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100 Things To Do on St. Croix - #14 Sample Local Ales, St. Croix, USVIFor the past few years, microbrews and craft beers have been taking America by storm. The makers of these small-batch brews are generally recognized for their emphasis on quality, flavor and traditional brewing technique. While St. Croix may be an island, you can still find some refreshing, locally made ales and craft brews right in the heart of downtown Christiansted at The Bombay Club.

For the past 30 years, The Bombay Club has been a favorite haunt of residents and visitors alike. Known for offering consistently great food at reasonable prices, Bombay has recently embraced the concept of serving locally crafted beer as well. A seemingly fitting place to find craft brews, this quaint and unassuming restaurant and bar are housed in a historical Danish brick building tucked back in a small courtyard off of King Street. If you have never been, you really have to watch for the small wooden sign hanging street side which reads simply "The Bombay Club", under which you will usually find a specials board. When you enter the courtyard, a green awning marks the cavernous arched stone entryway into the restaurant. Once inside, the air conditioned comfort and casual vibe invite you to sit at the bar and grab a cold one. 

The Bombay Club - St. Croix, USVI

The Bombay Club: King Street Sign | Courtyard Entrance| Arched Stone Entryway into Restaurant

So what exactly makes a craft brew (or microbrew) special? Turns out, there is an "official" Brewer's Association that has defined what it means to be a craft brewer. Essentially, it is a small, independently owned and operated brewery that uses traditional brewing methods. I can imagine just how "small" and "independent" our local island brewer is, so I think it's safe to consider him a craft brewer. The Bombay Club currently offers two different locally crafted beers on draft. Bombay Pale Ale is the house draft and is therefore (almost) always available on tap. The second type of beer on tap rotates depending on what the brewer has made, which was a stout the last time I was there. 

Bombay Pale Ale

If you are looking for a reason to choose a craft beer over a mass produced one, just consider the challenges craft brewers face - especially those trying to brew beer here on St. Croix. Access to and the cost of raw materials and ingredients, access to and cost of fresh water, operational costs, and finding a market for the finished product are some of the bigger hurdles our local brewers have to overcome. So, keep in mind that when you order locally crafted beer you are not only supporting the community and culture of craft brewing in the United States, but you are also supporting our local island economy.

The Bombay Club Bar - St. Croix, USVI

The bar at The Bombay Club

 Raise your glass, take a sip, and savor the creativity and passion shown by our local brewer. Enjoy the complexity of the flavors and ingredients in your beer as you celebrate the fact that you are partaking of this delicious fermented beverage on a beautiful island in the Caribbean. Cheers!

- Jennie Ogden, Editor



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