How actor George Clooney turned his passion for tequila into a booming business?


The business of films is a money spinner. All the people involved in the creation of a movie, earn handsomely to live a very comfortable life. But, some even take the next step and enter into the field of entrepreneurship. One such great personality is George Clooney, who is considered one of most successful actors of all time, but still a larger share of his wealth comes from his another passion, ‘tequila’.

In a Twitter thread, Noah Sanborn Friedman shared the story of George Clooney and how the actor ended up creating one of the most successful tequila brands.

According to Friedman, the story starts in 2012 in Mexico, where George Clooney and close friend Randy Gerber (businessman, and husband of Cindy Crawford) owned homes directly next to each other. The two built their homes on a private piece of land called “Casamigos” (house of friends).

“As you do in Mexico, we would drink a lot of tequila. We’d go out to bars and restaurants and bartenders would recommend them. Some were good, some not so good, and some expensive,” Gerber said recounting his early days living with his friend.

Both friends embarked on making their own tequila when they couldn’t find one tequila that had the right combination of smoothness, flavor profile, and price. After some hustle and more than 700 blind taste test samples with friends and family, they finally landed on something they were thrilled with.

Initially, they created tequila for their personal enjoyment and kept the stacks at their homes. They also shared the self-made tequila with their family and friends. The duo never intended to commercialize the formula, but their friends and family loved it so much that quickly they reached around 1,000 bottles a year in just a limited group of family and friends.

“At the time, they were manufacturing as a sub-brand of their producer and didn’t have the proper certifications and licenses to sell or distribute. But given the level of scale, they were reaching so quickly, they were forced to make a choice: Either slow down or double down,” the Twitter thread added.

The duo launched Casamigos as a real brand and brought in a real-estate developer Mike Meldman as a third partner. In 2013, the Casamigos signed a distribution and importing agreement and began selling in the US. The brand had some advantages like Clooney’s celebrity, Gerber’s connections to nightlife, and Meldman’s deep ties to luxury hospitality.

The brand quickly became big and in 2014 it sold 38,000 nine-liter cases (over 450,000 bottles). In 2018, they doubled to 80,000 nine-liter cases. The company’s rapid growth was closely watched by another large company, Diageo, which saw the value in scaling Casamigos across the country and the globe.

“In 2017, Diageo announced they would acquire Casamigos in a deal worth over $1b. The deal consisted of an initial $700m payout, with potential for an additional $300mm over the next 10 years based on performance,” the Twitter thread added.

Casamigos is one of the first tequila brands that comes to people’s minds now and is sold in nearly every bar and liquor store in America, and dozens of countries worldwide.


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