Tag Archives: pollution

Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine–Tequila With Intention

On a frigid and damp Saturday night in November 2013, Roger Clyne, along with his band The Peacemakers, invited Tequila Aficionado Media to an intimate concert at Billy’s Ice House in New Braunfels, TX. 

Click here for Part 1 of our visit with Roger Clyne.

***

“The planet does not need more ‘successful people.’  The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds….” H.H. The Dalai Lama

JollyRahjahFrom the day that Bing Crosby carted his first bottles of Herradura across the dusty border from Mexico, tequila and popular music have been willing confederates.  After well over fifty years, modern recording stars like Carlos Santana, Justin Timberlake, Diddy, Billy Gibbons and others continue to tout their own tequila brands, either openly or quietly as part of investment groups.

But one recording artist does so both openly and somewhat quietly–Roger Clyne.

Shivering in the cold outside the Peacemakers’ eco-friendly tour bus, I recalled a conversation that I had had earlier with my good friend, Jason Silverman, Agave Beverage Manager at the famous Agave Bar & Restaurant in New York City.  He’d met Roger a few weeks earlier during the band’s New York swing and remarked that he was one of the coolest and most down-to-earth guys in the music and tequila business.

[Tweet “1 of the coolest and most down-to-earth guys in music & tequila. @mexmoonshine @azpeacemakers”]

Once we climbed aboard, we were warmly met by heat (thank goodness!), dimmed lighting, and soft flamenco guitar music that instantly set the tone for a relaxing one-on-one with the only award winning tequila brand owner (Gold Medal at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition for Mexican Moonshine añejo) set to launch another highly anticipated indy album (The Independent premiered April 29, 2014).

 Rich gonna reap, Poor gotta sow…How we gonna make bread without any dough?

Being frank, open and honest, much like his lyrics, here Roger offers us a look into what it takes to bring his start up tequila onto the market to compete with big name brands.  As you’ll agree, it’s very similar to the indy music business.

Hello raindrop, hello sea…Hello jungle, leaf on the tree…Hello new day!

Possibly due to his early ranching heritage in Arizona, Clyne has pledged that the Peacemakers would walk softly upon the Earth while on tour.  He believed that his tequila factory should have the same respect for nature.

[Tweet “The @AZPeacemakers & @mexmoonshine are committed to walking softly upon the Earth”]

In this clip, Roger reveals his reasons for selecting Fabrica de Tequilas Finos (NOM 1472) as the producer of Mexican Moonshine tequila.  Foremost was the distillery’s efforts at environmental responsibility and vinazas clean up.

Screw-top wine, Rhythm and rhyme…My moonshine in a plastic cupBehind_Moonshine

Once referred to as the “Bruce Springsteen of the Southwest,” Roger’s rock n’ roll persona is often misinterpreted.  While he admits to playing as hard as he works, Clyne is a conscientious catador, learning from his mentors at Tequilas Finos, owner Federico Cabo and Master Distiller, Arturo Fuentes.

In these next clips, Roger Clyne gets up close and personal with his fans and concert goers at Billy’s Ice House in New Braunfels, TX, as he conducts his own tequila tasting of Mexican Moonshine.

Still a student of life, as well as tequila, in this snippet, we discuss proper tasting practices and the Vinturi aerator.

Hey Cantinero!

jason silverman, mixology, roger clyne, mexican moonshine

Jason Silverman, mixologist and fan of Roger Clyne – the man, the musician, and his Moonshine

 

With mixology driving the spirits industry and specially made cocktails being the new world order, Roger Clyne gives his thoughts on mixing with Mexican Moonshine.

Here, Clyne recounts his New York visit with Agave Beverage Manager, Jason Silverman, of the trendy Agave Bar & Restaurant.

So how does Roger Clyne relax after a long day on the road?  Try his signature drink, the Cheat-a-Rita!

[Tweet “Try Roger Clyne’s signature drink, the Cheat-a-Rita! @AZPeacemakers @MexMoonshine”]

And everything’s slowin’ down flowin’ counterclockwise

Throughout his journey, Roger Clyne has successfully handled life’s curveballs.

Circus_Mexicus

Circus Mexicus, a weekend beach party jam session in the sleepy town of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico

Whether it was pursuing a music career independent of the support of corporate record labels, or organizing Circus Mexicus, a weekend beach party jam session in the sleepy town of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico that has turned into a four day music festival, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers have deliberately taken “the road less traveled.”

This same thoughtful path can be savored in each of his Mexican Moonshine expressions, and can surely be enjoyed in the melodies and lyrics of the band’s latest CD, The Independent.

