For tequila fans the world over, that's the post-work Happy Hour plan today. July 24 is Tequila Day, according to National Day Calendar, which, granted, is known for its take-all approach to holidays.
The blue agave plant-based liquor hails from Mexico, with distilleries based largely in a part of Jalisco called--you guessed it--Tequila.
Many tequila drinkers are aware of the industry giant, Jose Cuervo, but they may not know about its history. It's a family-owned business dating back to 1795, when Jose María Guadalupe de Cuervo got the first charter for commercial tequila from Spain's King Carlos IV, according to the Jose Cuervo website. The company reported $1.4 billion in net sales last year.
The Jose Cuervo label, which is produced at the La Rojeña distillery in Jalisco, has been in the Beckmann family for generations. Juan Domingo Beckmann, son of Juan Beckmann Vidal, is Jose Cuervo's CEO.
Turns out that several tequila brands follow a tradition of family ownership. Here are a notable few.
Founded in 1952 by Ignacio Gonzalez Vargas, his son Juan Fernando runs the operation that produces Siete Leguas, according to MuchoAgave.com. The process starts with blue agave grown on an estate in the Los Altos region. The tequila is then made in one of two distilleries owned by the family, El Centenario and La Vencedora.
Carmen Alicia Villarreal Treviño is considered a trailblazer in the male-dominated industry. According to an interview with Tequila Aficionado, Treviño took over the Casa San Matías distillery, which produces the Pueblo Viejo brand after her husband's death in 1997. The family distillery's roots began with Don Delfino Gonzalez in Mexico in 1886. Casa San Matías also produces the San Matías Gran Reserva, San Matías Gran Tahona, Rey Sol, and Orgullo labels.
The Vivanco Family, which founded the El Ranchito Distillery in 1994, has been cultivating agave on their 800-hectare estate in Arandas, Jalisco, for five generations. Falico Vivanco still oversees the process behind producing the 86-proof tequila, according to a fact sheet published by The 86 Company, a New York-based spirit maker.
The La Alteña Distillery in Jalisco produces the double-distilled, 100 percent agave Tapatio Añejo label. It was opened in 1937 by Don Felipe Camarena, whose family began distilling tequila in the 1800s, according to Specialty Brands, a U.K.-based drinks agency. Camarena passed the distillery onto his son, and the Camarena family has continued the business for generations.