Bacardi celebrates its 147th anniversary

CARIBBEAN BUSINESS
By : CB STAFF
Volume: 37 | No: 5
Page : 40-41
Issued : 02/05/2009
 

Bacardi, a well-known rum company, on Feb. 4, celebrates 147 years of an uninterrupted tradition of rum production. Bacardi’s
story dates back to 1862 and takes place in Santiago de Cuba, when Facundo Bacardí Masso, José Bacardí Masso and José
León Boutellier created the distilled-rum concept.

Time line

Bacardi first entered the Puerto Rico rum market in 1909, when the bat trademark was registered on the island under the name
“Ron Superior Bacardi & Compañía,” along with its six medals and its Royal Coat of Arms. Ever since, Puerto Rico has been
acknowledged as one of the most important rum-producing centers.

In 1934, the company opened its first office on the U.S. mainland in New York City’s Chrysler Building. Later, in 1936, José “Pepín”
Bosch began negotiations with then-Gov. Luis Muñoz Marín to establish the Bacardi Distillery in Puerto Rico. In May 1936, a team
of distillers and mixers arrived in Puerto Rico and included José Schueg, Guillermo Rodríguez Bacardí and Pedro Lay Bacardí,
who remained on the island. The first lot of Bacardi Rum was produced in Puerto Rico in January 1937.

In 1939, Bacardi moved its operations to a bigger location—the building that today houses the Puerto Rico Historic Archive—in
Puerta de Tierra. In 1958, due to its growth in the U.S. market, Bacardi inaugurated its new and modern distillery in Cataño, which
is still in operation today.

In 1962, the company celebrated its centennial by completing its innovative bat-wing design at its much-visited Bacardi
Corporation Pavilion in Puerto Rico, which was supervised by don José “Pepín” Bosch. At that significant and emotional moment,
don José Argamasilla Grimany was inspired by a phrase contained in poet Lola Rodríguez de Tió’s 1893 book “Mi Libro de
Cuba,” which said, “Cuba and Puerto Rico are a [bat’s] two wings; they receive flowers and bullets over the same heart.”

Since 1876, Bacardi has received more than 200 international awards for its excellence in product manufacturing. In 2008,
Bacardi received 78 awards in international competitions, including the Grand Champion award, Platinum Awards, Gold Awards
and Double Gold Awards, as well as numerous Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, among others.