We all know them. We all love them. And now we can find them on two different islands! Please join me in congratulating Cheech, Kevin, Tim and the whole team at St. John Brewers on their new retail shop and tasting room in the beautifully renovated St. Thomas Historic District on the waterfront.
If you have been an avid lover of St. John for many years, you have probably followed along with the challenges and accomplishments of the team at St. John Brewers and the Tap Room as it has evolved over time. Chirag “Cheech” Vyas and Kevin Chipman opened the original Tap Room at Mongoose Junction in 2006, serving a rotating selection of house made brews and featured guest taps.
The business was wildly successful over time as it is, and has always been, one of the only places on island to get a quality craft beer. In 2010, the pair of brewers from Vermont opened the Brewtique in the space below their bar. A space where they could sell eclectic STJ Brewers and Love City centric merchandise. And their staple brews to go!
In 2015, a fire ravaged Mongoose Junction, deeming the original Tap Room location as unusable. So, the gang decided to build out the adjacent office space into a smaller restaurant while they put bigger plans into play.
And then, after two Cat five hurricanes and an incredibly slow season of tourism on St. John, the brewers gave us a reason to rejoice with the 2018 grand opening of a new and expanded Tap Room that included the footprint of their original location.
And, now, following the recent release of their Love City Seltzers and the “soon come” launch of Juicy Booty Hazy IPA in four packs, the little brewery that could has now expanded to our larger sister island, St. Thomas. St. John Brewers on the Waterfront opened last month in a beautiful building constructed in the 1820’s as the first step of a very exciting STJ Brewers St. Thomas expansion (STAY TUNED!).
The retail shop and tasting bar is located amidst some amazing shops and restaurants housed in colorful historic buildings and linked with narrow streets and quaint corridors. It would be a great stop over on your way to the airport for an afternoon flight or a little day trip to check out something new the next time you are visiting! The downtown ferry is now running once again and, on Saturdays, there is also a BEAUTIFUL local farmers’ market in the area adjacent to the historic area where the store sits.
STJ Brewers on the Waterfront offers STJ Brewers and Love City branded items, similar to what you might find in their Mongoose location. But, Cheech assured me that they are working on some St. Thomas designs as well to add to the collection.
You can also purchase their brews, seltzers and sodas at the new spot. But, it is also a tasting room. So, you can sample the rotating selection of locally made beer and seltzers while you shop. And, if you find a taste that you simply NEED more of, you can purchase a full pour on site as well.
The tasting room and store is located at 32 Raadets Gade in St. Thomas’s historic downtown area. They are open for drinks and shopping Monday-Saturday from 10AM-4PM.
Oh, and with their hands on approach to running their businesses and engaging with their customers, you might just find Cheech or Kevin at the store when you swing by! And, if you do, give them a high five 🙂 Congratulations, STJ Brewers, on your new expansion. And, to all of you readers out there, stay tuned for more exciting updates from the Virgin Islands’ first commercial brewery!”