Beer-loving tourists drinking Cuba dry

Floridita_bar,_Havana,_Cuba_1

Photo credit: Tony Hisgett via Flickr.

One of the worst things that could ever happen at a party is for the beer supply to run dangerously low, well imagine if it happened in an entire country.

Cuba is currently in a state of being a house party at 11.30pm when there are only two bottles of lager and a dubious can of stout belonging to someone’s Dad left in the fridge and the nearest supermarket is 2 miles away and shuts in the next 15 minutes. The country, which has recently renewed links with the US after president Barack Obama relaxed travel restrictions on the States’ near neighbour, has seen an influx of American tourists visiting for the first time.

This is putting a strain on Cuba’s beer supply. Fridges in bars, cafes and petrol stations across the island are running low on popular brands such as Cristal and Bucanero prompting new tactics by the heads of the company.

Mayle Gonzalez, a Bucanero sales executive, explained that the brewer will need a new plant to keep up with the demand from tourists, coupled with Cuba’s booming restaurant sector. Reports in the Communist-led nation revealed that the breweries have signed a deal to bring 33 million cases of beer to a Havana-based business. Bucanero is also believed to be importing 3 million cases of beer from Dominica to meet demand.

It is set to get even busier on the island with cruise ships from Miami to start arriving in Havana from May. It will mark the first time these voyages have taken place since a US embargo prevented trips following Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution. President Obama’s role in cooling of tensions between the US and Cuba has re-opened the island for American tourists.

While the beer supply may be running dry, like any good house party there is always a back-up plan. Cuba’s national drink – rum – is available in abundance allowing tourists to enjoy classic mojitos and a host of other cocktails while exploring beautiful Havana.

After all, you don’t have to worry about your rum cocktail getting warm while enjoying an authentic Cuban cigar.

Cover photo credit: Wikicommons