Tequila shortage on the horizon, what that means for southern AZ

Tequila shortage on the horizon, what that means for southern AZ
Tequila shortage on the horizon, what that means for Southern AZ. (Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - If you're mad about margaritas, your night out on the town could be getting a tad more expensive.

You might have to cut back until 2021, as producers in Mexico struggle to make enough agave to keep the liquor flowing.

Agave plants normally take seven to eight years to mature. A recent report shows more than 17 million were planted in Mexico back in 2011, but that still may not be enough. There's normally about 42 million agave plants needed to sustain the high demand from hundreds of companies.

The idea of it all is shaking things up for tequila lovers everywhere. Neil Veile, who was visiting Tucson from San Luis Obispo said it's a scary thing to think about.

"It's smooth and it tastes good. It's a good mix for other things like lime and agave," said Elvira's customer, Neil Velie.

As things become a tight squeeze for agave producers, the supply is getting low, and the prices of the plant are going up.

Eric Harding, bar manager at Elvira's downtown told Tucson News Now they have already seen shortages in more sought after brands. The main reason is because producers don't have enough to send out. Harding told us southern Arizona will certainly feel the effects of this.

"45 minutes from the border, tequila is just a part of our tradition in Tucson and this part of the world," said Harding.

For many customers, it's bottoms up for now until the supply bottoms out.

"People order margaritas here pretty much one every second," Harding explained.

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