About Patrón

Tequila has been around for generations, but it wasn’t until Patrón launched in 1989 that the world was introduced to ultra-premium tequila. Our commitment to quality and tradition have been part of Patrón since day one — we’re proud of our heritage and we work hard to preserve it.

Company timeline

The Patrón Vision

In the 1970s and 80s, tequila producers flooded the market with cheaply made low-quality mixtos, leading to negative consumer perceptions of the category. Many tequila producers during this time had lost touch with a fundamental aspect of tequila’s history: the high quality and unique flavor that initially distinguished it from other regional agave spirits.

This set a perfect stage for the birth of Patrón.

In 1989, two visionary southern California businessmen, John Paul Dejoria and Martin Crowley, had a goal: to make the highest-quality ultra-premium tequila in the world. They had a hunch that consumers were ready for an ultra-premium luxury tequila, a spirits category which at the time didn’t exist. According to Patrón lore, John Paul and Martin decided to produce 1,000 cases to prove the concept. John Paul said to Martin, If we can’t sell it, we’ll drink it and give it away as Christmas gifts.”

Martin traveled to the heart of agave-growing country — the highlands of Jalisco — where he met Francisco Alcaraz, whom they hired as Patrón’s master distiller. Francisco had developed what would become Patrón’s house style, which blends tequilas made with two different processes for a complex, smooth silver tequila. That process has been part of Patrón since day one and has remained unchanged ever since. 


THE EARLY DAYS

Francisco Alcaraz smiling with a view of the hacienda behind him. He wears a striped white shirt and a navy jacket.

At the time Patrón was founded, Francisco Alcaraz was the master distiller at the Siete Leguas distillery in Atotonilco el Alto. Impressed by his knowledge and commitment to quality, JP and Martin contracted with Siete Leguas to distill and bottle a specific blend of tahona and roller mill tequila that would be exported under the Patrón label. Shortly after it was founded, Francisco decided to come work full time for Patrón.

Patrón used both the Siete Leguas distillery and the nearby El Viejito facilities until we built our own distillery at Hacienda Patrón, which was completed in 2002-03. In 2005, the owners of El Viejito built a new distillery outside of the town of Atotonilco, and sold their original facility to Patrón. Renamed Casa Patrón,” this facility now produces roller mill tequila for use in our core blend. Casa Patrón is the oldest distillery in Atotonilco, and was the first distillery where Francisco worked. 

MODERN SUCCESS

Patrón set a new era for tequila, demonstrating that great tequilas could be sipped on the rocks, and didn’t need lime and salt. By bringing quality, 100% agave tequila to the United States, we helped turn around the negative perception of tequila. Patrón Tequilas and liqueurs are now available in more than 100 countries and islands across the world, and sold in global duty-free outlets (with a history of solid success in the U.S., Patrón Spirits began developing and growing its international distribution in 2005).

In 2018, Patrón Spirits International A.G., proudly joined Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world. As part of the Bacardi family, Patrón continues to evolve its innovative product offerings, and today Patrón remains one of the world’s fastest-growing global spirits brands.

THE FUTURE

As demand for ultra-premium tequilas continues to grow (and as the 100% de agave category leader), we are naturally expanding our production. We’ve always worked to preserve traditional tequila production methods: hand-trimming and cutting agave before baking it in small clay brick ovens; tahona milling to crush the agave piñas; fermentation in pinewood tanks; and distillation in small copper pot stills. For this reason, we have chosen to replicate our small-scale equipment and hire more staff instead of mechanizing production. The result is something unique in the spirits industry: we have now copied and built our original distillery over and over again, side by side, to ensure that our tequila continues to honor its original process. Our new distillery expansion continues to replicate the small-batch equipment and production processes that set this tequila apart from the competition some thirty years ago.

Patrón’s Master Distiller, David Rodriguez took over when Francisco Alcaraz retired after a 40 year career in the tequila industry.

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