Lorenz Agave Spirits
Lorenz Agave Spirits has specialized in sourcing top ultra-premium, most renowned, and best value-for-price tequilas, mezcals, and other agave spirits out of a passion for the culture of Mexico, fine cuisine and beverage, and the cultural history (and even botany!) of agave. Our goal since our founding in 2010 has been to import the best of every type of agave spirit that Mexico produces, and to represent them with the aficionado's passion and intellectual curiosity. Our continuing quest for new knowledge, new products, and new cultural experiences will continue to lead us to select only the best tequila, mezcal, and other spirits at all price points - those that we can truly be proud to import, promote, and educate imbibers about.
We are proud that we have assembled a true aficionado's portfolio of tequila, mezcal, and other spirits. While our company is young, dynamic, and flexible, our brands have secured a strong foothold in the Canadian marketplace, with consumers identifying with our brands and asking for them by name at liquor stores, bars, and restaurants. We create entertaining, educational, and mouth-watering events such as educational tasting seminars, multi-course pairing dinners, cocktail competitions, and more. Our agenda is nothing short of making Canada a country full of sophisticated consumers of quality agave spirits. To prove it, we don't merely promote our own products: We are a Founding Partner in and the driving force behind the Vancouver International Tequila Expo, which occurred every May from 2012 –2016 to give all 100% agave tequila brands the chance to showcase themselves to Canadians - whether they were currently distributed in Canada or not.
Lorenz Agave Spirits was founded by Eric Lorenz with the primary goal of importing ultra-premium 100% blue agave tequilas, as well as artisan-crafted mezcals, into British Columbia. Our secondary goals include educating the public about tequila as a cultural icon of Mexico, and promoting tequila, mezcal, and other agave spirits categories.
Eric is a tequila and mezcal aficionado, importer, writer, educator, traveler, and researcher in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is the first person outside Mexico to complete the three-level Certificado de Catador Entrenado at the level of Master Catador, tequila tasting's top certification led by Ana Maria Romero. He is also Canada's first Master Mezcalier and holds (and teaches!) the CSS, the Distintivo ‘T’ Diploma from the Consejo Regulador del Tequila, certifications from WSET, and has been a Judge at the Annual Spirits of Mexico Competition in San Diego, DARDO in Mexico City, and Vive Mezcal in Oaxaca City. Extensive travels and research in the lands of tequila and mezcal in Mexico have given him an insider's perspective of everything from the indigenous origins of mezcal to the modern production methods employed to produce tequila. Through Lorenz Agave Spirits he has introduced many to the art and the sensory delights of tasting agave spirits via seminars & dinners for the general public, corporate clients, bar and hospitality staff, and at agave spirits festivals throughout Canada and the USA. He is also regularly called in as a tasting consultant to new brands looking to enter the Canadian marketplace.
Canada’s Unique Liquor Distribution and Retail Systems
Canada has ten provinces and three territories, with a combination of (mostly) government-run systems of alcoholic beverage distribution and retail (Ontario and Quebec being the biggest by volume), one province (Alberta) with with a completely private retail market and an arm's-length private warehousing & distribution system, and two provinces (British Columbia and Saskatchewan) with government-run distribution and a public/private retail mix. British Columbia and Alberta could not be more different in terms of their tax structure - with Alberta taking 13% markup on sales of spirits, and British Columbia taking 170% - making it the most highly taxed liquor jurisdiction on the planet! Nonetheless, the opportunities afforded by the fact that private retail stores even exist in these three provinces cannot be overstated - it is in British Columbia and Alberta that small artisanal and boutique brands have the best chance to gain a foothold in Canada, one restaurant, one retail store, one imbiber at a time.
Ontario (with its government-run LCBO stores) tends to bring in products conservatively, weighting their selections by packaging, price, and sales in other markets. Quebec’s SAQ government stores (at least recently) tend to be better at focusing on product selection and diversity including products at all price-points. Saskatchewan, as a newcomer to private retail since 2016, is beginning to favour diversity of selection as well. Nova Scotia’s government-run NSLC stores tend to strike a balance between a value-for-price focus on one hand, and diversity/selection on the other hand.