Cerveceria Cuauhtémoc
Manushi Mathur
Monterrey, Nuevo León

Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc was established in 1890 in when Issac Garza and Joseph Schnaider received a seven year tax free concession from the state government to establish Cuauhtemoc Brewery in Monterrey. By 1910 it was valued between five to eight million pesos and employed 1500 workers and by 1950 it was the largest enterprise in Mexico. The brewery was owned by a group of entrepreneurs José Calderón Muguerza, José A. Muguerza, Francisco G. Sada Muguerza, Alberto Sada Muguerza, Wilhelm Hasse including Garza and Schnaider who represented a new generation of regiomontano entrepreneurs. Outside the brewery, these entrepreneurs also had investments in other industrial and commercial establishments including banking and real estate ventures thus became Monterrey’s prominent elite. Cuauhtemoc Brewery was also responsible for starting the first glass factory in Monterrey in 1899, the Fábrica de Vidrios y Cristales de Monterrey which was vertically integrated with the brewery. This glass bottling unit for the brewery was renamed Vidriera de Monterrey by 1909. The financial network for the Brewery was linked to several banking and credit institutions in Monterrey and Nuevo Leon like Banco Mercantil de Monterrey, Banco de Nuevo León and Credito de Monterrey. There were several US based companies who had their investments in the brewery namely General Electric, Anderson & Clayton and John Deere. The brewery also had their money invested in various US based banking institutions like Morgan Gaurantee Trust and Chase, Manhattan. 

With the firm intention of defending the interests of the merchants and worker’s rights, the Centro patronal (COPARMEX) was born in April 1883. In 1918, because of the bad working and living conditions in the city for workers, there were councils which were formed for public and private welfare. Thus a cooperative which was organised by the brewery called the Sociedad Cuauhtemoc y FAMOSA which to this day plays a key role in worker’s rights and welfare in Monterrey. There was also a welfare department established by the brewery that coordinated with the activities of the cooperative. This cooperative was also responsible for the establishment of schools for the worker’s children called Escuela Politécnica Cuauhtémoc. From the year 1918 to 1960s the society financed 2,300 homes, 1,300 of which are located in the Colonia Cuauhtemoc which initially were planned to be built near the brewery but were built only by 1950s much farther away from the brewery (see autocad map). In the beginning of 1960s, the Centro Patronal organised the Instituto promotor de Habitaciones Populares as a vehicle through which funds could be channelled into the construction of more worker’s housing called Unidad Modelo. This worker’s housing was built as a model quarter of 2,500 houses officially intended for workers of modest financial capability working in big enterprises like the brewery and other connected industries belonging to the Cuauhtemoc conglomerate. At the end of 1960s, the quarter was extended with Loma Linda neighborhood counting 2,000 homes. Both Unidad modelo and Loma Linda represent the best of worker’s housing in Monterey. The houses were small but neat and well kept. They stood apart on clean tree lined streets. Only stable/ skilled workers were allowed to own a house here. By 1967 most of the workers of the brewery had homes. Some of the philanthropic work done by the Garza Sada family involves the construction of two educational institutions in Monterey called UDEM - Roberto Garza Sada Center for Arts and Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (TEC, MTV). Thus it can be concluded that the Cuauhtemoc Brewery not only established itself as one of the key businesses in Monterrey but also established itself as one of the key historic industries in the industrial history of Monterey.