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Texas tequila to make Connecticut homecoming

November 13, 2018

After a year’s worth of growth out west, entrepreneur Matt Davis said he is ready to bring his tequila brand back to his home state.

The Fairfield native announced earlier this month that his Texas-based tequila company Playa Real will be expanding its distribution to Connecticut stores and bars.

“It’s absolutely a homecoming, it’s really exciting and really fulfilling for me, and I knew when we decided to get this brand off the ground, the first place that I wanted to go outside of (Texas) was Connecticut,” Davis said.

The expansion comes almost a year after the Austin resident started the brand in January. Since then, Playa Real has already grown in its markets in Texas and Colorado, earning a silver medal for all three tequila products at the San Francisco World Spirits competition.

The brand offers a silver tequila along with a pineapple and mandarin-flavored options developed from concentrated fruit extract.

Though the brand started in Texas the concept stems back to Davis’ days on the beaches of Mexico.

As he and his friends would spend time surfing, he said locals would regularly mix homemade tequila in vats with fresh-cut fruit that naturally flavored the drinks. That discovery came amid the growing demand for flavored vodka and whiskey, which have become mainstays in the industry.

To recreate the blends, Davis recruited Mexico native and former Tecate marketing executive Arturo Vargas as president and master distiller Luis Trejo to bring the brand to life.

“I think we’re on the forefront in a sector of the alcohol industry that is relatively untapped,” Davis said. “Second behind bourbon and whiskey in terms of growth has been tequila in pure organic growth in people shifting over from vodka and whiskey because they are learning about the attributes of tequila.”

Playa Real works with La Cofradia distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, to produce the 80-proof, 100 percent blue agave tequila.

While company has grown in its initial stages, expanding to the Northeast has always been part of the plan, Davis said, adding that Connecticut was intended to be the starting point.

“With any product you want to launch, you want to go where you know you’re going to be able to sell, and I knew we were going to get local support from friends and family,” Davis said. “We’ve set some really lofty goals and we are going to beat them. It’s been a really exciting and, for us, a really fulfilling launch.”

Jordan.grice@hearstmediact.com

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