[Long before the general public does, Tequila Aficionado Media often gets tipped off about new agave spirits brands that will be entering the market. One such tip was for Gracías A Dios (GAD) mezcal. We had no idea that we would bump into them during the San Antonio Cocktail Conference in mid- January, 2015. Of course, we had to invite the co-founders to HQ to learn more about this hot mezcal label making amazing traction across the country.]
GAD To Meet You!
You can’t help but get wrapped up in the charm of Gracías A Dios mezcal. You also can’t help but be drawn in by the infectious enthusiasm of its co-founders, Pablo López, Enrique Jimenez and Xaime Niembro.
Here, the trio introduce themselves.
Whose Idea Was It?
From a pure love of drinking mezcal, to owning a mezcalería (mezcal bar), to making lofty plans for the future, the three friends tell how their mezcal brand was born.
Invoking the Name Of GAD
The phrase, “gracias a Dios” (thank God) has been uttered by families in Mexico and throughout Latin America since the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors.
In this clip, the friends give their explanation behind the name of their mezcal.
Maestro Mezcalero de Matatlán
In the town of Santiago Matatlán, considered the world capital of mezcal in Oaxaca, lives Oscar Hernández, the force behind Gracías A Dios. A third generation Maestro Mezcalero, or Alchemist as Enrique refers to him, he learned his craft from the young age of eight years old.
The trio discuss how they came across such a talented distiller.
Distilling from espadín agave at first, it wasn’t until Oscar met with the co-founders of Gracías A Dios, that he considered producing mezcals made from other types of agave.
Enrique and Xaime continue relating Oscar’s fascinating personal history.
Xaime expounds further on why they chose to work with Oscar Hernández, then demonstrates the purity of GAD’s specialty mezcals made from tepextate and cuixe agave.
The GAD Line Up
Pablo, Enrique and Xaime give us the rundown of Gracías A Dios’ core line, what type of barrels they use for aging, and how they decided on the proof of each of the expressions.
True Small Batches
Xaime describes the labeling plans for the Tepextate and Cuixe expressions and how they will tie in to a Texas-Oaxaca relationship.
Each of Gracías A Dios’ agave expressions are certified organic. Xaime details what investments and improvements were made to the brand’s palenque to meet those standards.
Xaime reveals what it takes to maintain GAD’s organic certification, including the innovative improvements made to the brand’s palenque that were invented by Oscar himself.
Xaime chronicles each of GAD’s expressions and then illustrates the difficulty in harvesting wild tobalá.
Outside of their mezcalería, the partners had virtually no background in the
spirits sector. Keenly aware of their limitations, they met with industry consultants for advice.
In this segment, Pablo, Enrique and Xaime recall their experience in bringing GAD to market, and how they managed to rebuild their entire initial concept and image from the bottom up.
These three amigos are the first to admit that Gracías A Dios is still a work-in-progress and are proactively solving challenges that unexpectedly crop up such as using synthetic corks versus imported ones from Portugal, and labeling special edition batches.
Love and Passion Will Take You Places
The GAD triad disclose how working together to get Gracías A Dios into the market has deeply and completely changed their lives.
The partners all agree that their passion for great mezcal–long before it became trendy–is what fuels their love for GAD.
Cheers For Tomorrow
Xaime and his partners explain how their program, Cheers For Tomorrow, will tackle the Mezcal Industry’s sustainability issues and how the use of biofuel will play an important part of their palenque.
Continuing, Niembro describes how the used bagazo (solid waste) is recycled as an insulator during the roasting of agave piñas.
Sharing the Mezcal Experience
Long term plans for the group and the land surrounding their palenque include a boutique hotel, restaurant, and a complete mezcal experience for visitors.
In this snippet, the trio discuss where they see themselves in five years and spill the beans on a specially blended Mezcal Del Cura that’s in the works.
Pablo and Enrique continue the conversation by revealing GAD’s plans for replanting different types of maguey and other projects within the region of their palenque.
Free Your Mind–And Your Taste Buds!
Team GAD divulge the one thing that they would like their audience to know about Gracías A Dios mezcal.
Pablo, Xaime, and Enrique have no intention of changing their methods create a more industrialized mezcal. Their long term mission remains staunchly intact–
To get their small batches to the right audience who will honestly and passionately cherish and appreciate them as much as they do.
Gracías a Dios!