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Cervecería La Tropical

This unique brewery and restaurant honors a legacy that has roots in 1880s Cuba

In 2020, Cervecería La Tropical opened its doors in a new Wynwood location, welcoming customers to the brewery and restaurant for the first time. This, however, is not just a story about a trendy new dining establishment. It's the compelling story of a place with roots that date back more than 130 years, and a history that started in Cuba.

The Blanco-Herrera family established Cervecería La Tropical in 1888. By the late 1950s, La Tropical produced more than 60% of the beer brewed in Cuba. The brand became known throughout the world and, at the time, La Tropical was a point of pride for the island nation, along with cigars, rum, and music.

“When La Tropical was thriving in Cuba, it stood on a piece of land that was very large,” said Irina Zabelina, brand marketing manager. “That allowed it to be much more than just a brewery. It was also an entertainment space where it became like a rite of passage for up-and-coming artists in Cuba to perform there. It had tropical gardens that spread out over the majority of its property.”

With the Cuban Revolution, however, Cervecería La Tropical was seized by the government and in December 1960, the family fled to Miami. Now, after nearly four decades of dormancy followed by a 23-year struggle to regain the brand, La Tropical has a new life in the family's adopted homeland.

“Amazingly, one of the original family members still had the recipe for La Original, an amber lager that we’re now brewing again on site,” Irina said. “It's been modified to adapt to modern brewing equipment, but it's the same basic recipe. About four years ago, we partnered with another craft brewery in the area to launch La Original and it was a great success. At the time, people were waiting four hours just to get into the brewery, it was so popular.”

Cervecería La Tropical is located at 42 NE 25th Street in Wynwood. For information, visit cervecerialatropical.com.

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