One could argue that Kansas City needs a good local tequila, the only issue is that tequila, to be called tequila, must come from blue agave grown, produced and bottled in Mexico in the state of Jalisco.
Now, Mi Rancho tequila hopes to claim that honor, as this local family-owned business, launched their own line of authentic premium tequila made from 100% blue agave in October of 2016.
Michael Dean Trego, the president and owner of Mi Rancho Tequila, is a native of Mexico who grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, “right around 10th and Central,” he tells Feast.
His Kansas City-based company not only produces and bottles Mi Rancho tequila in Jamay, Jalisco, but it also serves as its own importer, bringing bottles of his blanco, reposado and añejo into the United States, and beyond.
“It is unusual for a company like Mi Rancho to serve both roles, and we are proud to use another Kansas City-based company, Scarbrough International, to help us bring the inventory in,” says Trego. “For me, it is simply a matter of quality control.”
Trego had worked in the construction business for years, while he, and his wife, Guadalupe, raised 6 kids, now ages 24-4 years old. It was fatherhood that got him thinking about his desire to create a family business, or legacy, that was tied to he and his wife’s shared Mexican heritage.
They realized that there is nothing more culturally-tied to Mexico than tequila, so in 2008 they began their due diligence on starting Mi Rancho tequila.
“It took us nearly 10 years to figure out the logistics, paperwork and recipes before we were ready to launch Mi Rancho in the Fall of 2016,” he says. “We spent more time and money figuring out what the stuff in the bottle would taste like, than we spent on what the bottle itself would look like.”
Skipping the fancy-looking bottle, packaging and giant marketing campaigns employed by some of the bigger corporate tequila brands, Trego instead kept his focus on creating a quality spirit and selling it at an affordable price.
Kevin Hodge, owner of Cellar Rat Wine Merchants, located at 1701 Baltimore Avenue in the Crossroads, has been carrying all three of the Mi Rancho tequilas and says, once people taste them, they buy them.
“Michael likes to play it off, but he has made a quality tequila that has ties to Kansas City,” says Hodge. “If I can get people to sample it, they buy it, because it tastes great and it sells at an extremely affordable price.”
The Mi Rancho Blanco retails for $19.99 a bottle, the reposado, which has been aged in oak barrels for one year for $24.99 and the añejo sells for $34.99.
Trego estimates he is currently bringing in 200-600 cases of tequila each month, and he has his tequila in over 56 establishments, both restaurants, bars and liquor shops in both Kansas and Missouri. He says he is hoping to expand to 86 locations by Cinco de Mayo this year.
“Our liquor reps are keeping busy right now, and we are proud of the fact that Mi Rancho Tequila won the Spirits International Prestige (SIP) Award taking Platinum, earning 96 points out of 100,” says Trego. “Every award we win, continues to help us tell the story of our tequila.”
Trego mentions a few of the local Kansas City restaurants embracing Mi Rancho tequila are Teocali Mexican restaurant and the Bread and Butter Concept restaurant group.
Enrique Gutierrez, owner of Teocali restaurant, boasts 100 different brands of tequila behind the bar of his popular restaurant located in the Longfellow neighborhood, but once he tasted Mi Rancho tequila, he made it his house tequila that he uses to make his margaritas.
While Scott Tipton, the Beverage Director for Bread & Butter Concepts, worked with the Mi Rancho tequila for the first time in 2016 at Comida, a popular fundraiser that features food and drinks from Latin America, Brazil and Spain, and since then has decided to add Mi Rancho tequila behind the bar at half of the restaurants in the group, including Taco Republic.
Trego says he is looking forward to participating in this year’s Comida event, which will take place at Union Station on Thursday, April 20, as a main sponsor in addition to making a signature drink, he says he will be there to sample people on his tequila straight, so they can taste the difference for themselves.
There is one unique selling point that Mi Rancho tequila can brag about that is tied to its low methanol content.
“Our tequila has the lowest methanol content of any tequila in the world, and this is important because methanol is what causes a hangover” says Trego. “After drinking Mi Rancho Tequila, you won’t have a hangover.”
Hodge agrees, “I like the fact that Mi Rancho blanco tequila is fresh and light tasting, not fake, hot or medicinal that you can sometimes get from other silver tequila.”
Trego says that the Mi Rancho blanco tequila is the best indicator of the quality of his favored spirit.
“It is the most authentic, and that if that product is good, you know the reposado and añejo, once it has aged will be good, as well,” says Trego.
For more information about Mi Rancho tequila and where to find it, go to miranchotequila.com.