William Grant & Sons buys Tequila distilleryBy Nicola Carruthers
Scottish spirits firm William Grant & Sons has acquired a distillery in Mexico to support the growth of Milagro Tequila and drive innovation.
The acquisition is part of William Grant & Sons’ “multi-million-pound investment plan to build its brands globally and upgrade its infrastructure to support the company’s growth ambitions”.
The move will protect Milagro’s “continued success, while opening up the opportunity for future innovation for the company”, the family-owned firm said.
Jonathan Yusen, William Grant & Sons’ president and managing director, Americas, said: “Milagro has always been an exciting brand within our award-winning portfolio, and with this distillery it is now a clear long-term priority for our global business, alongside such iconic premium brands as Glenfiddich single malt Scotch, Hendrick’s gin and Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey.
“This acquisition allows us to manage our production more closely, ensuring the long-term quality and consistency of our silver, reposado and añejo offerings, while bringing our innovation expertise to agave-based spirits.”
Founded in 1998 by Danny Schneeweiss and Moy Guindi, Milagro Tequila is made with 100% blue agave from the Jalisco highlands and is distilled using both pot and column stills. The Tequila undergoes a 36-hour slow roasting process in traditional brick ovens. The range consists of six expressions: silver, reposado and añejo bottlings across the Core collection and the Select Barrel Reserve lines.
Since 2015, Milagro has reported double-digit annual growth in the US, reaching more than 300,000 nine-litre cases yearly. William Grant said Milagro is the fifth largest premium Tequila brand in the US.
Yusen added: “2020 has seen accelerated consumer interest in the premium Tequila category, with Nielsen markets showing retail growth of over 30% over the last quarter alone, and with Milagro out-pacing the category with almost 50% retail growth.”
In addition, William Grant has reintroduced its ultra-premium Milagro Select range in a new “bold, bright” design. Each bottle comes with a blue agave plant design.
Simon Hunt, William Grant & Sons’ chief executive, said the firm has been working on acquiring its own distillery in Mexico for the last two years.
He added: “We’re excited by this move to build a strong platform for further innovation that will help us take full advantage of global opportunities in the fast-growing premium Tequila category. It demonstrates our commitment to investment in global growth despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The acquisition of the Tequila distillery in Mexico and our recent decision to set up our own dedicated distribution business in Germany are two examples of our investment decisions at a difficult time for our people, our trade partners, our loyal brand fans and our industry.”
In February this year, the firm established its own distribution company in Germany, called William Grant & Sons Deutschland. The company also operates wholly-owned divisions in the US, UK, France, Australia, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Korea and Taiwan.