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Entrepreneurs plan brewery in old World Heritage Centre

Brewing up a new business: Moongate Brewing Co Ltd founders Robert Pantry (left) and Zander Dill (right) with Candy-Lee Foggo, representing the Corporation of St George, at the World Heritage Centre (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

An historic St George’s building is expected to return to life next year as the home of a new brewery and tap room.

Robert Pantry, co-founder and head brewer for Moongate Brewing Co Ltd, said the company hoped to open its new home in the Queen’s Warehouse — the former home of the World Heritage Centre — in 2023.

“We really hope we can help enrich St George’s as a whole,” he said.

“Hopefully we will get people come to St George’s to check out the brewery and enjoy the other restaurants and activities in the town while they are there.”

Mr Pantry said he had thought about starting a brewery in Bermuda for years, but got serious about it in 2017.

“I started home brewing and found out I was really good at it,” he said. “It was something that I think Bermuda really needed.

“I have been a bartender here for many years and whenever tourists would ask what local brewery I recommended, I really didn’t have anything to recommend.

“Things have changed since then and we have more options now, but I am excited to be part of that growth.”

Mr Pantry said that after testing the water with home brewing, he moved to London and reached out to a variety of breweries to gain commercial brewing experience.

“I eventually found a brewing training position at Belleview Brewing Company and worked there for two years brewing commercial batches twice a week every week,” he said.

“It was great, but after a few years doing that I wanted to bring that experience back home and start a brewery that Bermuda could be proud of.”

Mr Pantry said he scoured the island for places that could be suitable for the brewery and was directed to the former World Heritage Centre by a friend who read about the site being available in The Royal Gazette.

“It is just a beautiful location and a beautiful old building, which we don’t want to change much at all,” he said.

The Queen’s Warehouse was first built in the 1860s to store cargo unloaded from ships.

The building subsequently became the home of the World Heritage Centre, which closed its doors in 2020.

Plans for the brewery — which also envisage a tap room at the site — were approved recently by the Development Applications Board.

Mr Pantry said that in addition to enjoying beer on site, customers will be able to find Moongate Brewing products on store shelves and in bars and restaurants across the island.

He added that he was happy to be part of the growing market for local craft beer, and that there was room for local entrepreneurs to produce goods that are usually imported.

“There’s this growing trend of everybody wants to do things locally, and that is great for sustainability,” Mr Pantry said.

“I know it is kind of hard in Bermuda because everything is shipped here anyway so there is a carbon footprint, but it’s a lot more efficient to bring in grain rather than bring in already produced alcohol from other countries.

“I think there’s a lot of room to grow. Local businesses could take over a lot of things that we import.”

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Published September 26, 2022 at 9:44 am (Updated September 26, 2022 at 9:44 am)

Entrepreneurs plan brewery in old World Heritage Centre

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