Is Mezcal Paying the Price of Fame?
Who hasn't heard of a new 'mezcalería' in his neighborhood? Mezcal (not to be confused with tequila) has become so popular around the world that local producers in Mexico are struggling to keep the industry from being taken over by big corporations. Unlike the local producers, big beverage corporations have the capacity and resources to produce on mass scale with cheaper prices, but at the costs of lower quality.
Mezcal is a smoky spirit is made from ripe maguey, or agave, toiling under the Oaxacan sun in southern Mexico . Families of mezcaleros, like Fortunato Angeles, have been producing mezcla for more than two centuries in San Juan del Rio.
The increasing demand of mezcal in the U.S has put international price tags up to $70 or more per bottle on what was traditionally a village drink sold in recycled Coke bottles for about five bucks, reports the magazine Roads and Kingdoms. The market is still small. Only 2.4 million liters of mezcal were produced in 2015 compared with tequila’s 228.5 million liters. But mezcal production has more than doubled since 2011, drawing the attention of big brands.
As reported in Roads and Kingdoms.