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May 2018

This has been a piece a long time in the making, ever since the news of Pernod Ricard partnering with  Del Maguey broke almost exactly a year ago on June 7th 2017, and changed the landscape of the mezcal category. It has been just a year, but what a year it has been, and the changes have been cataclysmic for mezcal. I don’t think any of us could have predicted the speed at which other multinational spirit companies would enter the space and how quickly it would impact not only mezcal production. While mezcal remains a tiny portion of the spirits industry, less than 1%, its year over year growth and visibility, it has been exponential.

It's something that most of us don't really think about when it comes to mezcal because we are so focused on the magic being made in the still, but with every liter of mezcal produced there are about ten liters of liquid waste produced. That's called the vinaza. In small production runs, it is seemingly manageable to dispose of. You can pour it in the river or the field and it will break down in weeks. If you add chemicals that process can be shortened to days. But as soon as you multiply production runs, suddenly it is a whole different proposition.

It has been just over a week since our big, sold out Mexico in a Bottle DC event. A lot has changed in the DC market since we were there last year, primarily the landscape of Mexican restaurants and Mezcalerias - with a full slate of just opened (Mi Vida at the Wharf) and the soon to open fine dining establishments from the folks behind Taco Bamba and TTT (Tacos, Tortas and Tequila). It's great to see DC embracing higher end Mexican food and of course, mezcal. We look forward to working with these guys next year!

As you may have noticed there was a huge explosion on social media last week about the Consejo Regulador del Mezcal (CRM) in Oaxaca. The CRM makes the rules for mezcal so this was big news: The headquarters were locked and sealed, Hipocrates Nolasco Cancino the leader of the CRM chained himself to a gate, there were wild rumors about a takeover and then, on Tuesday morning, everything seemed to go back to normal.

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