Women In The Tequila Industry: Lisa Barlow

One of the more intriguing Tequila Boss Ladies, is the brains–and grace–behind Vida Tequila, Lisa Barlow.

A contestant on Last Tequila Standing, and a participating brand during our 2015 Dia de los Muertos Tequila & Mezcal Tour, Ms. Barlow works tirelessly to keep Vida’s image and flavor fresh and consistent.

Aside from being a Woman In The Tequila Industry, Lisa was also a partner in one of the most celebrated restaurants in Park City, Utah, called Silver.  Up until June 2015, it hosted wildly popular events that were the hottest tickets to come by during the star-studded Sundance Film Festival.  In 2016, a pop-up Vida Tequila Lounge continued that tradition at Sundance.

A triple threat, this wife and mother of two also runs a marketing firm based in future VIDA ownersNew York.  Lisa Barlow makes working her businesses seem effortless, and does it all with flawless style.

Here are her thoughts on our customary handful of questions.

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

LB:  I have never felt as though the challenges in the spirits industry stem from being a woman.  I have a strong vision for VIDA and a strong business acumen.  I like being in an arena where I am constantly challenged and the spirits industry gives me that opportunity.

Man or woman, it really doesn’t matter; what matters is that you are on point and doing the right things for your business.  Being a mother of two boys, I think its a great example for them to see me work hard at our family business.

TA:  How have you been able to change things within the Tequila Industry?

VidaLogo

LB:  One always hopes they are making a difference.

When we launched in 2007 there were less than 400 tequila brands in the USA.  For me it was important that the brand had a clear vision and an authentic one.  Your customers feel your passion.  It engages them into your product and drives them to search for more information, which helps the category.

I love what I do.  I really wanted to integrate things that were important to me into our brand.  We launched with a beautiful white package that was very Lisa_Vidadifferent from the bright colors and busy boxes we were seeing on the store shelves.

I also incorporated my vision of what tequila should be in early advertisements; tequila is modern, sophisticated.

We had campaigns that said “NO WORM, JUST ROCKS,” or “VIDA COUTURE” moving VIDA away from the cliches and stereotypes.  This is one thing and those things take time and [it] was challenging in the beginning.

[It is] much easier to launch a brand today with how much education is now available, that was not there when we launched.

Being able to make a great tequila is beautiful.  Everything from the plant to the process is bold.  To be able to take this into the USA and other countries and grow the category is huge.  I am very involved because I love what we produce and our brand, VIDA.

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

LB:  As the category continues to rise, so will the number of women who work within the category and the roles they play.  From Distiller to CEO, I think there will be a lot of growth and changes on multiple levels.

TA:  What facets of the Tequila Industry would you like to see change?lisa headshot

LB:  This is a tough question.

There is an art to making tequila.  From start to finish; to me it’s beautiful.  The rich history of this spirit is in Mexico – it’s important to maintain this.

Within any industry, it’s important to make sure that production and distribution are continually evaluated.

Change is good, always.  We are constantly trying to evolve and put our focus on a global future.

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?

LB:  Its an amazing industry to be a part of.  Have a clear plan and go for it.

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Have You Seen Our Dia de los Muertos Magazine?

cover jpg, dia de los muertos, tequila, mezcal, social mediaOur Dia de los Muertos Magazine

Have you seen the Tequila Aficionado Dia de los Muertos Magazine?

We’d like to extend a very special “Thank You” to the tequila and mezcal brands who took a chance on our outside-the-box idea of social media content creation for agave spirits brands.

We enjoyed every opportunity to sip and share these brands through our travels and found no shortage of inspiration for content creation throughout the trip and beyond.

We’re looking forward to a 2015 Tequila tour from Texas to the Great Lakes in September and hope they’ll consider coming along with us again.

The images and captions included in the Dia de los Muertos Magazine are samples of the content we created during the 2015 Dia de los Muertos Tour. For more, please visit the Tequila Aficionado Wiki where each of these brands is featured in depth.

Click on the image to view/download the PDF magazine.

Get On The Next Tour!

