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Misty Kalkofen Tag

How do we begin to tackle the subject of 2020 and the toll it has taken on all of us in the mezcal industry? While the holiday season is normally a time for reflection, this year presents us with

June might go down on record as the fastest month ever, though when we think of how the month began and where we are today, it feels like a lifetime. In the midst of all of the turmoil of the

Just back from the San Antonio Cocktail Conferences (my recap is here) where I was able to attend some terrific seminars helmed by a few leaders in the industry, who happen to be women. I say it like that because I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable with how marginalizing it feels to use the phrasing female bartenders, female distillers, female brand ambassadors, etc when really, we have been here all along. The rest of the world is just waking up to that. By putting female, or woman before laymen's terms, it continues to make us more of a novelty or side bar, rather than the truth of the matter - we are fully integrated in this business, as marketers, as writers, as owners and as consumers.

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.

[caption id="attachment_8022" align="alignnone" width="720"] [media-credit id=4 align="alignnone" width="720"][/media-credit] At the Mal de Amor palenque in Matatlan – words by Lila Downs.[/caption] Following on Del Maguey's 2017 sustainability tour, Ilegal Mezcal builds on that groundwork with a tour that directly addresses a lot of concerns people have about how brands are ramping up production to meet demand. This is a great move for transparency into their process.

Misty Kalkofen, Del Maguey's Madrina (godmother) is a big ball of energy when it comes to her passion project - mezcal and sustainability. If you haven't already checked out the sustainability blog at the Del Maguey website, you should. It is highly significant that the brand that pretty much launched the mezcal category as we know it today has a dedicated space on their website discussing issues impacting the mezcal industry-- this is a real issue that the category as a whole must address.

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