Francisco Gonzalez believes tequila has an image problem.
This typically involves late-night shots at the bar and bad hangovers that interfere with work responsibilities the next day.
“Everyone has a tequila story,” Francisco said.
But he and his partner, Oscar Madrid, are rewriting the tequila story with their own brand of the beloved spirit—Casa Mate Organic Tequila.
“Let’s focus on quality,” Francisco said, “so people can consume the best tequila that can be produced.”
With its organic, sustainable beverage, Casa Mate has established a new paradigm in the nearly $16B tequila industry.
“The name Casa Mate comes partly from the strategic moves of chess, confidently placing our organic tequila as the ‘checkmate’ to the industry,” Francisco said. “While ‘casa,’ the Spanish word for home,
represents our vision to unveil a remarkable line of home beverages that transcend run-of-the-mill tequilas.”
Casa Mate Organic Tequila’s unique flavor profile is the result of months that Oscar spent developing a smooth, ultra-premium tequila designed to be sipped like a high-end whiskey, rather than tossed back as a shot.
As Oscar drew on his family’s rich heritage of distilling, Francisco applied his business prowess to establishing a licensed importing, branding and marketing business in the U.S. With Mexican roots and a home base in southern California, Casa Mate is poised to take hold of the U.S. market, which consumes 72% of all tequila produced.
Francisco and Oscar were moved to launch their own line of tequila after growing concerned over what they said was low quality in the products they were consuming.
The production of Casa Mate revolves around seven-year-old agave plants that are allowed to properly mature, rather than plants that are harvested after just three-to-four years. Cooking occurs in volcanic stone ovens with vapor steam, rather than in large industrial equipment. The yeast is patented and there are no chemicals used to accelerate the fermentation process. Casa Mate is certified organic by USDA and the European Commission. There are no chemicals, accelerators, flavors, or colorants added. And the distillation process involves no additives.
“We have a slogan,” Francisco said. “Purity meets perfection in every drop”
Casa Mate Organic Tequila has been crafted to sip, rather than ingested as a shot.
“Just like a glass of wine or a fine whiskey,” Francisco said. “If you just chug it, you won’t be able to enjoy the true characteristics —very smooth and very clean. You don’t need a chaser, lemon or salt. You enjoy Casa Mate and it’s a shock because you’re accustomed to the shot burning your throat. But Casa Mate is different. We’re changing the concept of tequila. We want you to enjoy our tequila with a good meal. In fact, we suggest drinking it with a champagne flute.”
Francisco and Oscar realize that they will have to educate consumers on their fresh perspective on tequila.
But, Francisco said, “A lot of consumers are conscious about what they’re putting in their bodies. So we thought coming up with Casa Mate, an organic-certified, additive-free, pesticide-free tequila would be a great option for those tequila lovers who are worried about their health and the calories they put in their body.”
The Casa Mate team also wants its customers to learn about the history of tequila, which underscores the unique nature of this spirit and is inextricably linked to the history of Mexico.
Tequila can only be produced in Mexico, in just five of the country’s 32 states. There is an actual town called Tequila Jalisco, where Casa Mate operates its distillery and their single estate farms that grow the agaves full of minerals next to the Volcano of Tequila.
“There is an educational process for the consumer,” Francisco said. “But once you tell them this, they’ll enjoy it and grow engaged and love tequila even more.”
Casa Mate’s success comes after countless setbacks and years of resolve, tweaking, refining and finally, recognition. Francisco and Oscar’s tequila has received three consecutive high honors at the only internationally-recognized consumer judging spirits competition—the Sip Awards.
Natives of Guadalajara, a city just 30 minutes away from the iconic town of Tequila, Francisco and Oscar have realized their vision for a pure, clean and honest tequila that reflects their values.
They have created the smoothest, most flavorful tequila they could imagine.
Asked what he loved about tequila, Francisco said, “We can all enjoy it and share it with our loved ones; have a joyful moment with our family and friends. We can have a good time and a shareable memory. I love that tequila unites people.”