In 2016, Scott – an avid surfer, sailor and thrill-seeker – was racing in the Conch Republic Regatta, a 90-mile open-ocean sailing race from Key West to Cuba. He decided to turn the trip into a vacation; Scott’s wife, Meghan, and their friends Brandon and Stacy flew to Cuba to meet up with Scott after his sailing race. Little did they know, those 10 days in Cuba would chart the course for Island Coastal Lager.
It was on that trip that Scott and Brandon fell completely in love with the Island of Cuba and became fast friends with the Cuban people who told them “don’t drink the water, drink beer.” They quickly learned that their beer options were minimal and far from fantastic. Beer lovers themselves, Brandon and Scott, were shocked how in such a beautiful country with fun loving people, they were unable to find a decent beer.
While in Cuba, the pair started thinking how a place like Cuba should have better beer and there has to be some way to make it happen. At first, they had an idea to import craft beer to Cuba, but ultimately realized the roadblocks of importing and that the same problem exists in the United States. Major beer brands are using corner-cutting fillers and preservatives but consumers don’t know that because beer ingredients aren’t labeled.
Brandon and Scott, both serial entrepreneurs, started working with various brewers to perfect a recipe for an all clean, easy drinking beer. After two years of recipe testing Island Coastal Lager was born, a premium lager with no fillers, GMOs, preservatives, or artificial flavors. The duo quickly realized they created something very special that could easily compete in all markets.
While there are still obstacles they face getting the beer to Cuba, Island Brands has flourished in the United States. Island Coastal Lager and Island Active, an 88 calorie, 2.6 carb super premium light beer, are distributed in eight states in the southeast, available in most major retailers, on the water with Carnival Cruise Lines, and most recently, the Bahamas! The goal still stays the same; to give the Cuban people better beer! No matter how long it takes, Scott and Brandon will be back in Cuba one day enjoying an Island Coastal Lager and reminiscing on how it all began!