on January 8, 2013
Trinidad is home to several locally owned breweries, one of the most famous being the House of Angostura. You may have heard of Angostura Bitters, which is a widely used ingredients in cocktails all over the world. Here is where the Angostura Bitters is produced, as well as a number well loved rums.The factory is located in Laventille, just outside of the city gates of the capital, Port of Spain. During the Rum Festival held at the brewery, free sample tours of the factory were being offered, and I was curious enough to sign up. The tours were of approximately 15 minutes duration, and three were carried out per hour. We started off visiting the large steel vats where the molasses is stored. Since Trinidad's sugar industry has basically become non-existent on a wide scale, the majority of the molasses used at the factory is imported. The few local farmers who still produce sugar cane, help to supplement the large demand. The molasses is then treated and different strains of yeast are added. Each yeast strain produces a different type of rum after the fermentation process is complete. Our guide then showed us one of their warehouses, where the aging process takes place. The oak bourbon barrels which are utilized, are brought in from North America, and small modifications are made by local workers who the factory trains specifically for that purpose.The brewery is quite modern, and from what I could see, all of the equipment being used are either new or well maintained. Production is on a large scale and some of the rums which are made and exported include Angostura 1919, the highly potent Forres Park Puncheon Rum and a local favourite, White Oak Rum. As mentioned before, Angostura Bitters is manufactured here, and this product is exported to over 100 countries around the world. You can find it being used in most bars and restaurant, to make some of your favourite beverages such as the Hurricane and the Genuine Singapore Sling.The free tour of the brewery was a condensed version of the real tours which are offered by House of Angostura. Visitors to Trinidad can register for a more detailed version of my encounter for a nominal fee of $10 USD. This tour offers free samples of the rums which are produced, and lasts for a longer time period. I found the experience to be very enlightening, and I encourage anyone who is interested in the production of rum or even simply drinking it, to give it a try.
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