By the Caribbean Journal staff
Long one of the Caribbean’s top rum-producing countries, the island of Grenada is about to get a major new addition.
United Kingdom-based Renegade Rum has officially broken ground on its new Renegade Rum Distillery in the parish of St Andrew on the island’s east coast.
The company will use locally-grown sugarcane to create a series of premium rums.
The project will have an overall cost of $40 million, according to Renegade Rum CEO Mark Reynier; that includes $20 million invested specifically in the distillery and $20 million in cultivation and plant operations.
It’s the brainchild of London-based Renegade Spirits, which has a long background in whisky distillation.
“Our goal is a simple one: to distil and mature the most profound rum the world has ever seen,” the company said on its new Web site.
The company has already planted more than 200 acres of sugarcane to facilitate production when the distillery becomes fully operational in 2019.
The plan is to bring the rum to market around 2021, according to Renegade.
“When a project like this comes to a rural community, it sends a message that there is good potential and the spinoff activities will be enormous,” said Grenada Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, who was on hand for the sod-turning ceremony. “”This project is good for the agricultural sector and for growth in the area.”
The distillery will also be eco-friendly, with plans to use bagasse to generate 80 percent of its electricity needs.
Another, smaller brand is Rivers, a rum that has found cult status for its organic, ultra-pure overproof rum produced at the River Antoine distillery, one of the oldest in the Caribbean.
It’s the first new rum distillery to launch in the Caribbean in some time.