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Is a Tequila Shortage Coming?

Four tequila shots sit on a wooden board with limes around them.

Attention tequila lovers! There may be some trouble ahead for agave-based spirits, such as tequila and mezcal. Unfortunately, it’s related to climate change.

According to recent reports by CNN and Fox Weather, the agave plant used to make tequila could be affected by climate change with extreme weather conditions leading to a decrease in its yield.

Experts warn that if this trend continues, a tequila shortage could be on the horizon. Thankfully, however, there isn’t one happening now. What could be coming in the future, though?

The agave plant requires specific growing conditions. With extreme, record-setting droughts mixed with unusual winter temperatures, even the desert-loving agave plant has struggled to survive. Because while yes, it is a desert-growing plant, the unpredictability of temperatures can disrupt growth.

But it’s not just about the plant. Climate change has also impacted the pollinators that help grow agave. Bees, bats, and butterflies all help pollinate crops, but as weather conditions abruptly shift, they could be disrupted as well.

With all this being said, however, farmers and researchers are working together to test growing agave in water-scarce areas like Northern California. While some land would be fallowed due to water shortages, agave could thrive in previously untested areas of the West. Essentially, all hope isn’t lost.

Could there be a tequila shortage in the future? Perhaps. But, for now, enjoy your favorite tequila drinks without much worry.

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