Feature Story Xp Bonaire IslandLife
The bananaquit or Sugar Thief is a well-known bird on Bonaire, mainly for its sugar stealing reputation. It even goes so far as to hang up side down on a sugary liquor bottle or feed straight off your hand. There is a small place here on Bonaire that can relate and named their local brewery Sugar Thief, since yeast “stealing” sugar is the most important part of brewing tasty beverages.
Sugar Thief opened its doors one year ago, in July, 2021. The couple, Aaron and Edite, have been visitors to the island for many years before they came to stay longer than they themselves ever expected.
The couple originated from Houston, Texas in the USA and were travelling the Caribbean and Bonaire for scuba diving. They enjoyed Bonaire and decided to return and stay for three months, which has now turned into 4 years. Aaron worked as a scuba diving instructor when Covid 19 hit the world and there were no tourists on the island.
Both self-described brewery rats needed something to do and, after a phone call to one of their friends complaining that they missed a freshly brewed beer, the friend just said, “you know how to do it”, and they decided to brew their own beverages on Bonaire. First they started brewing just for fun, giving beers away to their friends. When more and more people asked to buy the beverages, they finally decided to open their own place. “First I didn’t want to do it”, Aaron explains “you are a glorified dishwasher when you decide to brew your own beverages.”
One year later, they are a very unique addition to our night life. The cozy place only fits a small crowd. The interior is made out of reused furniture and drift wood and consists of a small bar, a porch and the brewery is located in the back of the house. It’s not only beer you will find here, they serve lemonade, mead, kombucha, natural carbonated sodas, coffee, tea and beers.
All beverages are created right on location. “We only use real ingredients, no extracts. It is made with love and care and it is alive”. Aaron explains. Even though most of the beverages contain alcohol due to the fermentation process, the beverages are healthy. They contain probiotics and are indeed alive. For the brewer and fermentation lover, Aaron can take you there.
Aaron laughs, “We have our own little competition. Our creations are very different and distinct to our personal taste and creativity “. Sugar Thief runs about 12 tabs with about 4-6 different beers and all the other alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks. Every drink is unique in its ingredients including fresh fruits and spices.
Open from Thursday to Monday, they serve food on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. With the same idea, to stay simple with high quality, their food is prepared from scratch. Their Taco Thursdays have become a favorite and reservations are recommended. On Fridays and Saturdays, the food can differ, but will stay a simple - one choice of pasta, burger or whatever they enjoy preparing.
“We are actively part of our community and care about the island. We didn’t just come to profit off Bonaire. We chose to reuse construction material on the interior to have the least negative impact. Guests can bring their own bottles, we deep clean and sanitize them for you. Our products are home made with natural ingredients,“ Aaron says. In the bar you will find donation boxes. “We want to give back to the community and local charities, part of our income will be donated monthly.“
The charm of Sugar Thief is the two owners and their low key location. Edite chose to be more active in the background and Aaron is fun and entertaining. When you see all the modern, brand-new businesses popping up, beautiful and up to the newest standards, this small place brings you back to how it feels to be on a small Caribbean island, hanging out with your friends and enjoying the breeze and the simple life.
INFO SUGAR THIEF
Kaya Inglatera 8
Phone 770 3962
Open Thursday thru Monday 5 – 10 pm
Facebook & IG Sugar Thief