Thirsty US tourists are causing a beer shortage in Cuba

Posted: 15-Apr-16 14:51

A huge influx of visitors from the US may be a good thing for Cuba's tourism industry. But it has led to some problems - not least a shortage of beer. Yes, that's right, the Caribbean island destination is quickly running out of alcohol!

Thirsty US tourists are causing a beer shortage in Cuba

American tourists are travelling to Cuba in increasing numbers, now that the travel ban has been more or less lifted on this Caribbean island. When they get there, one of the first things they want to do in the sweltering tropical heat is, of course, to crack open a cold beer.

However, it's bad news. The fridges of Cuba are getting low on Bucanero and Cristal and the abundance of beer-drinking Americans is putting the country's beer supply to the test.

The beer shortage is prompting the main brewer on the island to consider opening up a new plant as well as importing beer from outside the country, in order to keep up with the growing demand. Some of the breweries are starting to import beer from the nearby island of the Dominican Republic to try to stay afloat. Bucanero will import three million cases of the Dominican brew Presidente as a quick solution that will solve the problem for now, until they can build another brewery.

Of course, the Americans aren't the only ones to blame. Tourism from other countries to Cuba has also surged and its foreign holidaymakers numbers have increased around 17% from 2014 to 2015. The island nation now receives around 2.5 million foreign visitors per year.

The numbers will increase even more in May when hundreds of people arrive on a cruise ship from Miami to Havana, which will be the first voyage in history since Fidel Castro assumed power in the 1959 revolution.

In Cuba there are state run outlets as well as an emerging private restaurant sector. The private restaurants have an advantage over the state run ones because the state run restaurants can only sell what the government gives them. Private bars are able to go out and find supplies where they can, which means that a state-run bar might be completely out of beer while a private bar in the same location has a supply of bottles.


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