St. John Brewers brings in the new while honoring the past

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St. John, US Virgin Islands (USVI NEWS) —

Back from the ashes.

“This is our four year process, long haul grand opening of our new location,” Tim Hanley, Operations Manager at St. John Brewers said.

St. John Brewers’ Tap Room is officially open again.

The Mongoose Junction business was destroyed in a fire back in 2015.

After a make shift bar in a parking lot and one other temporary space, their new and improved Tap Room is up and running.

It opened in June but this is the official grand opening week, almost four years to do the day of the fire.

“We hope we can have everyone swing by throughout the week just to stop and say hello, share a story and maybe come up and take a brewery tour to show them just how we’ve been making our beer in the VI for all of these years,” Chirag “Cheech” Vyas, Co-Owner at St. John Brewers said.

Vyas and Kevin Chipman are the owners of St. John Brewers and have been brewing together for over 15 years.

They opened the Tap Room in 2006.

Since then many bartenders have walked through these doors.

During opening week, they brought some of those bartenders back to pour another round.

“I was a full time employee when the fire occurred and obviously you know that was pretty rough and as soon as we recovered from that, the storms came through. So it’s been an ongoing recovery process,” bartender Katja Keleher said.

Keleher is still a bartender to this day and joined former bartender Sarah Swan for the throwback event.

They said it’s like coming home.

“Brings back a lot of  good memories it’s nice to support these guys because these guys have done nothing but support the island since the storm and even before that, since they started,” Swan added.

Another throwback was the St. John Brewers mug club.

People are getting the mugs back for the first time since the fire.

They’re a part of the mug club with special hand blown glass mugs.

They’re so excited to be back a part of the club at “The Tap Room” in St. John.

“This mug was in the fire. It was all black but because my husband and I are the landlords and my husband is the builder they wanted us to have this so Kevin gave it to me with the card, personally having cleaned it all and a little picture of it all black and thanked us for all the help that we’ve been giving them,” Radha Spear a member of the mug club said.

Spear, has been a member of the mug club since the first year the Tap Room opened.

Many others joined her in filling up their mugs.

Cheering to a new start for an old staple in the St. John community.

Opening week events continue all week long at the Tap Room in St. John.

With Thursday as First Responder Appreciation Day for those that helped during the fire four years ago. Friday is FREE BEER Friday while wearing Tap Room or St. John Brewers swag. Saturday is the OFFICIAL Grand Opening Party.