Wednesday, May 12, 2010


A five minute walk from my Spanish school in Xela, Guatemala you can find, smell, and see from any distance, the second largest beer factory in Guatemala. It is part of the Gallo company, and is the main producer of Cabro in the country.
Today during class, we took a little tour to learn a little about the history, see the 1960's buildings which are still strong, clean and give you a glimpse of a time warp.
Turns out that Gallo originally got started by two German guys with big dreams. The original name was the Kiene Brothers, and it might have said in the film, but I didn't quite get how it got the name Cabro. I was too busy being distracted by the images of "la cerveca mas rubia" ~ The blondest beer. The marketing was, of course, sultry blonds who wanted to do who knows what to you as they poured the dark, strong men their beer. Ah, more machismo culture at your door.
We visited the fermentation plant, the granaries, the place where the sugars are made...not sure the name, as well as the scientific testing and monitoring area, as shown above. The guy in the background insisted that this was the perfect shot...I'm not sure what that, but it gives a good representation of the immaculately clean testing area...down to the Jesus cross in the left background.
Next we headed to the actual factory where the bottles are cleaned, filled, topped, and labeled. The above is a photo of one of our teachers, Miguel, who has a nickname of Gato, or Cat. He is one of the handful of Guatemalans who have intense green eyes, hence his nickname. He's hanging out with one of the old bottling machines.
The plant. The odors of strong beer and yeast were overpowering. Every minute or two you would here a pop and a broken bottle would spit out in a bin. Magic!
"Hello, I'm in a beer factory!" As requested by Senor Dave, more self photos of me in unusual places.
 Boring job, but someones got to be the inspector and quality controller.
Lastly, we ventured over to the tasting room/cafeteria where a beer vending machine is waiting for you with a smile on her face!
We fortunately got ours free and straight from the factory. There's nothing like a 11am beer in the middle of class!

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