Cuba’s suddenly booming tourism industry might lead to some very parched patrons by the end of the year. According to the Costa Rica Star, the country’s breweries can’t keep pace with the growing demand for beer and don’t have the capability to produce enough beer to match projected consumption as more and more people come to visit.
Local media outlets report that Cuban brewers signed contracts for 33 million cases in the next year, significantly more than the production facilities on the island can handle.
Bucanero — the brewer of the country’s most popular beer, Cristal — said it needed to build a new plant to keep up with the rising demand or risk bars and stores running dry. Sales executive Mayle Gonzalez announced that the joint venture brewery between the Cuban government and Anheuser Busch InBev needed a new facility in state-run media on Friday.
The United States began easing travel restrictions to the country last year for the first time since the 1960s. The problem is only going to get worse as more and more American airlines and cruise lines offer the option to travel to Cuba. Tourism in the Caribbean nation grew by 17 percent in 2015, with the country welcoming in 3.5 million foreigners, and is up again nearly 15 percent so far this year, surpassing 1 million tourists in early March (surely boosted by President Obama’s very visible visit).
For now, the shortages are limited to beer, but if they start affecting rum we’ve really got trouble. How can you experience Cuba without a mojito?
(Via Costa Rica Star)