Island Beer Chill & Grill situated at the Northern end of One Woodbrook Place, got our attention with their extensive list of imported beer. First of its kind to open in Trinidad & Tobago, they saw a Trini's love for beer and decided to introduce the world to us. When we spoke to owner Joe Pires, he explained that they aim to educate people about beer by hosting events that bring experts, helping customers understand the intricacies of beer. They hope to offer a new experience, a new kind of restaurant and bar spot in Trinidad & Tobago and eventually the rest of the Caribbean.
Our local beer has flooded the market for so long that to some of us it is inconceivable to even acknowledge other brands but Island Beer is attempting to change that. With no less than 120 brands from around the world at any given time, it's easy to explore various tastes. For lovers of this nectar, seasonal brews are also brought in to fill the experimental need. You may have tasted a beer once and can't find it ever again, there's a high probability that you can find it here. Management explains that it comes with its challenges as importing an item such as beer is a delicate and sometimes frustrating process.
Approaching the restaurant, the customer first spots the large communal tables that speaks "German Beer Garden", No frills here, it's about the beer, it's not about the tidy little uniform of a "garcon", it says "we know you're here to drink so let us help you with that". As you enter the indoor area, rustic meets modern in a well laid out space designed by Catalina Pelàez who put a considerable amount of thought into the flow and with the help of Andrew Fung they saw it come to life. Sitting by the bar, beautifully crafted taps are fighting for first place but they're not the only stars, chillers to the back are filled to capacity with bottles putting on their best show begging to be sampled. Priced fairly considering the procedure for getting products like this into the country in perfect state, customers can be confident in knowing that trying something new is within reach. An impressive chilling room sits behind a glass wall revealing to the customer what goes into bringing you beer on tap at perfect temperatures. The first of its kind in the country, it allows the average beer lover a new found appreciation for one of our favourite drinks.
Beer Breakdown - I'm no beer expert so instead I will try to describe and compare it to something you may have had before.
If you've had English Ale before you are familiar with the distinct flavour. They vary from bitter to mild and hobgoblin falls somewhere in the mild category. I recommend you try it as an introduction to English Ale.
Stronger in flavour and somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of bitter to mild, this beer is for those who've either tried English beer before and liked it or for the few with an adventurous palette. Flavour is more pronounced marking its telling English flavour.
Crisp and refreshing, this beer is a definite try. Trinis have come to love the taste of our indigenous beer, our taste buds seemed trained by now. This is an excellent beer to start the adventure without the shock of something new and different. They always say the Germans know beer and this proves it.
When we heard of this item I immediately thought thick chowder however what we got was shockingly pleasing. Tender nuggets of brisket are bathed in a light, creamy broth and accompanied by corn, carrots and chives. Light and satisfying it's a great lunch item, the only thing that can make this better is a bread basket.
Can't have a beer garden without wings right! There's a giant smoker so guess what, these wings are smoked and not fried. After the smoking process they are tossed in sauce of your choice, we went with buffalo since it compliments beer so well. The signature vinegar smell and taste is evident, packed with flavour and a little spice, it's great for "cutters".
I'm always hesitant with this item as it's often done wrong. Many things contribute to a failed pulled pork, wrong cut, wrong temperature and a barrage of other things. I'm pleased to say that their pork is both tender and juicy with the right amount of char. Flavour is more American than Trini which I have no problem with but I understand they are soon launching signature sauces with a lot of local influence so I'm looking forward to that. A hefty portion of seasoned wedges came with our order which the average person can't help but finish. What they call potato balls also came with the pork. I have to say I was not a fan of this item. Boiled and sautéed in butter it lacked seasonings and was a bit overcooked however I believe with a little tweaking it can be a stellar item. Next time I'm looking forward to having one of their new sauces on the side.
If you're coming to drink Stag and Carib alone, this may not be for you, definitely try one of their foreign beers.
Group packages are available for birthdays etc. So make inquiries when calling in reservations
Half pints are available on tap for around $20.00 so you can try a few types.
When ordering food request for sauce on the side
Make reservations as its difficult to get a table at times
Look for their Daily Specials or ask a server
Spicy food lovers ask about the scorpion sauce. I understand if you love pepper you'll be a fan but I'm too coward to try it in fear my taste buds will die and I'll have to find a real job.
Island Beer Chill & Grill has the ingredients to be a brand in itself and stay around for a long time. With a little settling down they can be a staple and The Bill Check hopes to see more people open up to the concept.