TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida and Cuba’s oldest beer brand is returning to the Tampa Bay area market.
“La Tropical” was the first beer ever brewed in Cuba in the 1800s, and one of the first beers in Florida. The family who founded La Tropical is remaking the original recipe to be sold in Tampa Bay.
The first three varieties of the beer to distributed in Tampa will be the La Original” Ambar Lager, the “Nativo Key” Suave IPA and the “Tropiflaca” lite lager.
“The rebirth of Cerveza La Tropical represents a dream come true, fulfilling a lifelong passion to resurrect the brand throughout Florida,” said Manny Portuondo, CEO, Cerveceria La Tropical and great-great-grandson of Federico Kohly, who founded the original brewery in Cuba in the late 1800s.
La Tropical became popular in 1888, establishing the Cuban beer industry. The brand was initially founded by the Blanco Herrera family, who built the first brewery in Cuba.
“La Tropical quickly became a source of national pride, recognized as the largest and most popular brewery on the island and considered a must-visit for locals and tourists alike for cold cervezas, live music, dancing and walks in the tropical garden that was later built in 1904,” according to a press release.
La Tropical’s roots in Florida date back to 1896, when the Florida Brewery was founded in Ybor City, the first in the state to be granted a brewing license. La Tropical started to be produced and sold in 1897.
The Ybor brewery was shut down in 1961 due to a Cuban embargo and competition from national brands.
La Tropical will be distributed by JJ Taylor Distributing in cans and on draft at local restaurants, bars and supermarkets throughout the Florida West Coast.