Blacktip Island Microbrewery Opens Its Taps

BI microbrewery

The newly-opened Bottoms Up Brewery unveiled its inaugural craft beer Thursday afternoon with a public tasting in the brewery courtyard. (photo courtesy of Poppy Bottoms)

Blacktip Island beer enthusiasts Thursday launched the Caribbean island’s first locally-produced beer, aiming to capitalize on the burgeoning micro-brewing trend, company founders said.

“Island visitors want local products, and this is about as local as it gets,” Bottoms Up Brewery brew master Poppy Bottoms said. “It’s Granddaddy’s recipe, the stuff he cooked up back when you couldn’t get beer here. We’re calling it Slap Ya Bottom Ale.

“Our brackish water gives it its unique taste,” Bottoms said. “If people’ll drink that IPA crap, they’ll love this. It makes your face pucker like nobody’s business. Makes your butt pucker, too.”

Bottoms Up Brewery staff were tight-lipped about the ale’s brewing process.

“All I can say is it’s a bottom-fermented spring ale made from coconut meat. And husks,” Bottoms Brewery president Peachy Bottoms said. “There’s no grain to speak of on Blacktip, so we didn’t have much choice there. As for the hops . . . Sure, let’s call them hops.”

Visitors who tasted the ale Thursday noted its intense flavor profile.

“It has a peaty, almost fishy nose, and there’s a real wang to that first sip,” Eagle Ray Cove guest Jenny Porgy said. “There’s a salty aftertaste, too, that’s perfect after a morning of diving. Or a night of drinking.”

Locals were positive as well.

“It tastes like being a kid,” James Conlee said. “The grown ups’d drink coconut hooch. Us little uns would drink this. Healthier than island water, you know. Got to get used to the taste, but once you’re hooked, you can’t get enough.”

Public health officials remained skeptical.

“We asked Peachy and them to hold off on releasing this stuff to the public until we could make sure it’s safe,” public health chief Herring Frye said. “We have no idea what’s in it or what, exactly, the production process is. All we know is its alcohol content’s up in the double digits. When we can get a steady reading.”

Island business leaders downplayed those concerns.

“Poppy and Peachy’re bringing jobs and income and tourists to Blacktip. Where’s the down side to that?” island chamber of commerce president Whitey Bottoms said. “And there’s no proof those three cases of temporary blindness are related to their beer.”

Brewery executives hope to expand their offerings in the near future.

“If Slap Ya Bottom proves popular, we’ll branch out with a Black Bottom stout and a Booby Pond hefeweizen. Well, sort of a hefeweizen,” Poppy Bottoms said. “They’ll all be available in bottles, cans and old pickle jar growlers. Tourists love that.”

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