Despite claiming to boast a small percentage of tequila, the beer’s connection to the spirit is actually pretty slim. Desperados gets its tequila connection by introducing some beer that’s been aged in tequila barrels, followed by adding tequila and lemon ‘flavors.’
According to Quartz, the Tequila Regulatory Council, comprised of Mexican tequila producers, feels the beer is a ‘violation of designation of origin rules.’ It’s understandable why; the beer contains a nearly undetectable amount of tequila, yet makes a big splash in the world of the spirit by including its title on each bottle.
Tequila producers all over Mexico, who have strived for years to elevate the status of the beverage, feel its inclusion on Heineken’s product is actually doing a disservice to the advancing of their brand. Heineken has until the end of the month to stop labeling its bottles with the word ‘tequila’ depicted; despite the backlash, the brewery claims that the beer does indeed contain tequila, though won’t provide any sort of percentage or number.
As of 2015, Desperados has been discontinued in America due to poor sales. However, the tequila market here at home continues to thrive; last week, George Clooney reportedly sold his Casamigos brand to Diageo for nearly $1 billion.