I had the fortunate opportunity to speak with Jeff Hines, the visionary behind the remarkable Tequila venture, Real Tequila. The company offers tours of additive-free tequila distilleries nestled in the heart of Tequila, Jalisco. Their commitment to championing sustainable practices and revitalizing the essence of traditional tequila craftsmanship is evident, guaranteeing an authentic encounter with the cherished spirit.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
My name is Jeff Hines. I am from Calgary AB, Canada. Having built on my love for Mexican food and culture (and Tequila) I started a chain of Mexican restaurants in Canada called Añejo Restaurant and Bar, and Blanco Cantina. We started in Calgary in 2010 and have since grown across Canada.
How did you land in Sayulita?
My first visit to Sayulita was in 1999 and I instantly fell in love and considered myself ‘HOME’ I took the bus from Paradise Village while on a family vacation, walked to the beach and posted up at Patricia's. I ordered a couple of margaritas and knew I had arrived. 6 weeks later Rod Rosile of Sayulita Investment Realty found me the perfect home in Los Delfines.
How long have you lived in Sayulita? What is your favorite part?
Since 2020 my wife, Ann Stranges and I have called Sayulita home. We currently live in Pascuarito and love being surrounded by nature.
Can you tell me about what inspired you to start your business?
Real Tequila was born out of necessity. Having been involved in Tequila for over a decade and building a legacy in the spirit in Canada I felt compelled to help spread the gospel of sustainable and additive-free tequila to tourists and locals alike.
What services do you offer?
Real Tequila is a distributor and on-premise representative for all additive-free/sustainable brands. We sell Tequila to restaurants, bars, and retail. We offer guided tours weekly to Tequila Jalisco and also provide customized tequila tastings for all palates.
Tell me a bit about your background in this industry?
I have been involved in Tequila, Jalisco since 2009, as the largest provider of tequila spirits in Canada. We have hosted hundreds of bartenders, servers, managers, and restaurant owners in Tequila to expand and build on their knowledge about this unique spirit.
How long has your business been in operation?
Real Tequila has been serving Sayulita for two years and has been consistently growing into other markets. We are currently distributing in CDMX, GDL, PVR, Cancun, and Cabo and retailing throughout Mexico at www.realtequila.mx
What does your business offer that separates it from the rest?
The attribute that sets us apart is the ‘on premise’ attention to detail and training. We don't simply drop tequila at a bar or restaurant. We work with the staff and customers alike to build knowledge and lasting appreciative customers. We introduce the team and the public to the town of Tequila, Jalisco. We visit the best tequileros and distilleries that are still all Mexican owned and operated.
What are your future plans for your business? Any new goals?
We are launching our tours on November 6th this year. We are launching our tours on November 6th this year. Our tours will run weekly departing Monday mornings and returning Tuesday evenings. We are proud to be able to share our legacy with visitors and locals alike. Join us for a guided two day tour to/from Tequila Jalisco, we will visit 3 distilleries, participate in tastings and walk through the entire process of production, It’s a must for all tequila enthusiasts. We stay at an amazing hotel in the heart of Tequila and immerse in all things tequila, everything is included in this trip except for your food. This is a trip we have hosted many times and it is a fan favorite.
We also plan to open our first retail store on November 1st between La Cruz and Punta de Mita that will carry strictly additive Free/ sustainable tequilas.
“We went on this tour with very high expectations because of Jeff's wealth of experience and deep connections in the tequila industry. My expectations were surpassed!
This isn't just a tequila tasting tour, it's an intimate first-hand and behind-the-scenes look at how the best additive-free tequilas are made. At each distillery, we were greeted by smiling, passionate and knowledgeable employees that were welcoming and proud of their tequila.
This was a world-class experience that filled my bucket list and then some. I left Tequila with a new friend, knowledge of the process, an improved palate, and many incredible memories.
Muchas gracias Jeff, I'll never forget this experience.”