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Tequila takeover: Casa Azul’s new CEO says natural ingredients drive the future of cocktails

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Hard seltzer brands like White Claw and Boston Beer’s Truly disrupted the alcohol sector with flavored malt-based offerings in the late 2010s. Now, one spirits-based brand’s new CEO sees consumers seeking better-for-you drinks.

Dennis Carr, who was appointed CEO of tequila soda brand Casa Azul last month, said in an interview his mission is to usher in healthier options in the RTD beverages space, with less calories, a lower alcohol content and natural ingredients.

“There has been a transition away from malt-based drinks towards ready-to-drinks featuring real spirits, offering consumers a more authentic and satisfying experience,” said Carr. “With three decades of experience in brand-building and market innovation, I understand the importance of starting with a superior taste and a compelling brand story.”

Carr previously served in executive roles across the alcohol industry, including at Sam Adams brewer Boston Beer, wine maker C. Mondavi and whiskey distiller Hotaling.

casa azul

Casa Azul CEO Dennis Carr.

Courtesy of Casa Azul


Casa Azul debuted its RTD tequila soda products in August 2022, founded by serial investor Lance Collins who created buzzy brands BodyArmor and Core water. The tequila brand differentiates itself from traditional canned seltzer drinks by having a simple ingredient list that includes sparkling water, tequila, natural fruit flavors and agave nectar.

In February, Casa Azul introduced its tequila soda Playa Pack. The product comes in four flavors Grapefruit, Spicy Margarita, Lime Margarita and Pineapple Coconut. The tequila sodas contain 100 calories, 5% alcohol by volume and one carb or less per can.

The brand also launched its premium organic tequila last Spring. 

In order to promote the brand, Casa Azul leverages partnerships with celebrities like NFL star Travis Kelce and Mexican-born actress Eiza Gonzalez. The company also promotes traceability, featuring information on its website about how it sources its Blanco Tequila from agave plants grown in Jalisco, Mexico.

According to Carr, Casa Azul is leaning into Gen Z’s desire for convenient drinks that align with their active lifestyle and brands that share a genuine narrative about where its ingredients are sourced from.

“Looking ahead, consumers can expect Casa Azul to evolve through a dynamic and customer-centric approach,” Carr said. “We understand the significance of aligning with consumer preferences and adapting to the constantly changing landscape of taste profiles.”

Casa Azul’s targeting of consumers looking for healthy alternatives to hard seltzer comes as brands in the space are also pivoting. In the last month, both Boston Beer’s Truly and White Claw debuted tequila-based offerings in order to shake up the category which is facing stagnant sales — a clear indication of the move toward spirits-based drinks.

Leaders in the beverage space, which debuted their own hard seltzer products after the category’s initial boom, are also making strategic pivots toward spirits-based drinks. Last month, Fireball maker Sazerac acquired BuzzBallz, an RTD cocktail brand made with spirits like tequila and rum, for an undisclosed amount.

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