The name Bacardi often brings rum to mind. But the Caribbean gave birth to a wonderful pale ale, courtesy of Bacardi, in the year 1926. The origins of Hatuey Beer make for a fascinating story.
Bacardi - the largest family-owned, privately held spirits company in the world - was 62 years old when Enrique Schueg had an idea concerning beer. Schueg, the son-in-law of the Bacardi founder, hired a German brewer to help the family open a new brewery in Cuba. The goal: a delicious premium beer.
By the next year, Bacardi's new Santiago, Cuba brewery was putting the cap on its first batch of Hatuey beer. Inspired by Cuban flavors and traditions, Hatuey was named for a Taino tribal leader of the 16th century who hailed from nearby Hispanola.
Scheug had pulled together the perfect team for Bacardi's newest brand. Hatuey was an instant success and won a gold medal at an important exposition in 1927. A legendary beer was born. Three years later, the Bacardi family sent one of their own - a young Joaquin Bacardi - to Copenhagen to learn the art of craft brewing. THey correctly ascertained that his Harvard degree in chemical engineering made him the perfect choice for Brew Master.
Hatuey Beer, made and distributed in South Florida — Photo courtesy of BacardiThe brewery grew with beer's success, and in 1947, the family opened Cerveceria Modelo in Havana. Cerveceria Central went online six year later, and by 1960, 12 million cases of Hatuey were rolling off the production line. What started as a great idea now had over 50% of the Cuban beer market.
Today, you can still enjoy the legendary taste of Havana, even if you're American. The new Hatuey is available to Americans visiting the sunshine state. The Bacardi family and executive team decided to re-create their award-winning pale ale, which is now produced in the U.S. and only distributed in South Florida. Small-batch brewing holds each batch to only 800 cases.
This legendary beer offers craft beer lovers a masterful flavor profile, paired with an impressive heritage. A golden colored ale, Hatuey is light-bodied; has a carefully balanced mix of mild hop bitterness and gentle sweetness; and has a cool, crisp finish. It pairs well with light foods like salads, seafood and chicken. Hatuey's also delicious with bratwurst, Vermont cheddars and mild English cheddars. Choose a light citrus dessert for the perfect complement.
Bacardi is now based in Hamilton, Bermuda. Hatuey is produced in the Miami neighborhood of Coral Gables, home to University of Miami. Just a few miles away lies Little Havana, the heart of Miami's thriving Cubano population.