In true tequila tradition the cacti spirit is actually made for sipping, and marketers have long been involved in an uphill battle to downplay its image as a quick way to get drunk at parties.
In light of this, Heineken’s tequila-flavoured beer has received the wrong kind of attention from Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council, who are threatening to sue, reports Quartz.
Desperados’ supposed link to tequila is pretty thin—it’s made with some beer that’s been aged in tequila barrels, plus beer that includes tequila and lemon “flavors [sic].”
Gross – but since its release in London, the beer has managed to establish itself in many countries, even though it was discontinued in the States back in 2015 because of weak sales.
Unimpressed, the trade group of Mexican tequila producers explained that the beer is in “violation of designation of origin rules: it’s using the name tequila but doesn’t contain significant quantities of the spirit”.
And Quartz points out another issue with Desperados:
The beer brand targeted at millennials goes against the sophisticated image tequila sellers have been trying to cultivate.
Some shots of tequila now sell for more than $100, and last week actor George Clooney’s tequila brand sold for $1 billion.
“We cannot permit someone unscrupulously to affect tequila’s prestige,” the Council’s director general told the FT.
When the group tested the beer, it showed that it doesn’t even contain a hint of tequila. They then gave Heineken until the end of the month to “stop labelling its bottles with the world tequila”.
Heineken, on the other hand, hit back saying that “Desperados does contain bona fide tequila,” but won’t disclose exactly how much.
What a dirty war they have started – but with the amount of money Heineken has put into marketing the beer, it shouldn’t be a surprise they are willing to fight back on this one.
In the meantime, I’ll go about downing shots of El Jimador on the low.
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