A couple of college buddies say they will open a brew pub in St. John this winter in an unnamed shopping plaza. Chirag Vyas and Kevin Chipman say they will use it to test market their beers. The two are the brains behind Virgin Islands Pale Ale, which they began selling almost 15 months ago. It’s available on island as well in New England, where they work with a distributor based in Portland, Maine. They “perfected” their recipe (pale ale with a hint of mango extract) and moved to St. John about two years ago, returning after a brief respite in residence during their college years.
Since then it’s been classic boot-strapping. Sterilizing bottles themselves, using blank cardboard cases for six packs, and packing shipments themselves sometimes after working bartender shifts at local restaurants. Their total investment, so far, is less than $100,000, they told the newspaper.