With some water, a little yeast, and some hops and barley you create “La Tropical” beer that is now being produced in Wynwood.
The factory was founded in Cuba in 1888 and was an important part of the brewing industry. Over the years, it became a product of national pride.
The owner of La Tropical, Manny Portuondo, said that in the 1960s it was the largest producer of beer in Cuba, producing more than 60% of the annual production, but all the families involved in the business left the island for Miami.
Manny remembers that in 1998, with the brand gone, he began the difficult process of trying to revive the company which took more than 20 years of hard work.
“I have become an expert in the La Tropical brewery in Cuba as well as where all the records were kept.”
La Tropical is made up of 40 employees, one of them being production manager, Fernando Finol who has made a career in beer production.
“It has been a big challenge for me to work in the creation of beer recipes and the way we tropicalize them for the palates of our people here in Miami.”
In just 28,000 squared feet, Portuondo intends to restore not just the classic Cuban beer, but also the significance La Tropical has for the multicultural community and new generations that live in Miami.
“In this plant we make 32,000 hectoliters a year in production in Miami and it’s one of the only plants in the world, that I know of, that gives the consumer a unique experience,” said Portuondo.
The beer is already packaged and ready to be distributed to all of South Florida and is in the beginning phases to eventually extend its reach to the entire country in the near future.