1200_Wisconsin-CheeseapplesIf you’d like more information on how your brand can get involved in the 2016 Tequila Aficionado Tour, please email Tours@TequilaAficionado.com and we’ll send you all the juicy details.  In the meantime, we can tell you there will be lots of heartland goodness involved like Wisconsin cheeses for pairing with tequilas and mezcals, Michigan apples for cooking with tequila, fall foliage and much more!

 

*FTC Disclosure: Brands appearing on the Tequila Aficionado Dia de Los Muertos & Heartland Tour had to be vetted as Brand of Promise Nominees and paid a nominal fee to be on the tour.

 

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Bats Are Dying!

1016151502aDuring Tequila Aficionado Media’s historic Dia de los Muertos Tequila Tour, Lisa Pietsch and I paid a visit to Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico.  Before exploring the awesome depths of the caves and the formation of stalactites and stalagmites, we were also met with this alarming notice.

Even though it’s the Mexican freetail bats that are suffering man’s encroachment onto their turf, all bats are going through a hard time, including the “tequila bat.”

1016151441

Vicious Circle

The industrialization of the tequila making process, and to a certain extent some mezcals,  has made the preservation of the agave (blue, espadin, etc.) vital to the longevity of these industries and to the survival of the people who rely upon them for their existence.

It’s no secret that the weber blue agave is susceptible to diseases now that it is not allowed to bloom a quiote or stem for pollination by the lesser long-nosed bats.

By not letting the agave run the length of its lifespan, it is also upsetting the eco-system and natural migratory patterns of bats that rely on the agave for sustenance.

The agave gene pool has been tampered with by the explosive growth of the 1016151541tequila and mezcal industries.

The plant’s natural defenses against diseases and pests are compromised.  This means that pesticides are required to defend the valuable agave crops against diseases and pests.

In turn, the pesticides are hazardous to the health of harvesters, bats, bees and birds alike.  Not to mention the eventual pollution to the soil, ground water and water supplies.

It’s a vicious circle that agave growers can remedy by simply letting a portion of their agave crops grow naturally.

What Can Consumers Do?

Look for certified organic tequilas, mezcals, or sotols for starters.  These must follow certain protocols which prohibit the use of pesticides in order to earn the USDA seal.

1016151438aIn addition, though considered a marketing buzz phrase, look for agave spirits that are produced with agave or sotol that has been “wild harvested.”  Chances are, none of them are using pesticides.

Secondly, seek agave spirits brands that claim to be “bat friendly.”

According to Angelica Menchaca Rodriguez, whose PhD studies are concerning this very subject, look for mezcal made with maguey papalote (agave cupreata) since “…this species cannot reproduce without the intervention of bats and can be found mainly in the state of Guerrero.”

The Tequila Interchange Project is working with Rodrigo Medellin–the Batmanbatfriendly of Mexico–in the pilot stages of a massive Bat Friendly Tequila & Mezcal Recognition Program that will likely include some beloved brands of tequilas and mezcals.

In the meantime, be kind to bats.  Build bat houses for them to roost in as suggested by the Bat World Sanctuary.

The bat you save could be your best sipping buddy.

 

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Dia de los Muertos Tour Schedule

*FTC Disclosure: Brands appearing on the Tequila Aficionado Dia de Los Muertos & Heartland Tour had to be vetted as Brand of Promise Nominees and paid a nominal fee to be on the tour.

The Dia de los Muertos Tour is even bigger and better than we imagined!  We’re exploring the great Southwest!

First we’ll pay homage to the wonderful creatures who come alive at night to pollenate the desert flora, including agave, then we’ll move on to another one of nature’s wonders, The Grand Canyon.

Here’s our tour schedule and where we’ll be camping.  If you’re near one of our stops, message us on Facebook and we’ll tell you when the pouring begins!

