A Bummer of a Bacardi Tour
Skip the commerial, just head to a bar.
Reading up for our Puerto Rican vacation, one place Mom and I agreed on going first was the Bacardi Rum factory tour. Not for the free booze mind you, though that was not an insignificant allure, but to learn the history of rum and the process by which its made.
Today, we made the trek to the factory, starting with a catamaran ferry ride across San Juan harbour and including the now customary flat tire change. Once at the factory, we enjoyed a free rum drink while awaiting the tour, introducing Mom to tasty mojitos.
Then the tour began and the day went all pear-shaped. First up was a 50 meter bus ride to the “museum” where we were given malfunctioning audio handsets while waiting in a nearly empty room. Then there was a short film, or really long Bacardi rum commercial – I couldn’t really tell which.
Next up was a room where you could ogle more Bacardi memorabilia and listen to short videos on different rum distillation processes. From those moments of history, I learned that Bacardi uses a proprietary process and their own special strain of fermenting yeast to make their signature rum. I also learned to fast-forward through the multiple marketing images blasted at every opportunity.
We then went into a mock bar and had a quite lame three-minute lesson on how daiquiris and mojitos are mixed before boarding the bus again. Here I was hoping for an actual factory tour, like at the Ben & Jerry’s factory or almost any brewery, where we could see the distillation process up close and personal.
No such luck. It was back to the pagoda-bar for the bus, for another free drink after we quickly exited the drop off point, the gift shop, empty-handed. Overall, it was a bummer of a Bacardi tour, not worth the effort to get there, not worth the two free drinks once there, and definitely not worth the attempted walk to Isla de Cabras after we left there.