The Serrallés Distillery celebrates 150 years distilling rum in Puerto Rico
April 30, 2015
The Serrallés Distillery celebrates 150 years distilling rum in Puerto Rico the Serrallés Distillery today celebrated its 150th anniversary as one of the largest companies in Puerto Rico thanks to the production of Don Q, the most consumed rum on the island, ahead of Bacardi, which is also locally made. Since its founder Juan Serrallés, of Spanish origin, began to distill rum in 1865 at the Hacienda Mercedita in Ponce, a city in the south of the Caribbean island, after establishing a sugar cane factory as its main purpose, it has established itself as a of the main producers of this alcoholic beverage in the world.
In an interview today with Efe, the Vice President of Business Development for the Serrallés Distillery, Roberto Serrallés, said that the company is "super excited and proud" to be a century and a halfas a family business. This company, he said, is one of the oldest family businesses in the entire United States and its territories. Currently, the Serrallés Distillery product range includes Don Q Cristal, Don Q Gold, Don QAñejo, Don Q Gran Añejo, Don Q 151, Don Q Limón, Don Q Coco, Don Q Mojito, Don Q Pasión, Ron Caliche, Blackbeard and Ron Palo Viejo. With all these brands, the company has established itself in the Puerto Rican market with a market share of 70%. "It sells around 15 million gallons (57 million liters) of rum per year, equivalent to 5 million cases of 12 bottles each," said Serrallés, after participating in a businessmen's forum organized by the Puerto Products Association Rich.
This member of the sixth generation of the family of Spanish origin stressed that any product from the Serrallés Distillery is "a faithful participant in the life and culture of Puerto Rico." The most popular among Puerto Ricans is Don Q Cristal, its main and most versatile brand because it can be prepared in various drinks, including the famous Cuban mojito. The Don Q Gold was the one used to prepare the first piña colada in the world. The creator was Ramón 'Monchito' Marrero, a waiter at the Caribe Hilton Hotel, in San Juan, in 1954, according to one of the most widespread versions of the birth of this popular cocktail. Similarly, Don Q is the "Rum of the House "in all the parks of the Disney conglomerate in the US, as highlighted today by the director of the firm, whom the Puerto Rico Products Association awarded this Thursday the "Entrepreneur Emeritus" award for his performances at the head of the distillery. Some products of the company, which is also considered "one of the greenest still plants on the planet", are also sold in Mexico, Canada, Guam, Australia, England, Spain, France, Czech Republic, Slovenia, United Kingdom, Italy and Germany. In addition, and according to Serrallés, the company is looking for distributors in Panama, Colombia, Chile and New Zealand.
Rum contributes about 400 million dollars a year to the coffers of Puerto Rico, of which Distillery Serrallés contributes 37 million, according to data from the local Industrial Development Company.
As part of the celebrations for this anniversary, Serrallés will launch 1,865 bottles (the year of its foundation) of 20-year-old rum on June 24, a date that coincides with the celebration of San Juan Bautista's Day.
The Serrallés Distillery also owns the Ponce Hilton & Golf Resort and the Costa Caribe Golf and Country Club, both in the southern city of Ponce.
Other rums that are made in Puerto Rico and are part of the government program are Bacardí, Ron Barrilito and Palo Viejo. The island receives more than US $ 300 million annually from taxes obtained from the sale of rum in that country.