When I first heard about CNI Brands' Dia del Mezcalero last year, I was equally curious and skeptical of what a trip to Oaxaca with more than 30 people in the industry could possibly be like. Rumor said rough, with
[caption id="attachment_6393" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Espadin against the dramatic sky[/caption] A few years ago I was introduced to Francisco Perez who was traveling through the US promoting an Ejutla, Oaxaca based mezcal cooperative, Integradora Comercial de Ejutla SA de CV ICESA, and its mezcal brand, Forever Oaxaca. Our continued correspondence kept me abreast of the expanding cooperative, their changing branding (now Siempre Oaxaca with a focus on small production mezcals), and the addition of new lines including Banhez and El Ejuteco. Max and I were lucky enough to celebrate Christmas in San Miguel Ejutla last year, which we tried to capture here.