Astral Tequila:

Building Community From Bottle to Brick

Brett Fieldcamp, CSS, ReserveBar Spirits Contributor


We know all about the great yet invisible things that drinks can help build — friendships, partnerships, memories, and more. But can spirits also be used to create something tangible, sustainable, and even life-changing?

That's the question posed by Astral Tequila as they pursue a visionary new sustainability initiative where they are building houses using bricks made with spent agave from the distillery's spirit production. Astral is making good on their mission statement and quite literally "building a better future" by building homes in the surrounding community astralof Jalisco, Mexico through a groundbreaking process of upcycling used agave fibers into rock-solid, construction-strength bricks.

A bottle of Astral Tequila is showcased on recycled agave bricks

The Bricks

Just over a year ago, when Astral launched, these ideas of sustainability and generosity were present. The brand was working alongside civil engineer Martha Jimenez Cardoso of the Adobe Brick Project to develop a process of using spent agave waste in brick-making.

For every one liter of tequila produced, roughly eleven pounds of spent agave waste is created in the form of pulp and fibers. The process, overseen by Cardoso, takes those organic byproducts and uses them as a bonding agent in traditional-styled adobe bricks that are strong enough for homebuilding.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work we’re doing through the Adobe Brick Project to help local communities and families in need,” Cardoso said. “Not only are we transforming communities in Jalisco, Mexico, but this ongoing sustainability initiative is also helping drive forward our commitment to a waste reduction - a topic that is very important to me.” 

In keeping with Astral's mission for sustainability, this innovative approach is also keeping all of that agave waste out of landfills. This spares the beautiful local community of Oaxaca the trouble of disposal while helping rejuvenate and revitalize their towns.

Martha Jimenez Cardoso of the Adobe Brick Project makes an upcycled agave brick

The Houses

Astral has pledged 10 agave-brick homes as a starting point. However, their vision extends far beyond those first 10 and more toward a fully sustainable community throughout the surrounding Jalisco region. Each bottle of Astral Tequila that is sold effectively helps to create two agave bricks, and with sales rocketing and bottles flying off shelves nationwide, the project is well on its way to achieving its early goal.

The completed agave bricks go to local builders for use in home building and development. The finished houses will become homes for local community residents, many of which are reserved for low-income homebuyers.

This is all part of what Astral calls an ongoing and long-term commitment to meaningful investment in the local community that has so warmly welcomed the distillery.

The Tequila

Astral's commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly operation extends beyond this singular ongoing project. The brand's new state-of-the-art distillery in Oaxaca is powered by biomass and solar energy. It was intentionally designed to reduce the carbon footprint that can come with a more traditional facility's tequila production.

An Astral Margarita against a shallow backdrop of an agave field

All of this works in conjunction to create a spirit that’s appropriately bright, clean, and forward-thinking — just like the culture that Astral hopes to build with their sustainable strategies.

Astral’s flagship Blanco sports a vibrant foundation of zesty lemon citrus and agave fruitiness on the nose. Just past the lips, it bursts with clean vanilla and subtle spice from both green and black pepper. The brand new five-month aged Reposado builds on that slightly sweet fruit by turning up the natural vanilla and caramel, and the twelve-month Añejo takes it to the stratosphere with its fully refined oak sweetness and butterscotch — perfect for a tequila twist on a classic Old Fashioned. With a couple of deliciously aged additions to the lineup, there's now an Astral for every kind of drinker. Whether you’re the margarita lover or the sipping sophisticate, everyone can get in on helping turn bottle sales into agave bricks.

Astral is showing us all how to foster brighter communities, from harvest to homebuilding.

Please Drink Responsibly. ASTRAL Tequila. 40% Alc/Vol. Diageo, New York, NY. 


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