Beers of the Bahamas: Sands and Kalik

The number one beer in the Bahamas in terms of sales is Kalik, followed closely by newcomer SANDS.

Kalik is made by the Commonwealth Brewery in Nassau (owned primarily by the foreign Dutch powerhouse Heinekein International) which also locally produces Heineken, Guinness and Vitamalt. Kalik has about 5% alcohol per volume, Kalik Light 4% and Kalik Gold a whopping 7%.

Kalik was released by Heineken International in 1988 based on studies of the Bahamian market for beer (which at the time was domainated by Becks).

Comments Fred Mitchell (former MP and Minister of Foreign Affairs) on the rise of Kalik:

“The Heineken company came to The Bahamas around 1980 to build the Heineken Brewery, and they hired myself and Al Dillette to help to plan their advertising and public relations for them.  We had come out of the public sector and had the view espoused by many then that you could safely predict what Bahamians would do by making your own subjective judgments in marketing terms.”

“Heineken wanted to attack the Beck’s market, then the number one beer in The Bahamas with a new product. We watched with fascination as brand experts came in, product naming experts came in, focus group experts came in, advertising consultants came in, polling experts came in and each used their skills to find out what Bahamians would like on a scientific basis. That together with some legal changes allowed them to take over the market from Beck’s.” [emphasis added]

“They created a new product called Kalik from scratch from focus groups that over took Beck’s and virtually knocked it out of the market. The interesting thing is that Beck’s virtually stood still in response to the onslaught. That is another fact of life in this business of PR.  If your public doesn’t hear from you; they begin to accept the words of the other side.”

Unlike Commonwealth Brewery, Bahamian Brewery is 100% Bahamian owned.

SANDS beer launched on December 15th, 2007, and was brewed to quench the Bahamian thirst, creating a specific definitive flair that was missing in the beer market once dominated by Kalik (which is still the marklet leader though by a shrinking amount).

Bahamas Breweries

Bahamian Brewery & Beverage
Makes of SANDS beers — Truly Bahamian.