Sunday, August 23, 2009

Operación de ingeniería en Puerto Rico

A week ago Amgen sent me to our manufacturing plant in Puerto Rico to be an extra pair of hands on a technical project going on down here. My orders are simple: (1) do whatever is needed to complete the project successfully, and (2) don’t come back until it’s done. Since 2+ months is a long time to be away, I thought I’d fire up the old Madrid blog to keep in touch with everyone back home. But not to worry – I won’t be blogging about using Henry’s Law to solve a gas dissolution problem or how I measured the UV blocking characteristics of a product vessel to demonstrate process robustness (although both stories are true). This will be the story of a guiri living in Puerto Rico.

Well I think we all saw this coming... I have found the only microbrewery on the island. On Friday I went out in Old San Juan with a work colleague, his wife, and her friends. After dinner they asked if I like beer. Umm… yes. After a short walk, there it was: gleaming copper mash tuns, huge stainless steel brewing vessels, and a beautifully long row of draft taps. Given the heat and humidity of the island, lighter beers are of course more popular here. This did not stop me from ordering a black stout straight away. And then another. If you're scolding me for not embracing the local flavor, have no fear. We ended the (very late) night at several dive bars in Old San Juan, where I had my share of Medalla Light (Puerto Rico’s beer, which has slightly more flavor than Coors Light, but is similar in texture). Maybe this is why Roman is so obsessed with Coors Light… a reminder of the island?

A beautiful island sunset from my hotel room balcony.

As I was sitting by the pool (which resembles a Las Vegas commercial during the day), the hotel staff started setting up for a wedding ceremony.

Literally minutes later, guests started filing in. This seemed like my cue to leave as I was wearing a sleeveless tee and surf shorts.


  1. Oooh la la, sounds like a spiffy place to be staying! Nice!

    I personally am not a fan of beer. I never acquired that taste, but glad that you got to indulge since you like it.

  2. wow...your in Puerto Rico??...what a life...have fun...dont work to hard...i'm starting to envy you!