Mark Reynier to open $20m rum distillery in GrenadaBy Nicola Carruthers
Mark Reynier is moving into rum with the construction of a US$20 million distillery in Grenada, which will aim to distil “the most compelling rum in the world”.
The new Renegade Rum Distillery will be located near Pearl, on the north eastern side of the Windward Island. It will produce up to one million litres of spirit annually.
Renegade Rum has created 50 jobs locally, with a further 100 jobs to be created over the next year. The distillery will be “technologically advanced and environmentally sound” with an “industry-challenging philosophy”.
It will exclusively use sugar cane reintroduced to Grenada in 2016 during the initial stage of the project.
Renegade Rum has partnered with agricultural company CaneCo, which propagates, cultivates, and harvests super-premium sugar cane for the distillery.
It will use several varieties of cane grown across the island on different soils and altitudes to “maximise flavour differences”.
The distillery will have a “terroir-driven approach” to rum production, with harvest from each field of cane milled and distilled in isolation. The distillate will be matured in oak barrels and will be available by approximately 2021/2022.
“This project has been completely back to front: we’ve had to propagate cane first, and only then build a distillery,” said Reynier.
“I had been looking for a home for this project for over a decade before I found Grenada, but after my first trip around the island it was clear there was no cane left, just bush. We would have to start with a blank canvas, to prove there is enough cane potential to make it worthwhile building a distillery.
“And that’s where we are now today. During those three years we have been designing the distillery, taking advantage of the latest ideas from the top engineers in the business, while simultaneously planting cane lands.”
Prime minister of Grenada, Dr Keith Mitchell, said: “When I first heard about this project I was not entirely convinced that it could be brought to fruition but standing here today and learning of its many unique facets, I must say it is historic in every sense.
“The project will not only help boost the agriculture sector and enable diversification of the economy, it will also provide invaluable promotion of Grenada as the origin of this unique blend.
“The location of the project will have a remarkable impact on this rural community, spurring significant development outside of areas usually targeted for business operations. I commend Mark and his team for staying the course, for their determination to forge ahead with the evolution of this concept into a reality and most importantly, for choosing Grenada.”