The Brugal Rum Bottling Plant (Carretera a Playa Dorada, tel. 809/586-2531, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Mon.–Fri., free) has an important role in the lives of many Dominicans. Rum is ingrained into all social events and festivities, and the industry employs many. Its product is one of the few uniformly appreciated and utilized items bridging a very wide gap between all Dominican walks of life. And yet what could be a potentially very interesting and culturally significant topic and tour instead is a woeful swing and a miss.
Upon arrival with throngs of other tourists pouring off of buses, you are led into a standing-room-only theater where you watch a very short film about rum and the Brugal company that fills you with anticipation of what is to come. Then, you are given a few moments to watch the bottling process. And then it’s over. It’s short and uneventful. Afterward, you’re given a drink and the opportunity to buy the product and other articles bearing the Brugal insignia.