full-time brewers are as much scientists as they are beer-lovers, and the process of brewing a good beer really is the process of rigorous chemistry, mixology and precise formula. What else was apparent was the importance a set of un-negotiable variables has on the flavour and intensity. The beer dictators are: the type of hops or grain you use, the amount of hops or grain you use, and the timing of when you add the grain or hops and/or how long you leave them in for. The origins of the ingredients, stages of brewing both ales and lagers, and how they get from ingredients to bottle-ready, I’ll leave to Mike to share.

Tasting - Moving onto the tastings in the bar, it wasn’t just beer in the liquid form we were trying; we were given a handful of malted barley grains used in their lager to try, along with smelling the original green hops they use for their beer (which unbeknown to me, are actually vines that have buds similar to roses, hence the flowery taste of IPA). The tasting hotlist consisted of: Lager, Amber Ale, Light and IPA (India Pale Ale), pintsized or less, depending on your preference. FYI, they also have a popcorn machine. Be aware that this list is by no means definitive; the brewery is constantly experimenting with new flavours in their pilot system, which in the past has amounted to bespoke and seasonal beers such as Summer Wheat Ales, and Stouts and Porters.

The Last Word - At present, Turk’s Head Brewery make cases of bottled beer, canned beer and kegs (in 2016 they made an astonishing two million bottles worth). They appear once a week at the local Thursday Fish Fry in Bight Park, and have a parallel business: TC Crystal water, where they use plastic bottles that are biodegradable. Looking to the future, prospects are strong: buying and shipping beer online, expanding their range of beers, hoisting up marketing for their newest ventures like Osprey Vodka and Caicos Cream Irish Cream and who knows what else. With the Turk’s Head team steering the direction, armed with sharp tastes and a stellar wealth of scientific knowledge, wherever it leads, it’s going to be good.

Tours, tastings, private parties & rentals | Turk’s Head Brewery, 52 Universal Dr | Mike Bozzer: Sales and Marketing Rep Tours are $15 per head, tours last approximately 45-60 minutes (including tasting), three times a day at 11am, 1pm and 3pm Open weekdays Monday to Friday. Currently cash only. To book a tour email tours@turksheadbeer.com or call 649-941-3637 ext #1005