Is America’s Craft Beer Revolution Headed for Cuba?
Cubabrews.com aspires to help “warm relations between Cuba and the United States through a shared love of cold beer.” The brand new site intends to become a hub of news and information on the Cuban beer industry and marketplace as well as beer tourism and travel.
The site’s creator, Dave Hardy, is an attorney who works with craft breweries and other beverage alcohol clients in the Northeast. Long fascinated by the island’s unique history as a communist, U.S. antagonist located just 90 miles from Key West, Hardy took the opportunity to combine in the site his interest in Cuba with his insights and experience in the business (and consumption) of beer.
Although the craft beer scene in Cuba is currently negligible, Hardy is optimistic that the thaw in relations with the U.S. may change that. In recent years, the Cuban government has allowed its people to pursue private economic opportunities in very limited areas. But notable among these emerging areas are restaurants and tourism, and now the island is home to a handful of brewpubs that produce both light and dark European style beers. In addition, as the President is expected to announce during his visit to Cuba, restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba will continue to loosen. These trends may provide the necessary synergy for a proliferation of restaurant-based microbrew offerings targeting the tourist market.
For now, Americans wishing to travel to Cuba must do so with an authorized tour company, of which there are several operating in the U.S.
Most likely while you’re there time will be a factor so here are two craft beer emporiums in Havana to jump start your search:
La Factoria Plaza Vieja
The first of the modern craft beer breweries in Cuba; located in the popular Plaza Vieja, one of the many intriguing public squares in Havana.
Converted warehouse (since 2014) on Havana Harbor.