Brand Stories | Apr. 19, 2021

Rodo Padilla Patrón Perfectionists Trophy

One of my favorite parts of the week during the Patron Perfectionists Global Finals is the opportunity to visit and explore the artist district in Tlaquepaque, a historic town that is now entirely surrounded by Guadalajara and is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to the city. Getting to walk the ancient streets of this amazing town with 20+ bartenders from every corner of the world makes for an unforgettable day.

The highlight of this day is the opportunity to visit the workshop of the famed local artist and sculptor Rodo Padilla. 

Rodolfo Padilla is one of the most well known artists in Guadalajara, and his renown as a ceramist extends around the world. His large pieces can be found in various locations around Guadalajara including a huge copper piece outside the city’s baseball field.

Rodo grew up learning and living his art while spending his younger years at his father’s ceramics studio. In 1981 he won a scholarship to study ceramic design and materials in Japan and then went on to continue his studies in Argentina and Italy. Beginning in 1992, he has had solo and group exhibits in various galleries in Mexico and the United States. In Tlaquepaque, Puerto Vallarta, and the Riviera Maya, his work is permanently displayed in his own public galleries. He is an accomplished ceramicist, sculptor, and painter with an absolute passion for what he does.

Patron Perfectionists is honored to be able to partner with him and have commissioned him to design the trophies for each country’s final as well as the Global Final held each year at Hacienda Patrón. It is amazing to get the chance to see the level of detail and workmanship that goes into creating his pieces. During our studio tour, Rodo leads the group through every step of the process from design and initial sculpting to the creation of the plaster molds and painting. To watch him present his mastery of his craft to a group that have literally been brought together by their own mastery of their craft is something to behold. Rodo’s pride in his work is contagious and it’s usually hard to tear the group away to visit the next spot on the agenda. Each of the contestants has already won a Rodo Padilla trophy from the finals of their respective nations, but the opportunity to win the official trophy suddenly becomes more real now than ever. This is one of the many parts of the Patron Perfectionists experience that really sets itself apart from the others.

Over 800 miles away in San Antonio Texas there is another connection between Patrón and Rodo Padilla. A bar Located in the historic Southtown of San Antonio, the history of a Friendly Spot” in the area dates back to 1973, when popular bands would play at the converted 1930s gas station just a few steps south from the current location. The reimagined Friendly Spot, owned by Steve and Jody Newman, opened in 2009 and has become a go-to for drinks, bites and a spot to watch everything from Spurs games to political debates.

If you’ve been to San Antonio, you might be familiar with what looks like a giant adult playground.

We’re everybody friendly’. We want dogs here, we want children here, we want old people, we want young people, and we want everybody to be able to come and enjoy the friendly spot.”

When Steve and Jody decided that they wanted to do something very different from other bars in the area they reached out to their Patrón contact with a wild idea: they wanted to take their favorite tequila, Gran Patrón Piedra – a 4‑year-old 100% tahona extra anejo tequila, and serve it on tap through their draft system. They already sold way more bottles of it than anyone in the state and wanted to fully commit to keeping the record. They decided that they would commission Rodo Padilla to create a one-of-a-kind ceramic tap handle in the exact style of the beautiful Piedra bottle. Rodo Padilla’s studio was more than up for the challenge.

The Friendly Spot now has the only Rodo Padilla Gran Patrón Piedra tap handle in service anywhere in the world, and is having no doubt selling this equally unique tequila. Thanks to the Friendly Spot and to Rodo Padilla for embarking on this clever collaboration!

Author: Stephen Halpin