If you feel that your own life decisions are turning your world counterclockwise, let these storytellers restore your soul and your taste buds, and heal your love for life.

After all, that was their original intention.

[Tweet “Let these storytellers restore your soul & taste buds. @AZPeacemakers @MexMoonshine”]

***

Enjoy this video of Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers’ hit, Counterclockwise…

Speaking of curveballs…

Amigos

M.A. “Mike” Morales and Roger Clyne posing for a picture after an amazing evening of tastings and interview

 

 

On April 29, 2014, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers will unleash their seventh studio album, The Independent.  The title fits these musical mavericks like an old pair of faded jeans worn as a statement against oppression on Casual Fridays.   Yet, as Clyne states, “There’s something about our music that celebrates what’s uniting versus what’s dividing.”

[Tweet “Celebrate what unites with the @AZPeacemakers new release #TheIndependent.”]

independent

Click on the image to pre-order The Independent now (Release April 29, 2014).

Using this “Tequila Logic,” Roger Clyne has managed to do the same with Mexican Moonshine, gently hitching the spirit’s Lowland agave heritage to the wood notes of Kentucky bourbon to create a peacemaker that rightfully belongs in any collector’s arsenal.

Mexican Moonshine, Mexican Moonshine…Let your heart and your cup overflow, under the glow of the moonshine!  May your heart and your cup… Overflow…under the glow of the Moonshine!

Click here for Part 1 of our visit with Roger Clyne.

Visit Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers online now

Visit Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers online now

 

 

mex moonshine

Visit Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine online now

.

 

 

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Falling Under the Spell of Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine Tequila

On a frigid and damp Saturday night in November 2013, Roger Clyne, along with his band The Peacemakers, invited Tequila Aficionado Media to an intimate concert and tequila tasting at Billy’s Ice House in New Braunfels, TX, to talk music, heritage, and his tequila, Mexican Moonshine.

***

[Tweet “Talking music, heritage & Mexican Moonshine #Tequila with Roger Clyne.  “]

Hey, gringos, it could be worse…we did not get there first

Colt_Peacemaker

The Colt Single Action Army, also known as the Peacemaker, is considered a famous part of Americana. “The Gun That Won the West” was wielded by such action-oriented historical legends of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as Buffalo Bill Cody, Theodore Roosevelt, Judge Roy Bean, Pat Garrett and General George Patton.  It has also been the selected sidearm of Hollywood movies, preferred by everyone from John Wayne to Clint Eastwood in every single Dirty Harry film.  And in 2011, it was declared the official firearm of the state of Arizona. Arizona is also home to another piece of Americana–a guts and guitar driven, reggae and mariachi laced, roots based rock-n-roll band leyenda known as Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers.  Armed with expressive lyrics, evocative melodies and four part harmonies, these straight shooters have come to redefine the indie music landscape by being the first band to debut six consecutive albums in the Top Ten of Billboard Magazine’s Internet Sales chart. Along the way, Clyne has gathered a burgeoning cult following that rivals that of Sammy Hagar and Jimmy Buffet–both themselves very successful tequila front men. [Tweet “Guts, guitar, reggae & mariachi laced, rock-n-roll known as Roger Clyne & @azpeacemakers @MexMoonshine”]

I fell under the spell when I stumbled over the line…

The full line-up of Roger Clyne's Mexican Moonshine.

Many aficionados roll their eyes when news of another celebrity endorsed tequila hits the liquor store shelves.  But Roger Clyne came upon his admiration for agave spirits early in life as part of his Southwestern ranching heritage, predating even his love for writing music and performing.

 “]

Roger was first introduced to scotch as a teenager by his grandfather who would pour him a dram to “put hair on your chest.”  The taste of “dirty socks in mud” was tough to swallow, but it was his father’s sharing of bacanora, another agave distillate, that opened him up to the wonders of Mexican spirits, and in particular, tequila. Like most of us, Clyne cut his teeth by shooting cheap mixto tequila in college, then swearing off of it until the next opportunity to overindulge.  He was well into his studies (psychology and anthropology) at Arizona State University when he rediscovered that “bright, wonderful, elegant, lyrical taste” of tequila during an exchange program in Ensenada, Mexico, while following a troop of mariachis. [Tweet “Discover the “bright, wonderful, elegant, lyrical taste” of tequila with @MexMoonshine @azpeacemakers”]

 

It’s surreal, sublime, manmade and divine…it’s the moonshine….

