A Beer is a… Carib (video)

Carib Brewery

Carib Brewery, Eastern Main Road, Champs Fleurs

Ask any Trinidadian to complete the following phrase. A beer is a … and you’ll instantly hear a loud uproarious ‘Carib’.

For over 50 years the Carib Brewery has been producing Carib beer to the delight of Trinis both at home and abroad. I know that for myself seeing a Carib sign in a pub or a bar abroad was enough to make me scream, grab a camera and patronise the establishment :lol:

Carib doesn’t only produce beer however, they also are behind the popular Shandy Carib line, as well as Malta and Smalta.

Carib Beer From CaribBeer.com:

The brewing of beer in Trinidad and Tobago was inherited from the British. The first commercial brewery was founded just after World War 1 although there had been legislation as early as August 1899 concerning the regulation of brewing.

It is known that a Mr. Walters began the brewing of beer on a commercial scale just after World War 1 with a capacity around 3000-5000 hectoliters a year, which is extremely small by today’s comparisons. Walters’ Trinidad Brewing Company produced Royal Lion Ale, Royal Extra Stout and Black Velvet Stout during the depression years.

After the war, Sir Gerald Wight, then Chairman of Alstons and Company Limited (now McEnearney Alstons Limited), saw the need and opportunity to expand local industry from the traditional sugar and oil-based economy. He pushed for the establishment of a new brewery and a Glassworks factory and in July of 1947, the Caribbean Development Company Limited (CDC) was formed with Sir Gerald Wight as its Chairman. The Brewery started with an initial payroll of seven (7) persons.

In September 1950, the Brewery launched its own beer, Carib Lager beer, before which foreign imported beers were available to the population. However, with the advent of Carib, the imported beers began to disappear from the market, as Carib’s popularity increased. In 1957, CDC acquired the brewing plant and interests of Walters’ Brewery. By 1957, therefore, CDC was the sole brewer and bottler of beer and stout in Trinidad.

In 1972, the Brewery acquired more land and brewhouse equipment, increasing its capacity to over 250,000hl per year. It expanded its product range into the dark malt drink market launching Malta Carib in 1973. This was the first non-alcoholic drink to be produced by the Brewery, directed to health conscious individuals. Next, followed Shandy Carib in 1985, which was an effort to capitalize on the popular indigenous custom of mixing beer and other flavoured drinks.

As early as 1983 the brewery facilities were expanded to facilitate the increasing demand locally, as well as exports to international destinations. New brands and flavours, (including Stag Lager beer, Smalta and Shandy Lime), were developed and launched over time, moving the company from one pinnacle of success to another.

The Brewery has over time, formed partnerships with International Companies such as Guinness, Interbrew, Carlsberg, Ginseng-Up Corp and Diageo, and as a result several international brands are produced under license for local and export consumption. These include Guinness stout, Mackeson stout, Ginseng-Up, Carlsberg beer and Smirnoff Ice.


Carib Lager Beer Commercial (1989)




This post was originally published on September 4th, 2007. It has been updated twice since then.

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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  • Marco

    If only they sold Carib here in Texas…

  • Marco

    If only they sold Carib here in Texas…

  • frank

    please open an export to denmark, i just love that beer!!!!!!!!

  • frank

    please open an export to denmark, i just love that beer!!!!!!!!

  • http://culinarycowboy.com Lee Dunkelberg

    I have gotten Carib in Texas, but it is a chore and involves a lot of chatting up beer dept. heads usually at specialty stores.
    Had my first Carib in 1995 on St. John. Since then, I have tried the shandies (ginger and red are spectacular!). However, the best beer they may make is the Lion Head Stout!
    Love them all. Carib, though, is the one you want on the deck at the end of the day.

  • http://culinarycowboy.com Lee Dunkelberg

    I have gotten Carib in Texas, but it is a chore and involves a lot of chatting up beer dept. heads usually at specialty stores.
    Had my first Carib in 1995 on St. John. Since then, I have tried the shandies (ginger and red are spectacular!). However, the best beer they may make is the Lion Head Stout!
    Love them all. Carib, though, is the one you want on the deck at the end of the day.

  • http://www.myspace.com/zydecostingrays T-Richard

    Oh pleeeze tell me where in Texas can you convince someone to import Carib?! Hairoun Lager, too for that matter! :) I’ve put my name on countless lists… and I only end up with the default Red Stripe.

  • http://www.myspace.com/zydecostingrays T-Richard

    Oh pleeeze tell me where in Texas can you convince someone to import Carib?! Hairoun Lager, too for that matter! :) I’ve put my name on countless lists… and I only end up with the default Red Stripe.

  • Deena

    I tried Carib, Stag, and Ginseng Up when I visited T&T last year. Delicious, all of them.

  • Deena

    I tried Carib, Stag, and Ginseng Up when I visited T&T last year. Delicious, all of them.

  • http://thebrewclub.com Scott

    Nice write up. I love reading about the history behind beers. Carib is findable up here in Jersey but not everywhere. I like it for summertime enjoyment now and then.
    .-= Scott´s last blog ..Dogfish Head Punkin Ale – Beer Review =-.

  • http://thebrewclub.com Scott

    Nice write up. I love reading about the history behind beers. Carib is findable up here in Jersey but not everywhere. I like it for summertime enjoyment now and then.
    .-= Scott´s last blog ..Dogfish Head Punkin Ale – Beer Review =-.

  • G – Trini

    To those of you in Texas that are trying to find a carib there are many places that sell it.

    Some of the caribbean food places sell them and there is also a Mart in baytown that always has it for sale.

    So before you go and try to get someone to import it for you check around and you will see that it is available.

  • G – Trini

    To those of you in Texas that are trying to find a carib there are many places that sell it.

    Some of the caribbean food places sell them and there is also a Mart in baytown that always has it for sale.

    So before you go and try to get someone to import it for you check around and you will see that it is available.

  • T-Richard

    Baytown… here I come! I’ll find it if it’s there (along with some zydeco, eh!?) Thanks for the clue, G-Trini — large up, mon amis!

  • T-Richard

    Baytown… here I come! I’ll find it if it’s there (along with some zydeco, eh!?) Thanks for the clue, G-Trini — large up, mon amis!