 

Tequila Aficionado Dia de los Muertos Tour Schedule


Wednesday October 14: Pick up our rental RV at the local Cruise America, pack up and enjoy a nice tequila after an afternoon of loading the RV with food, clothes, computers, cameras and TEQUILAS

Thursday October 15: Drive from San Antonio, TX to Carlsbad, NM, enjoy the bats’ nightly flight with a flight of tequilas fireside.  We’ll be staying at Carlsbad KOA 2 Manthei Road, Highway 285
Carlsbad, NM 88220

carlsbad twitter

 

Friday October 16: Visit Carlsbad Caverns, then celebrate our escape from the underworld with a glass or two of something ancient

Saturday October 17: Drive to Albuquerque by way of Roswell, NM.  We may just share a drink or two with the aliens.  We’ll be staying at Albuquerque North/Bernalillo KOA 555 South Hill Road
Bernalillo, NM 87004

Sunday October 18: Stay in Albuquerque

Monday October 19: Drive to Phoenix, AZ, relax after the long drive with something fresh.  We’ll be staying at Desert Shadows RV Resort 19203 N. 29th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85027

Tuesday October 20: Film a tequila tasting with the Butterscotch Martini Girls

Wednesday October 21: Lunch with Roger & Alisa Clyne at the Taco Guild (546 E Osborn Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85012), there will be Mexican Moonshine

Thursday October 22: Drive to Grand Canyon National Park and estimate how much tequila it would take to fill it.  We’ll be staying at Trailer Village RV Park in Grand Canyon Village.

Grand Canyon Twitter

Friday October 23: Visit the Grand Canyon and see how many tequilas we can photograph there before the Park Rangers ask what we’re doing.

Saturday October 24: Visit the Grand Canyon more and see if we can get a few elk to pose with some mezcals.

Sunday October 25: Drive to Albuquerque, NM, enjoy some putt-putt golf and tequila at Albuquerque KOA 12400 Skyline Road NE Albuquerque, NM 87123

Monday October 26: Drive to Fort Stockton, TX, celebrate our arrival in our home state.  We’ll stay at Fort Stockton KOA 3604 KOA Rd. Exit 264, Warnock Road, I-10 Fort Stockton, TX 79735 

Tuesday October 27: Drive to San Antonio, TX, unpack all the bottles of dessert we collected and start writing all about the amazing times we had, just in case you aren’t able to join us.

Wednesday October 28: Return our RV to Cruise America and say goodbye to our big traveling buddy, go home and relax with a nice smoky mezcal.

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Tequila Aficionado Media Celebrates Día de los Muertos 2015 On The Road

Announces Unprecedented Partnerships with Top Tequilas!

For Immediate Release!

August 26, 2015, San Antonio, TX:  Beginning October 14-28, 2015, Tequila Aficionado Media takes to the open road accompanied by top tier tequilas destined for the Windy City of Chicago to celebrate the popular Día de los Muertos remembrance holiday.

Palazzo

What began as a whimsical idea during a family RV vacation early in the spring of 2015, has turned into a monster tequila tour packed with stops at specially selected points-of-interest along the way, photo opportunities, and out-of-the-box social media marketing and promotion for tequila brands on a budget.

Initially scheduled for late August 2015, Lisa Pietsch, Tequila Aficionado mexican moonshine anejo, roger clyne, peacemakers, tequila,Media’s COO, admits that, “…the response from agave spirits brands was so overwhelmingly positive that we were compelled to move the tour dates to October to accommodate brands that wanted to come aboard.”

The change in tour dates notes M.A. “Mike” Morales, CEO of Tequila Aficionado Media, was fortunate for the participating tequila partners since, “…the end-of-year push for the spirits industry traditionally begins in October and lasts throughout the holiday season.”

Adds Pietsch, “Now, Día de los Muertos is an integral part of that celebration to Latinos and tequila aficionados alike.”

At press time, participating tequila brand partners are…

Currently, these tequila partners are scheduled to be featured on the following days of Tequila Aficionado’s Día de los Muertos Tequila Tour—

14-OctEmbajador Blanco
15-OctEmbajador Reposado
16-OctEmbajador Anejovarietals
17-OctLunazul Blanco
18-OctLunazul XAageGateImg
19-OctMalinalli Blanco
20-OctMalinalli Extra Anejomalinalli
21-OctTitanium Blanco

titanium, tequila, flight of sites, tequila aficionado

22-OctDulce Vida 5yr Extra AnejoDulce_Vida
23-OctRoute 66 Reposado

route-66-slide11

24-Oct1921 La Crema

la crema

25-OctDiva Blanco

diva

26-OctMexican Moonshine Blanco
27-OctMexican Moonshine Reposado
28-OctMexican Moonshine Anejo

mexican moonshine anejo, roger clyne, peacemakers, tequila,

As other interested agave spirits climb aboard Tequila Aficionado’s Día de los Muertos Tequila Tour, this list and the calendar of open slots will be updated.