Lyrics on the shipping box of Roger Clyne's Mexican Moonshine.

Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine tequila was born in true outlaw fashion in 2004 during the famed Circus Mexicus music festival that takes place annually in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico (Rocky Point, for you ex-pats).

Check out the Circus Mexicus Lineup for 2014 here.

[Tweet “Tequila born in true outlaw fashion during Circus Mexicus.  “]

Circus Mexicus 2014.After that initial experience, Roger began scouting for factories to produce Mexican Moonshine, a journey that would even take him to the famed La Cofradía distillery (NOM 1137), the home of Casa Noble and Montejima tequilas.

He finally selected Fabrica de Tequilas Finos (NOM 1472) and forged a relationship with the distillery owner, Federico Cabo, and Master Distiller, Arturo Fuentes.  Together, the team first “dropped” Mexican Moonshine reposado onto the market in 2010, even though Clyne was advised against such commercial suicide due to historically poor sales of this expression.

Soak in the silvery light spillin’ out tonight from the moonshine…

 

In this clip, Roger pours and discusses Mexican Moonshine silver…

 

We’ll get a fine flow flowin’, a good glow goin’…

 

Believing that a reposado is the more definitive expression of tequila, Clyne was surprised when Master Distiller, Arturo Fuentes suggested that Mexican Moonshine be aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels.  Here, Roger explains further.

 

 

I got a healin’ home-brewed remedy, a low-brow therapy…

 

Award winning Mexican Moonshine añejo.

A Gold Medal winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2014, Mexican Moonshine añejo  was released in 2013 and is fast becoming Roger Clyne’s favorite expression, much to his chagrin.  In the following snippet, Roger breaks down its flavor profile. [Tweet “Arturo Fuentes is proud of his lady’s legs. Have you seen them yet?  “]

 

Turn your back on all the deadlines…

 

On April 29, 2014, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers will unleash their seventh studio album, The Independent.  The title fits these musical mavericks like an old pair of faded jeans worn as a statement against oppression on Casual Fridays.   Yet, as Clyne states, “There’s something about our music that celebrates what’s uniting versus what’s dividing.”

independent

Click on the image to pre-order The Independent now (Release April 29, 2014).

Using this “Tequila Logic,” Roger Clyne has managed to do the same with Mexican Moonshine, gently hitching the spirit’s Lowland agave heritage to the wood notes of Kentucky bourbon to create a peacemaker that rightfully belongs in any collector’s arsenal.

Mexican Moonshine, Mexican Moonshine…Let your heart and your cup overflow, under the glow of the moonshine!  May your heart and your cup… Overflow…under the glow of the Moonshine!

See Part 2 of our visit with Roger Clyne here!

Visit Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers online now

Visit Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers online now

 

 

mex moonshine

Visit Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine online now

.
 

 

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Women In The Tequila Industry: Ana Valenzuela by M.A. “Mike” Morales

We continue our Women In The Tequila Industry series with arguably the most recognizable Tequila Boss Lady in the business–

Dr. Ana Valenzuela.

Apart from her many accomplishments (briefly summarized in our article, Tequila Boss Ladies), Ana is also the founder of Signo Tequila, a non-profit organization established in 2007 and dedicated to educating the public about tequila, agave conservation and Mexican cultural  products.

Encompassing nearly 20 years of her personal research, Signo Tequila encourages agave plant conservation projects in Mexico and sustainable agricultural training.  Blue agave genetic research and resources are the most important projects in development with the aid of participating agave farmers in Mexico.

In sharp contrast to Ana Maria Romero Mena, and similar to Cecilia Norman, Dr. Valenzuela pulls no punches when it comes to voicing her opinions about her concerns on the Tequila Industry.

 

[Editor’s note:  For the convenience of our interviewee and our Spanish speaking audience, this article is in both English and Spanish.]

***

TA:  How would you describe your experiences as a high ranking woman in your position in a primarily male dominated industry?

(¿Cómo describiría sus experiencias como una mujer de alto rango en su posición en una industria dominada principalmente masculina?)

AV:  My experiences in the industry have been favorable [enough] to spur me onto the challenge.  This has helped me to have great dedication, discipline and concentration in my scientific work, in my career and in the advances I’ve obtained in the conservation of the genetic resources of blue agave, my greatest dream that I have yet to realize.

The majority of the agriculturalists [agave growers] have been my greatest allies.  The misogynistic attitudes are probably more observed in middle and upper levels of tequila organizations with a large lag [gap] like modern organizations in which women are treated equally.  No doubt, other industries in different sectors of Mexico and in other countries are inequitable [unfair].  The Tequila Industry isn’t the only one with this unfavorable characteristic.

