Tequila Corrido’s story began even before the current president and partner, Brian Raab, was part of the company.
An entrepreneur at heart, Raab is known in the Valley dining scene for opening successful restaurants such as Fat Ox and The Mission. It was after the passing of his friend, and Corrido’s former owner, Brad Hoover, that Raab had the chance to purchase the remaining product and rights to the company.
“The literal translation of a corrido is a ballad, in a traditional Mexican style, typically having lyrics that narrate a story,” Raab says. “We knew the story of Tequila Corrido was far from over.”
The brand had been stagnant since Hoover’s death in 2010, so Raab knew he had some work to do with the relaunch of the company.
“I needed to assemble a team that was as passionate about tequila and bringing this product to life as I was,” Raab says. “One night I was at The Mission and I was telling a friend of mine all about Tequila Corrido, and he says he has the perfect person that I should meet.”
It was then Raab was introduced to fellow Phoenician Anthony Boyle. Boyle was working in Mexico around this time, lending his biotech expertise at the request of the country’s government.
Since 2010, Boyle had been tasked with helping find solutions to the waste the tequila industry was producing, which was wreaking havoc on the country’s land. He had been working side by side with many of the best and biggest tequila brands in the industry, learning the trade and craft for more than five years.
“Sometimes life takes you to crazy places,” Boyle says. “Tequila, in all its glory, can create a lot of waste. While I was there, I fell in love with the art of making tequila. I became fast friends with many of the major brands out there and some took me under their wing, explaining the process. It really is a labor of love.”
When Raab asked if he was interested in helping with Tequila Corrido, Boyle was quick to say yes.
“Brian and I knew a lot of the same people,” Boyle says. “I was already in Mexico when we first talked, and he flew down to show me the brand. We clicked right away, and it really started to fall into place.”
It was around this time Raab discovered some old notebooks from Hoover. In it were notes about a well-known master distiller in Mexico who was respected for her knowledge of the agave and her no-nonsense approach to negotiating. Her name was Ana María Romero, and she was one of the very few female distillers. Boyle found her in Guadalajara and visited her.
“Ana María knew her tequila,” Boyle says. “We showed her what we were doing and she agreed to work with us — picking out only the very best ingredients and walking us through the entire process.”
After Romero agreed to join them, the trio spent long days meeting distilleries and sourcing ingredients.
“There were a lot of samples going around,” Raab says. “We wanted the perfect blend to get it just right. I’m no stranger to tequila, but being there at the beginning, creating a new flavor, that’s where the magic happens.”
After these initial trips, Raab and Boyle decided to update the look and feel of Tequila Corrido.
“We really wanted to focus on that word corrido,” Boyle says. “It’s about bringing people together. Get them talking to each other. Tell me your story, sing me your song — it’s those memories and moments we want to embody.”
Their first production launched in 2018 — nearly everything sourced straight from Mexico. The spirit is barrel-aged in its Guadalajara distillery. The bottle design is clean and sleek with the name imprinted on the upper part of the glass. A simple clear label under the raised imprint identifies which impression the bottle is — blanco, reposado or añejo. Each bottle comes with a leather cord wrapped around the top, a guitar pic dangling from it.
“That layer of music is infused into all of our messaging,” Raab says. “Tequila is meant to be shared — like a corrido.”
In 2019, Raab and Boyle added to their team. The two met with well-known Arizona entrepreneur and philanthropist Mike Watts. The duo spoke to Watts about what they were doing — relaying the message about an agave spirit that brings people together. Watts signed on as partner and Tequila Corrido had its team. Today, the three are partners and owners. Raab is president of Tequila Corrido and Boyle is chief operating officer.
“It’s been a wild ride so far,” Boyle says. “And we are just beginning. We are headquartered here, but Tequila Corrido is now available in 38 states including Nevada and Tennessee. We are looking at launching in Texas and New Mexico.”
With expansion plans in full swing, Raab recognizes the importance of staying true to their story.
“People love this tequila because of the taste and you only get that by paying homage to the tequila-making traditions,” Raab says. “Hoover had a great idea, and we have continued to evolve with every bottle of Tequila Corrido that we create. We pay attention to detail and we are committed to making something that everyone can enjoy. Long after that music stops, we are here to connect people and their stories. Because that’s what it’s all about.”