Brace yourselves, folks: we could be facing a tequila shortage. An agave shortage in the heartland of tequila country and growing demand from around the world has producers worried. The price of Agave tequilana, the spikey succulent used to make the booze, has shot up six-fold over the past two years, making it harder for the smaller distillers now and it could eventually affect big players, too.
Without enough mature plants to make agave for tequila, some farmers are using immature plants instead to compensate. It takes seven or eight years for the agave plants to reach maturity and younger plants produce less tequila, so more plants have to be used and it creates a downward spiral.
Tequila industry experts warn that the early harvesting will result in a worse shortage in 2018 and will probably continue until 2021, when improved planting strategies will have helped. So stock up now. Cheers.