pouring mezcal

Bacardi Limited Acquires Sole Ownership of Ilegal Mezcal

Sept. 19, 2023
The two companies have been partners since 2015, and Bacardi believes the time is right to fully invest in the growing category.

International spirits company Bacardi Limited has become the sole owners of Ilegal Mezcal, a premium artisanal mezcal produced in Oaxaca, Mexico, according to a release from the company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Bacardi has partnered with Ilegal since 2015 and believes the time is right to make this move as the mezcal category pace of growth quickens. According to data cited in the release, the agave category (mezcal and tequila) recently surpassed American whiskey to become the second largest category by value in the U.S. Also, the U.S. dominates the super-premium mezcal category with 86% of global market share (Source: 2022 IWSR).

Ilegal Mezcal is double distilled in small batches using 100% Espadin agave. The company works with fourth-generation maestros mezcaleros in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Ilegal Mezcal was created in 2006 by John Rexer, who had worked with distillers in Oaxaca for years to make mezcal for his bar in Guatemala. Rexer will continue to guide the vision of the brand, Bacardi’s release stated.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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