La Diosa Mayahuel (Photo by Alberto Ramirez)

La Diosa Mayahuel (Photo by Alberto Ramirez)

(Mis experiencias en la industria han sido favorables para incitarme al reto.  Eso me ha ayudado a tener una gran dedicación, disciplina y concentración en mi trabajo científico, en mi carrera y en los avances que he obtenido en la conservación de recursos genéticos de agaves azules, mi gran sueño a realizar.

(La mayoría de los agricultores han sido mis grandes aliados.  Las actitudes misóginas probablemente se observan entre los mandos altos e intermedios de los organismos del tequila, con un gran rezago como organizaciones modernas en las que se traten igualitariamente a las mujeres.  Sin duda otras industrias en otros sectores de México y en otros países son inequitativos, no solamente la Industria del Tequila tiene esta característica desfavorable.)

TA:  How have you been able to change things within your industry?

(¿Cómo han sido capaces de cambiar las cosas dentro de su industria?)

AV:  My work with agaves is my religion, my diversion [enjoyment] and my science.  The first book of blue agave and its agriculture, as well as the knowledge [awareness] of agaves tequileros, among others, are my contributions that have yet to change many things.  In the near future, the great change to promote will be the planting of my hybrids of the blue agave variants that will change the negative history of genetic erosion.  This change has required more than 20 years of constant work.

(Mi trabajo con agaves es mi religión, mi diversión y mi ciencia.  El primer libro de agave azul y su agricultura, asi como el conocimiento de los agaves tequileros -entre otros- son mis aportes que aun están por cambiar muchas cosas…  En el futuro cercano el gran cambio a promover es la plantación de mis híbridos de las variantes de agave azul que cambiará la historia negativa de la erosión genética.  Este cambio ha requerido mas de 20 años de trabajo constante.)

TA:  What do you see as the future of women working within the Tequila Industry?

(¿Qué ves como el futuro de las mujeres que trabajan en la industria del Tequila?)

AV:  I see a future that is more equitable in the professional scope.  For the future of women in the tequila industry to be egalitarian [equal] in opportunities, there has to be congruent [consistent] actions of solidarity among vulnerable groups of women in the industry.

(Yo veo un futuro mas equitativo en el ámbito profesional.  Para que el futuro de las mujeres en la industria del tequila sea igualitario en oportunidades, hay que tener acciones congruentes de solidaridad con grupos vulnerables de mujeres en la industria.)

TA:  What things would you like to see changed?

(¿Qué cosas gustaría cambiado?)

AV:  Less industrial mass production and less contamination.

(Menos producción masiva e industrial y menos contaminación.)

TA:  Is there anything you’d like to say to women who may be contemplating entering and working in the Tequila Industry in one form or another?

(¿Existe algo que le gustaría decir a las mujeres que pueden estar contemplando entrar y trabajar en la industria del Tequila en una forma u otra?)

AV:  Intergenerational solidarity [of gender] and to take great challenges [risks] to realize great achievements not just in favor of the industry, but for Mexico.

(Solidaridad intergeneracional de género y tomar grandes retos para realizar grandes proezas, no solamente a favor de la industria sino de México.)

 

Follow Ana Valenzuela on Facebook.  See also Tequila Heritage on Facebook.

Follow Signo Tequila on Twitter @SignoTequila.

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M.A. “Mike” Morales Asks: Are Tequila Drinkers Killing the Environment?

paisaje agavero, tequila, environmental impact, pollution, vinazas

Tequila Aficionado’s CEO, Mike Morales, reveals rumored environmental polluters of Mexico’s Paisaje Agavero (Agave Landscape) in the controversial and hard-hitting report, Vinazas: The Corpse of the Spirit of Mexico.
“In 2008, the tequila industry produced 310 million liters of tequila,” reports Morales. “For every liter of tequila distilled, 10 liters of vinazas (wastewater) is produced. In 2008, over 2.5 billion liters of vinazas is unaccounted for.”

Vinazas: The Corpse of the Spirit of Mexico defines that country’s next pandemic—The Vinazas Crisis—as the unconscionable pollution of rivers, streams, arroyos, and land along the Paisaje Agavero (the Agave Landscape) voted a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2006.

“Close to 80 percent of the tequila produced in Mexico is exported into the United States,” explains Morales, “so the key is to make as many tequila consumers aware of the ecological dangers of mass produced tequila.”
Morales’ ambitious goal is to reach 40,000 individuals with Vinazas: The Corpse of the Spirit of Mexico.

