Bermuda

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Cass
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Bermuda

Postby Cass » Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:32 pm

By a pleasant stroke of luck I have now been to Bermuda twice in the last month for business, and if anyone happens to go down there I thought I'd post up what I've found.

Unfortunately Bermuda isn't much of a beer destination. I was thinking that due to it's colonial heritage there might be some British pint love, but there doesn't seem to be. It's mostly a wine & liquor type of place, with most restaurants and bars having just a few beer selections - Heineken, Sam Adams, Boddington, Stella, that kind of thing. But, there are two notable exceptions that I've found.

First, there is one brewery in Bermuda (and what I understand the only place that actually produces alcohol on the island), Dockyard Brewing. Dockyard Brewing is right next to a pub called the Frog & Onion, which is located in the Royal Naval Dockyard area of the island. The pub is a highly British-stlye influenced spot, which serves the beers of Dockyard. They have 5 regulars - a light lager, wheat, pale ale, porter and amber ale - all very nice beers.

I briefly spoke with the brewer of Dockyard (Rob) who funnily enough spent a year brewing at Neustadt in Ontario a few years back. Small world. He told me that the beers he makes are primarily to cater to the tastes of the cruise ship patrons, as the cruise dock is in the dockyard. But he's also giving a shot at some more interesting beers - he had a honey ale as a summer seasonal and is brewing a winter ale with Bermuda rum-soaked cedar planks in the aging tank. A nice spot and hopefully Rob can continue to make interesting beers in the future.

In terms of beer bars, they are virtually non-existent, but I did find one. Within the Fairmont Southampton hotel there is a bar called the Newport Gastropub and they've got a pretty good beer lineup. There's a number of draught beers - 3 from Dockyard along with Chimay, Anchor Liberty and some more standard fare. There's also a fairly decent bottled list including Chimay, Celebrator, Rogue, Yuengling and some others. Evidently the Newport Gastropub used to be called the Newport Room and was an old-school, Frank Sinatra type of place. It was 're-invented' last year with some TVs for sports and is a really nice spot for food & beer.

Other than that, I didn't find much else. Evidently the Swizzle Inn chain also has Dockyard on tap. I couldn't find any beer of note in the largest city (Hamilton) so developed a taste for Dark 'n Stormys. But when in Bermuda it certainly isn't all about the beer, but a couple of nice spots worth seeking out.

If anyone else has been, feel free to post what you've found!
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Postby Broccoli » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:25 pm

I go to Bermuda frequently. The one-offs being done at the Dockyards have been getting pretty good. Before the beer began being brewed behind the Frog and Onion it was brewed in the Northrock Brewpub. The Northrock still exists and is mostly patronized by locals. The food is better than your average Bermuda pub and cheaper than in the city. The pub is on South Road at Collectors Hill. If you are staying in Hamilton its about a $10 cab ride.

My favourite place for beer in Bermuda is actually Miles Market - an upscale grocery store next to the Hamilton Princess. They have a small but constantly changing selection of beers: many American imports and usually one or more varieties of Lindeman's and a few other Belgians plus other random bottles. Its affordable and by far the best beer selection on the rock.
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Postby Broccoli » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:27 pm

One word of caution: on Sundays only restaurants and bars can sell alcohol. The beer/wine/liquor section of Miles Market will be roped off.
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Re: Bermuda

Postby midlife crisis » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:28 pm

Any updates on this informative but five-year-old post? I may be heading there soon for a few days.
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Cass
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Re: Bermuda

Postby Cass » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:56 pm

Alas I got to go thanks to a client back then, and that association has long since ended. I remember times fondly and wish to go back at some point. But sorry, no updates from me I'm afraid.
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Re: Bermuda

Postby midlife crisis » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:55 am

Just back from a week in Bermuda. It is not a destination you need to rush to for the beer, despite its British heritage. Frankly, the bar/restaurant scene reminded be a bit of Niagara-on-the-Lake ten years ago, if I had to sum it up. Nevertheless, if you find yourself there for other reasons, you might be interested in the following.

There are two local breweries, Dockyard and OnDeRock. Both have very light distribution on the island, and brew draught only.

Dockyard brews five beers. They are available only at the Frog & Onion, out at the far tip of Bermuda in the Naval Dockyards area (also the main cruise ship port in summer, but there is very light traffic at this time of year), and at a couple of pubs in Hamilton under the same ownership group: the Hog Penny and the Pickled Onion. Cass said above that the beers are brewed to appeal to the tastes of a typical cruise ship passenger, and that is a good summary. The Lager was sweet, the Porter was decent but with a rather off-putting metallic nose, the Amber reminded me of Ontario craft circa 1995.

I had better luck with OnDeRock. They say they make six beers, but I only encountered three, and believe me, I searched. The good news is that the IPA was really quite decent. About like a Great Lakes Canuck, say. A definite winner in a sea of mediocrity. OnDeRock IPA is available at the Henry VIII pub (closest thing to a true pub that I could find, at least anywhere near me at the Southampton Princess), the Boundary Bar at the Turtle Hill Golf Club (on the property of Southampton Princess), and Flanagan's in Hamilton. It is probably also on at The Robin Hood, Henry VIII's sister pub in Hamilton, but I didn't make it there. That is about it, AFAIK. OnDeRock Pale Ale (also decent, not quite as good as the IPA) is available in the bar at the Port Royal Golf Club.

As an aside, that craft beer bar in the basement of the Southampton Princess that Cass mentioned has been turned into a coffee shop.

I stayed at the "South P", as the locals refer to it, so I didn't see as much of the eastern half of the island as I might have. But research did not turn up any other likely candidates for good beer. I did a day trip to St. George and stopped in at the White Horse, the main pub in town (right on the town square). The barman said they did not carry OnDeRock and he did not expect it to be available anywhere out that way.

At any bar in Bermuda you are virtually certain to encounter some combination of the following on tap: Stella, Heineken, Carlsberg, Sam Adams, Boddington's (nitro) and Guinness. That is it. Apparently Carlsberg Elephant Beer in bottles in also popular amongst some locals. I had a couple - it is not terrible.

So the best bet is to be somewhere within striking distance of one of the few pubs above. Otherwise, develop a taste for Goslings Black Seal Rum and the ubiquitous Dark & Stormy!

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