tequila aficionado, dia de los muertos tour, rv trip 2015
Click on map to see full route in Google Maps

For all the details on the Día de los Muertos Tequila Tour and how your agave spirit will benefit with Tequila Aficionado Media’s powerful, exclusive, out-of-the-box (and affordable!) social media brand exposure, click here .

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Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Dia De Los Muertos Sugar Skulls

Sugar Skulls as Art

The sugar skull is becoming an exciting art form.  Though sugar skull artisans seemed to be dying out for a while, the rise of the internet has brought the sugar skull out of the coffin and into the mainstream.  Here are just a few examples of how the sugar skull is evolving.  (Click on any of the images to see these and many more in our Dia de los Muertos Pinboard.)

 

sugar skulls, dia de los muertos, cookies, cake, decorations, sweets sugar skulls, dia de los muertos, cookies, cake, decorations, sweetssugar skulls, dia de los muertos, cookies, cake, decorations, sweetssugar skulls, dia de los muertos, cookies, cake, decorations, sweetssugar skulls, dia de los muertos, cookies, cake, decorations, sweets sugar skulls, dia de los muertos, cookies, cake, decorations, sweetssugar skulls, dia de los muertos, cookies, cake, decorations, sweets sugar skulls, dia de los muertos, cookies, cake, decorations, sweets

 

 

 

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Dia de los Muertos: Pan de Muerto

pan de muerto, dia de los muertos

Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead)

Don’t let the name fool you, the living enjoy eating this sweet bread too!

(Click on any of the images below to see more Pan de Muerto and enjoy some of the delicious recipes on our Dia de los Muertos Pinboard.)

pan de muerto, dia de los muertos pan de muerto, dia de los muertos pan de muerto, dia de los muertos pan de muerto, dia de los muertos

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Dia De Los Muertos Altars

dia de los muertos altarThe Dia de los Muertos Altar

(Click on any of the images to see our Dia de los Muertos pinboard with more altars.)

The home altar is meant to serve as a welcome for the long lost loved ones who have passed on before us.  Just as we might welcome guests from out of town with a fine table, flowers, and food, so too will we welcome home our dearly departed for their short visit on Dia de los Muertos.

Elements of the Dia de los Muertos Altar:

We start with the table and a favorite tablecloth.  Upon those, we’ll add photos of our dear ones.  Personal belongings, favorite foods and beverages (like a good bottle of tequila) will make them welcome.  It may be difficult for our spirit friends to open and pour, so pouring a glass of tequila is often done.  Traditional foods like pan de muerto are also laid out to welcome our otherworldly guests.

Next we’ll add the four elements in nature.

Clay bowls of corn or fruits represent the earth and her harvest.

altar2

 

Papel picados, the delicately cut paper banners represent wind.

An open container of water will quench the thirst of our loved ones.

The fire of burning candles guides them home and represents the souls themselves.

Salt on the altar purifies the spirits.

Incense, rising like the spirits themselves, sweetens the air as it burns in clay “Copaleros” or “salumerios”.

Marigolds, or tissue flowers, brighten their path and adorn the altar.

Lastly, a simple woven mat is placed at the base of the altar for our weary travelers to rest.

Altars will vary with family and regional traditions, but this should give the unfamiliar a basic overview of the elements of a Dia de los Muertos altar.

dia de los muertos altar

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Dia de los Muertos

dia de los muertos You don’t need to be Mexican to celebrate Dia de los Muertos.  Find out more about this holiday on our Dia de los Muertos Pinterest Board!

Click here to explore!

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Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

How to Get Paid to Drink Tequila:

How you can turn your passion into profits and get paid to drink tequila as a blogger, vlogger, podcaster or author

 

Salud!!