“Tequila drinkers are killing the environment and they don’t even know it,” Morales continues. In 2008, the tequila industry produced 310 million liters of tequila. For every liter of tequila distilled, 10 liters of vinazas (wastewater) is produced. In 2008, over 2.5 billion liters of vinazas is unaccounted for.
“It’s urgently important to educate ecologically minded spirits purchasers on these crimes.”

Moreover, this report will inform readers of the possible solutions to the Vinazas Crisis being used in the race to save the Paisaje Agavero.

“To have the stark beauty of the Highlands and the Lowlands of the Mexican state of Jalisco strangled by a toxic sludge that has reached crisis levels should frighten all of us,” stresses Morales, “from the casual margarita drinker, to the professional mixologist, to the diehard purist.”

Mike Morales hopes that the next time you reach for your favorite tequila at your local liquor store or supermarket that you ask yourself two questions…
Is my brand eco-friendly? And…
Am I directly contributing to the uncontrolled pollution of the Paisaje Agavero by supporting my brand’s total disregard for the environment?
“It is up to the socially conscious, ecologically minded, environmentally active tequila and/or spirits consumer to up level the catch phrase ‘drink responsibly,’”adds Morales.

“The time has come to not only drink responsibly, but to also think responsibly and act accordingly.”

***

To buy your copy of Vinazas: The Corpse of the Spirit of Mexico for a mere $0.99, visit Amazon.com now!

For shocking photos of vinazas pollution, log onto our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/Vinazas.

More info on Mike Morales available at www.TequilaJournalist.com.

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Portraits In Tequila–Alex Viecco of Montalvo Tequila…

A full array of Montalvo tequila

A full array of Montalvo tequila

Alex Viecco, CEO of award winning and triple distilled Montalvo tequila is a new hybrid of tequila brand owner.

While he shares the passion of many of the family owned brands that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, he has a keen business sense that comes from his many years in the financial planning industry.

In other words…

He doesn’t let his emotional attachment to the juice get in the way of his business decisions.  Like a solid investment portfolio, he is also quite diversified.

Alex Viecco unwraps Montalvo tequila.

Alex Viecco unwraps Montalvo tequila

Alex is one of the founding investors of a company that I’ve been watching with interest for some time–Greenhouse Holdings (now Premier Alliance), a company dedicated to finding a solution to the alarming Vinazas Crisis that I’ve discussed here.

As outspoken and passionate as I have been about the illegal dumping of tequila wastewaters (vinazas) by distilleries into the rivers and streams of the Paisaje Agavero, Alex has been even more of an advocate for foreign investment in wastewater processing plants as a way of combating the pollution epidemic that still haunts the Tequila Industry.

Since this February 2011 Fox News Latino news release cited here, the original project that he brought to Greenhouse’s attention has been placed on hold due to the merger with Premier Alliance.  Viecco assures, however, that the mission to clean up tequila wastewaters is again gaining traction with the present company, whose new investors include basketball great, Shaquille O’Neal.

“They are exploring a couple of different options to provide yet additional solutions in the region,” explains Viecco.

Montalvo“As you know, many of the companies are a bit leery due to the Big Guys being in so much control.  The goal is to provide a much broader solution to the region which will include the small and mid guys [tequila producers].”

“We have been talking with two groups, Premier and another group, to see who will fund a project to get things cleaned up.  My partners and I are the ones bringing in the guns to make it happen.”

“Like anything else,” Alex cautions, “it is still about relationships and foreign companies overcoming their fear of investing in foreign lands.”

Montalvo tequila and Vinturi aerator.

Montalvo tequila and Vinturi aerator.

And relationship building is exactly what Viecco strives for when visiting new accounts to sample Montalvo blanco, reposado and añejo.

A small batch tequila whose agave is sourced from the Lowlands of Jalisco, Alex realizes that his brand isn’t for everyone.  And just like the fourth generation distillers who oversee the triple distillation of Montalvo (a brand named after a fictional family brand of the popular 2007 telenovela, Destilando Amor), he carefully and deliberately chooses who he will partner with and where he will place the precious bottles of Montalvo.

Another strategic partnership Alex has forged is with Vinturi, makers of wine and spirits aerators (an item we’ll cover in an upcoming post) that allows your wine and spirits to open or “bloom” in a much shorter time.

Finally, what would Alex Viecco like for you to know about Montalvo?

In a word, “explore” the wonderful world of tequila, and start with Montalvo.

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