A Taste For Tequila – Eric Brass of Tequila Tromba
Eric Brass, CEO of Tequila Tromba, discusses a market thirsty for innovation and how he used tequila to offer a more refined drinking experience.
It was when Eric Brass arrived back in Toronto after an exchange in Mexico with the Ivey Business School that he first noticed a growing gap in the tequila market.
“Tequila was either about pounding your chest to show how much money you’re spending, or closing your eyes, plugging your nose and hoping for the best,” he says. “There had to be a better way and it had to be authentic, with a story and pedigree that was second to none.”
The answer to that growing gap was Tequila Tromba, a brand born out of Mexico’s highlands and driven by an international team of experts that created a high-quality product available at an accessible price point. “We have a product, story and brand that resonate,” Brass continues. “We went around and shared our story and product with the bartenders of Toronto, and they fell in love with it. We’ve built our brand from the ground up, creating relationships with people who love and care for craft spirits.”
As a seasoned world traveller with a thorough understanding of the alcohol market, Brass is someone with useful advice for those wanting to create their own alcohol collections. As well as owning a sake that was a gift from a Japanese tequila maker, his liquor cabinet contains a bottle of 2005 Macallan whisky that was a gift from his mentor, friend and CEO of Edrington, as well as other personal mementos.
“Tequila was either about pounding your chest to show how much money you’re spending, or closing your eyes, plugging your nose and hoping for the best. There had to be a better way”
“All products should be products you believe in and have a story that you can relate to your guests,” Brass says, sharing what he believes makes a successful home bar. “Try for brands that are independent and really care about the craft and quality of what they are doing.” He also advises to be “adventurous with mixes. The general rule of thumb is to stick to one base spirit, such as tequila or whisky. From there, the limits are endless for what can be created.”
“Aside from the complexities, craft spirits require a level of artistry, dedication and perfectionism to get to a level where they are considered premium,” Brass finishes, talking about what drew him to the market. “I have a lot of respect for the distillers who meticulously craft their product. It’s a labour of love.”