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@Work: Fort Christian Brew Pub

Jan 21, 2005 – If you want to fill your belly with beer brewed on premises or win a trip to Buck Island because you picked the fastest crab on the boardwalk, the only place to go in the Virgin Islands is the Fort Christian Brew Pub in Christiansted.
The pub is celebrating its fifth anniversary under present ownership this February.
Owner Gary Lee Brumback says, although they appreciate the tourist trade, "If it wasn't for the locals we would not survive."
He says it is somewhat of a tradition for many locals to come to the crab races held every Monday night. The pub inherited the crab races when the hotel next door went out of business last year.
The V.I. government now owns that hotel and is renovating it for a reopening.
Brumback looks forward to that, saying, "Any new business is good business" for Christiansted. However, he says about the crab races, "We are keeping them."
The races set the tone for a busy evening for the Brew Pub. Monday evening is Steak and Ale night. Customers who buy a steak dinner get free draft beer from 5 to 10 p.m.
Customers choose from five beers brewed on premises – Honey Wheat Blonde Ale, Hammerhead Pale Ale, Blackbeard Ale, Leatherback Brown Ale and Jump Up Oatmeal Stout.
About 500 gallons of beer are produced each week by brewer Tim Mason, and when everything is running smoothly all five beers are available. Tutto Bene in Christiansted and Changes in L'Attitude in Frederiksted take some of the beer to serve to their customers.
Brumback hopes some day to expand the small brewery so he can bottle the beer and export it to St. Thomas.
Brumback is an engineer at Hovensa and came to St. Croix in 1995.
In May of 1999 he was drinking beer at what was then known as the Chop House. He and others were complaining about how poor business was in St. Croix. The owner told him if he wanted to do something about he could buy this bar. He did.
Just a few months later the government built the boardwalk in what was once the back of the bar and is now the front. He says about the boardwalk, "It was a godsend. Of course, it had been on drawing boards for years, but who knew when or if they would ever build it?"
He says the boardwalk has transformed his restaurant into a centrally located business. He is looking forward to the completion soon of the boardwalk extending up to the sea plane dock. Groundbreaking is scheduled for today.
He does not express much optimism for the boardwalk to be extended in the other direction, past Fort Christian, in the near future.
The Brew Pub, which employs about 20 people, also has a full menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees.
The pub also features live entertainment several nights a week. On Thursdays, a 60-ounce pitcher of beer is $5 or $10 with 10 Brew Pub wings.
The pub is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is located on the boardwalk near King's Alley. For reservations call 713-9820.

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