De Beers investment in the Falklands

23 Jun

What can we say – it’s a slow news day !

Opened by fifth generation islander Jeff Halliday last month, such has been the success of his first beer that he has released a second and has further plans to enlarge his brewery. Speaking to the drinks business, he explained that a stint working in the UK several years ago had introduced him to real ale and upon returning to the Falklands he determined to set up his own microbrewery – although it was not until last year that his plan came to fruition.
 
“I wanted to set up the business as I’m a big fan of real ale,” he said. “I did some work in the UK and discovered it but there were no breweries on the Falklands and so I decided to set something up. I thought, ‘if other small breweries can work on a small output so can I.”
 
Having ordered the necessary equipment, he was accepted onto a scheme run by Stanley Services, which provides grants to islanders looking to better themselves and expand the island’s economy. Coming to the UK last October, he took and passed two courses in practical brewing run by BrewLabs. His first beer, Maiden Bitter – named after local flower Pale Maiden – was released last month and won a contract with the Malvina House Hotel for 100 litres every 10 days.
 
Maiden Bitter has been such a success that Halliday had completely run out of stock and had also just introduced a new bitter – Longdon Pride, named after one of the mountains outside Stanley. In comparison to Maiden, which was a lighter ale, Longdon is a fully fledged best bitter.
 
Halliday said that one of the chief difficulties in selling beer on the island is the predominance of lager such as Heineken and Budweiser. “The islanders aren’t used to darker beers,” he conceded. Although the cost of beer on the island is hardly that of London, or even some rural parts of the UK, at £2.50 to £3.20 a pint depending on where it is sold the beer is the “premium” offering on the island where a can of Boddingtons can be bought for £1.80 in a pub.
 
As the beer has sold well however, more of a challenge is keeping up with demand due to the length of time it takes Halliway to receive vital ingredients and equipment. “From ordering to when I can use it is usually two to three months,” he explained.

Self-fermentation in action !

3 Responses to “De Beers investment in the Falklands”

  1. John Newcomb June 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Hey, this is interesting news!

    Economic development of the Falkland Islands, inspite of new resources of fishing and offshore oil, is probably a big challenge, in part because of the community’s small population, isolation, and Argentine embargo.

    Beer is one of the classic foundations of community development in Europe, a valuable component for its relationship to jobs and providing an important local product that is seen as constrained from long distance transport by its liquid weight related to value and short shelf-life.

    Here in Victoria, on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, there has been an amazing new “craft beer” industry emerging that meets the constraints – low-volume, natural-ingredients local beer production – whose high quality commands higher prices.

    Currently there is a local beer festival in Victoria that celebrates these craft beers (http://www.mondaymag.com/news/159775815.html), and that might be similar in a way with Halliway’s entrepreneurship in the Falkland Islands.

    One more reason for more tourists to come to the Falklands – to enjoy a unique Maiden Bitter!

  2. Tim June 23, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    Jeff’s last name is Halliday.

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