It feels like just yesterday but it was actually nearly two years ago since Diageo purchased George Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila brand for the unfathomable sum of $1,000,000,000. Since then, the tequila and mezcal category has continued to grow with 2018 volumes up 7.7% and revenues up 10.2%.
Riding the Blue Agave Wave
To ride the blue agave wave, Constellation Brands has announced a minority investment in the parent company of the Mezcal El Silencio brand. The investment was made through Constellation’s venture capital group that identifies and invests in premium emerging brands, reinforcing its strategy to stay ahead of evolving consumer trends. The collaboration allows the Los Angeles based El Silencio to invest in infrastructure and growth, while continuing to produce, market and sell its handcrafted artisanal mezcal products Ensamble and Espadín, as well as grow and maintain its own unique brand, creative and operations teams.
The Mezcal El Silencio brand in Santa Monica, California was founded in 2013. Their mezcal is created in Oaxaca, Mexico, using the traditional process carried on by generations of mezcaleros. Meticulously picked agaves are roasted, crushed, and double distilled resulting in a full-bodied flavor. El Silencio is distributed nationally through Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, through Martignetti Companies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and through Fedway Associates in New Jersey.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership. For us, this is about the alignment of vision and ideas we share,” said Fausto Zapata, CEO and co-founder of Mezcal El Silencio.
“Constellation’s trailblazing vision, pioneering practices, genuine passion for craft spirits, and appreciation for creativity made this more of a love story than a business transaction. Connecting with the Constellation team the way in which we did was the real driver in this collaboration as we realized that both companies are made from the same DNA. We’re elated about working with the Constellation family to continue to elevate both El Silencio and the mezcal category.”
The mezcal market in the U.S. has grown exponentially in the last few years and is expected to continue to grow in demand year over year. In the latest report from the Distilled Spirits Council mezcal has grown from fewer than 50,000 cases in 2010 to 445,000 nine liter cases in 2018.
Stay Informed: Sign up here for the Distillery Trail free email newsletter and be the first to get all the latest news, trends, job listings and events in your inbox.
According to the IWSR, a source of data and insights on total beverage alcohol trends, from 2017 to 2018 the mezcal category grew by 32.4%, representing the largest percentage gain across all spirits categories.
PHOTO “Mezcal is one of the hottest trends in spirits right now, and we couldn’t be more excited to make our first ventures investment in the mezcal category with a brand as successful as El Silencio,” said Constellation’s President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Newlands. “Fausto and the El Silencio team have done an incredible job of growing the brand, and with our own goal of continuing to build out our premium spirits portfolio, we see our investment as a great move for us and for El Silencio.”
Terms of the Constellation Brands, Inc. minority stake investment in Mezcal El Silencio were not disclosed.
Constellation Brands is a leading international producer of and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, Italy and Canada. The company’s Constellation Ventures include investments in Black Button Distilling, Catoctin Creek Distilling, Bardstown Bourbon Company, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, Real McCoy Spirits Corp. and Copper & Kings American Brandy.