HAVANA – Beer production in Cuba is far from meeting the country’s growing demand in stores, inns and hotels, due to the large increase in tourism, a demand that can only be met by building a new brewery, the island’s producers said.
The current demand for beer is beyond the capacity of Cuba’s existing breweries, which have signed contracts for more than 33 million cases at the Business Fair being held this week in Havana, considerably more than their current production capability will allow, local media said Friday.
This year’s production plan for the mixed company Bucanero, which produces four local beer brands, is to turn out 19 million cases, while importing 3 million cases of the Dominican brew Presidente, according to marketing specialist Mayle Gonzalez of the Cuban state news agency ACN.
The boom in cafes and restaurants, mainly in the island’s growing private sector, and the increasing influx of tourists have sent requests for this product through the roof, which is why “we have to build a new brewery to cover these requirement of the economy,” Gonzalez said.
The mixed company Cerveceria Bucanero S.A., partly owned by the Ministry of the Food Industry, has had production problems due to delays in shipments to the country of the principal raw material, brewing malt from the Czech Republic, a factor, together with the increased demand, that has led to shortages on the market.
The Bucanero company produces four brands of Cuban beer – Cacique, Mayabe, Cristal, and, of course, Bucanero.
Cristal is the best-selling beer on the island, since it represents 47 percent of total production and, according to market surveys, is the brew Cubans prefer.