The Cubans who wanted to buy the partying beer –created by an agreement between the Dutch company Bavaria and the state company Cuba Ron– have only been able to do so in the 3rd and 70 market in Havana and paying in freely convertible currency (MLC). The debut of the drink, packaged in a plastic knob that already arouses ridicule and suspicion, was announced with great fanfare on its official website Facebook.
As this newspaper was able to verify, the customers who went to the store purchased a half-liter bottle of Parranda for a price of 1.20 MLC, while, to purchase a larger quantity of the liquid, the liter and a half container it was necessary to disburse 2.95 MLC.
“It tastes like Cristal,” announced one of the vendors at 3rd and 70, while she resolved customers’ dislike for the plastic container with a recommendation: “After drinking the beer, you can use it to store water.”
The brand also seems willing to be ecologically correct, since it proposed a “recycling policy” from its launch. Next to the promotional text of the label, whose motto is “United for beer”, written with honeyed advertising language and a QR code, it can be read: “Scan to find out how to get your deposit back”. The reward?: 0.10 MLC for each bottle
The brand also seems willing to be ecologically correct, since it proposed a “recycling policy” from its launch.
The brewery, which began with a strong publicity campaign, has succeeded in attracting figures from Cuban culture who are sympathetic to the regime, such as Alexánder Abreu, Mónica Mesa and former volleyball player Alain Roca –who presented a video visiting the factory– echo the product.
Parranda’s presentation took place at the Havana International Fair (Fihav), held in November 2022. Those who knew about the next release of a light beer made on the Island, with an alcohol level of 4.8 -less than the well-known Cristal (4.9) and Bucanero (5.4%)– and bottled in plastic, presaged that the brand would not be very successful. In addition, it was pointed out that a container with these characteristics would not help either the conservation or the quality of the drink.
The beer – whose name is intended to evoke “the tradition of the popular festivals that are celebrated in the Cuban municipality of Remedios,” according to its promotion – had already been announced in August 2021, without the name being known at the time. The financing of the product will be the responsibility of Cuba and the Netherlands, with a mixed capital regime.
De Parranda intends to manufacture a million hectoliters per year. “We have top quality technology from the product itself, to the fermentation and filter tanks, as well as equipment with high quality standards”, their directors informed to cubadebate after the presentation.
However, the dependence on imported raw materials to manufacture Parranda’s plastic containers and the difficulty in fixing, in the precarious economic conditions in which the Island lives, the foreseeable breaks in the “modern technologies” that the factory boasts of, they do not seem to augur a very festive future for the new national beer.
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