Old Wood and Tobacco Warehouse Brewery . Installation built in 1906, using steel and reinforced concrete, and is one of the few industrial facilities from the first decades of the 20th century that have been preserved in the area. Its first owner was The Havana Central Railroad Company, which used it as a steel warehouse. In 1959 , with the triumph of the Cuban revolution, it was nationalized like the rest of the jetty of the port and was put at the service of the “Margarito Iglesias” maritime-port terminal.
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- 1 History of the warehouse
- 1 Triumph of the Cuban Revolution
- 2 Terrace of the Old Warehouse of Tobacco and Wood
- 2 Restoration project
- 1 Of dreams and realities
- 3 Sources
The origin of the Tobacco and Wood Warehouse, also known as Espigón de Paula, dates back to the 18th century , a time when the part of the Havana coastline close to Alameda de Paula experienced the boom in the construction of piers and groynes.
Built in 1906, using steel and reinforced concrete, it is one of the few industrial facilities from the first decades of the 20th century that have been preserved in the area. It is one of those places where time seems to have stopped years ago, when everything was simpler and people were not in such a hurry.
Its first owner was The Havana Central Railroad Company, which used it as a steel warehouse. The space had its own rail lines that connected it to other docks and modern transportable electric cranes, a great technological advance for the time. This facility was located on Calle Desamparados, esq. San Ignacio, Old Havana, with a schedule open every day from 12 noon to midnight.
Triumph of the Cuban Revolution
In 1959, with the triumph of the Cuban revolution, it was nationalized like the rest of the jetty of the port and was put at the service of the “Margarito Iglesias” maritime-port terminal. In 2014, the old warehouse was restored by the Havana Historian’s Office and converted into a small brewery and restaurant.
As in the Plaza Vieja Factory, the Old Warehouse for Tobacco and Wood serves beers in their light, dark and black modalities, made with Austrian technology in the ship itself.
Its restaurant is committed to author Cuban cuisine made with seasonal, nearby and quality products. The menu is honest and innovative, with dishes where the surprising aesthetics never go before a great combination of flavors and which have been thought based on the Havana climate and its seasons, which are not very marked by seasons.
Black beer, is one of the offers offered by the brewery
Terrace of the Old Warehouse of Tobacco and Wood
Its unforgettable terrace, sheltered between the arcades, is perfect to spend hours and hours of chatting and having a drink congratulating yourself for knowing one of the most surprising corners of Havana . At sunset, the almost panoramic view over the entire bay and the port is spectacular, unusual. Nearby is the Antiguo Almacenes San José shopping and cultural center , an interesting craft market protected by a roof.
Despite the fact that these stores also offer gastronomic proposals, the preferred option is the beer mug that costs 3 CUC (3 euros approx), and also the offers of large thermal jugs of 6 liters of beer for 12 CUC and 12 liters per 24 CUC.
Although in the Old Square of Old Havana, you can also come across another brewery, called Factoría Plaza Vieja , in which you can also enjoy a cold and delicious beer made right there; unlike its counterpart, in the brewery of the Old Warehouse of Wood and Tobacco, you can enjoy this tasty drink in a marine environment.
Four years ago, the Office of the Historian of Havana started one of its most ambitious projects: the Revival of Avenida del Puerto, which runs from the section of the Cavalry Dock to the Almacenes San José Cultural Center. Likewise, another of the works was completed: the Paula Breakwater, also known as the Tobacco and Wood Dock .
“In the restoration project, the general structure was preserved and care was taken to maintain the architectural appearance of the nave, without changing anything, so that the historical memory in the neighborhood would continue to be preserved,” explains the project’s general designer, Juan José Díaz.
Knowing the state of the substructure of this centennial installation was the first step in the process. Eduardo Pérez, head of the investment group in the San Isidro neighborhood , points out that, for three months, divers from the CITMA company carried out a study to find out the true state of the jetty. “Although the pier was not in optimal conditions, the bearing capacity of the crockery did have the requirements to make the brewery, accommodate 400 people and trade,” he points out.
Also, an underground of more than 300 meters had to be made to bring in the electricity . On the other hand, we had to acquire a generator set capable of protecting the products that will be in the cold rooms and the around 16,000 to 18,000 liters of beer that will be in constant production. ”
A factory of such magnitude, with bathrooms for so many people, a kitchen, and cold rooms, generates many residuals; And that was another of the work team’s concerns: where would this waste go, when so many efforts are made in the bay of Havana to eliminate pollution? “CITMA made it a requirement that the waste should be pumped into the city or the sea, ” says Pérez. The city’s network is collapsed, so it was more logical to dump into the sea, but for that Cuban standard 521 had to be met, so a treatment plant was needed. “A group of specialists in Hydraulic Resources determined which plant was relevant. It was bid in the world and a supplier appeared. And now it is about to arrive ”, confirms the engineer.
Interior of the Brewery Old Warehouse of Tobacco and Wood
Undoubtedly, knowing that the presence of human beings will not affect the environment and the gradual recovery of the Havana bay, is a relief for those who suffer from these wastes that, unfortunately, we still observe in our stock market bay.
Of dreams and realities
The brewery has been designed for all types of public, and therefore the architectural barriers have been overcome. “A person can move around the entire interior of the property, without the need to climb a step or overcome a problem; everything is made by ramps, with the strictest standards for architectural barriers ”, specifies Juan José Díaz.
No matter the name we know this place: Espigón de Paula, Almacenes del Tabaco y de la Madera, or the Beer Factory; the truth is that in a few months it will be possible to appreciate the finished work, and in this way progress will continue to be made to the ambitious rehabilitation project of Avenida del Puerto.