To think an artistic spirit and dedication to the promotion of other's artwork would translate into the world of Mezcal is an interesting twist. Alejandro Champion, a founder of Union Mezcal, has a life steeped in creativity. From familial roots in architecture to a discerning eye for art, Alejandro's journey eventually led him to the world of Mezcal. From one form of art to the next, he continues to promote agave and the work of others in his gallery in CDMX. We chat film, mindsets, agave, and more.
Pedro Camarena comes from one of the most esteemed tequila making families in the world. His new brand Tequila Primo 1861, enters the picture after many years of other entrepreneurial ventures. With projects in tech, nature, and real estate, how did Pedro finally realize it was the right time to enter the world of Tequila? Having an inventive uncle and close ties to extended family was certainly part of the recipe. We chat nature, loss, and legacy.
Kate Perry landed her dream job with La Maison & Velier after years of travel, years of pouring rum, and years of simply exploring the world. To many she is known as the Queen of Rum, but regardless of the moniker, she is certainly one of the foremost experts of Rum production around the world. But what has lined this serpentine road to rum? We chat about spontaneity, internalizing, and Hampden Estate.
Lynne McEwan is the global marketing manager for the outstanding Bruichladdich distillery. Lynne has grown up in the distillery and after some time away to explore the world at large, she returned to find her place on the team. A self-proclaimed "provocateur" Lynne's voracious love of reading and learning injects new ideas into the projects at Bruichladdich. In her first trip to Texas, we chat about technology, peat, learning, and more......
Although Cameron Holck might be new to Fidencio Spirits, he isn't new to agave. When a quest to find the source for his favorite Raicilla opened up new doors, as they say the rest is history. Cameron is a well studied and inquisitive mind that makes him the perfect companion for all of the delicious Mexican spirits of Fidencio Spirits. But now that the world is open, the roads are wide, where will he go? We talk biking, solitude, and van life.
The massive career of Ansley Coale can't adequately be captured in a mere 60 minutes, but we try. Ansley created Hanger One vodka, Germain Robin Brandy, and all of the amazing brands found at Craft Distillers A once professor turned spirits producer, Ansley lives so much in the moment that sometimes the brilliant achievements behind him are just a flash of a memory. With his new project Communidad, he dives even further into the notion that Mezcal is closer to its producers and terroir than any other spirit in the world. At 80 years old, the hits aren't stopping, and new projects are continually on the horizon. We chat 1950's, agave, lost cultures, and more.
Codigo 1530 Tequila's master mixologist Collin De Laval is as pure hospitality as it comes. He has worked as a bartender in Houston, San Francisco, Chicago, and Portland. His deep roots in serving bar patrons is accompanied by a deep compassion for people in general. He continues to explore the world of agave and self improvement. As a power lifter, he also understands how to balance the lifestyle of ambassadorhood and his physical health. We chat punk rock, the new Codigo Ancestral Mezcal, parenting, and more.
Hacienda de Chihuahua is the biggest Sotol producer in the world. They embrace cognac style elements of production and fermentation to deliver a very elegant result. But as the world of Sotol changes, what can be done for sustainability and continued growth of the category? Hector Amaya, commercial sales at Hacienda de Chihuahua, discusses the increased expansion of global sales, while detailing the popularity growth of Sotol in the United States. We chat basketball, travel, language, and more.
Jacob Jacquez is a 6th generation Sotolero in Janos Chihuahua. His family has been making Sotol for centuries and were the first to bring the delicious spirit to the US. His proper education and family history make him the one of the most knowledgable people in the world about the economics/sustainability on Sotol. Now with travel returning to normal, he's able to share his Por Siempre Sotol with many others. Further, as Texas starts to produce a Sotol spirit, the conversation around DO's and ownership of the spirit are becoming heated. We chat about colonizing, music, love, and what was once a flourishing industry of Sotol.
Even though Baijiu is the most popular spirit, by volume consumed, in the world, Americans don't really understand the category. Bill Isler, founder of Ming River Baijiu, took an interesting turn after studying in China for law. Setting out to work on business opportunities for folks coming into China, a shift into the hospitality industry came about. First starting as a volume bartender, a shift to focus on the tastier marks of Baijiu, led to a new bar project and the eventual creation of Ming River. This episode is a great deep dive into the category, where up is down, and left is right. The production details of Baijiu are unlike those of any other category. Bill and I sip through all 4 categories of Baijiu and learn about his life along the way. We chat about Beijing, cultural invitations, and funk.
The wonderful Read Spear of Cuentacuentos Mezcal offered to interview me over a chat with some coffee in Oaxaca. A month or so later, I'm hosting him and his mezcales for a tasting at my house. This is the chat we had before the amazing tasting. A bit about my life here, but for those interested, this is part of the story. So much more to come. We chat Snapple, seeds, Sotol, and more.
Asis Cortes has created some of the most influential brands in Mezcal including: Origen Raiz, El Jolgorio, Agave de Cortes, and most recently DIxeebe. His creative intuitions create beautiful flavors and aesthetics in his labels. At such a young age having accomplished so much, what is next for Asis? He balances tradition and push for new innovations, all the while staying deeply connected to his family. As the world of mezcal is constantly changing, Asis maintains integrity and inspiration. We chat Oaxaca, art, experiences, and social media.