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Source: Twitter / Richard Betts

Former Environmental Attorney Creates Zero Waste Liquor In Mexico

By Desirée Kaplan

In recent years, mezcal has grown in popularity and is now a commonly enjoyed spirit outside of Mexico. Like most alcoholic beverages, producing mezcal requires a significant amount of energy and materials, and as a result, the process can create a large carbon footprint.

To tackle this issue, Richard Bretts took a new look at traditional mezcal production methods. As a former environmental attorney turned mezcal enthusiast Bretts had a fresh perspective on the industry. He found that many conventional steps could be tweaked with more environmentally friendly approaches, so he set out to carefully upgrade the old process. 

So far the new approach has been successful. Brett’s company, Sombra Mezcal opened a new distillery a few months ago near San Juan and San Luis del Rio by Oaxaca. The agave used for the mezcal is organically grown up to 8,000 feet up in the mountains.