Diageo has acquired artisan ultra-premium mezcal brand Pierde Almas as part of its strategy to develop the mezcal category in Mexico and abroad. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Norwalk beverage giant said it planned to preserve the guiding principles of Almas, which is distilled in Oaxaca and Guerrero, Mexico, and maintain its founder Jonathan Barbieri as brand ambassador and master distiller.
Pierde Almas will be the second mezcal brand to join Diageo’s portfolio, following the company’s launch of a mezcal under its Casamigos tequila brand, which it acquired from George Clooney and Rande Gerber last year in a deal valued at up to $1 billion.
Mezcal is one of the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage categories in the U.S. Between 2010 and 2015, tequila and mezcal grew 30 percent by volume in the market – more than any other alcohol category except for Cognac – and faster than the global average of 22 percent. Bacardi acquired a minority stake in Ilegal last February and Pernod Ricard entered the category with the acquisition of a majority stake in Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal last August.