Spirit of Philadelphia Holiday 2017 Leaderboard

Pernod Now Owns Del Maguey Mezcal

by Alexander Frane on Jun 12, 2017 in Liquor
Pernod Now Owns Del Maguey Mezcal

Ron Cooper didn’t make a dime on Del Maguey, his mezcal company, for the first 15 or so years of its life. Instead, he went so far as to sell his art to support the farmers that created the small batch mezcals he was importing to the States. He didn’t get into the mezcal business to make money; he got into it because he recognized the artistry behind it. He wanted to support the mezcaleros that made it, and introduce that art to the US, which is why it’s a bit shocking for the mezcal community that on June 7, 2017, Cooper announced that Pernod-Ricard, one of the world’s top spirits companies, would be acquiring Del Maguey.

Del Maguey is currently the number one mezcal company in the United States. The brand works with twelve families across twelve different farms, most of whom have been with the company since its inception. Cooper had been approached by multiple companies over the years and rejected every offer made on Del Maguey but, over the last year, he’s been in talks with Pernod to buy a majority stake for a currently undisclosed amount.
 
It’s impossible to deny the impact that Cooper and Del Maguey have had on the American liquor scene. While the company wasn’t the first to bring mezcal to the States, it’s one of, if not the, most influential mezcal brands. Cooper helped to shape the American perception of mezcal, as a fine craft spirit made on a local, traditional level.
 
Luckily, the sale to a conglomerate like Pernod doesn’t mean the end of Del Maguey, or mezcal culture, as we know it. Reportedly all aspects of the Del Maguey, from the senior staff to the operations in Mexico, will remain the same. Mezcalitos.com published an email from Cooper, where he wrote of Pernod-Ricard as “a partner that understands exactly what Del Maguey is, a partner that wants Del Maguey to continue to be exactly who we have always been.”
 
With the growing popularity of mezcal amongst bartenders and consumers, it’s understandable why a company like Pernod would want to join the action, and with Del Maguey being not only the top mezcal brand, but also one of the most well regarded, it’s an obvious choice for investing.
 

Photo via Del Maguey on Facebook

 

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