Pete Foppiano is sitting in for Steve Jaxon this week as Herlinda Heras and Mark Carpentner review some beers, rum and cocktail recipes that Herlinda has brought back from her trip to Puerto Rico.
Herlinda has brought beer and rum back from Puerto Rico. They start tasting with a beer from Ocean Lab Brewery in Puerto Rico, one of the coolest breweries Herlinda has ever seen. They took an old convention center that had been vacant for ten years. They have a private beach. This beer has a passion fruit flavor. To help the smaller breweries in Puerto Rico, this bigger brewers
Herlinda was in Puerto Rico for Tales of the Cocktail, an event that was started after Hurricane Maria. This organization is similar to efforts in New Orleans to bring tourists back after Katrina. All of the attendees did some service for the island. Herlinda and Tara Nurin did a beach cleanup with the Surfrider Foundation. Bacardi is still privately owned and Herlinda says they have a lot of women in management. The piña colada was invented in Puerto Rico.
There are some tax challenges that brewers face in Puerto Rico. They use the US dollar and Herlinda heard that the consensus there is that they would like to be a state. Some people were without power for 10 months after Hurricane Maria. She met some brewers who had to carry water by burro in order to keep making beer after the hurricane. Herlinda heard a lot of stories about how people were surviving. They needed to make beer in order to stay in business.
Puerto Rican breweries pay $2.55 per gallon, which Mark points out, multiplied by 31 makes the tax per barrel. The highest tax in the US is $18 per barrel but they are paying $79 per barrel.