Clayton evaluates existing spirit brands to improve quality, which may include recommending a change in producers or production methods. His extensive connections and exhaustive knowledge of the industry have been instrumental in developing several successful agave spirits brands.
If you’re looking to build a brand from scratch, be advised that Clayton may try to talk you out of it. He avoids vanity labels or setting up “deals” that hinge on compromised quality and unfair production contracts. Any discussion of brand development will start with a consultation. If Clayton sees the potential for a financially viable and ethically sound brand, he may offer to make recommendations and broker introductions.
- Product evaluation
- Production recommendations
- Brand development
- Competitive analysis
In an industry where ethical questions abound and prices and flashy labels are no indicator of quality, it can be challenging to build a reputable and exciting selection of tequila and mezcal. Clayton partners with select bars and restaurants to develop or improve Mexican spirits programs. His behind-the-scenes knowledge of spirits will help you create a truly extraordinary bar.
- Bar concept development and curation
- Menu and concept consultation
- Spirits selection, sales, and presentation
While Clayton is skeptical of spirits competitions, he is an experienced judge and works with festival organizers to refine their criteria for judging tequila and mezcal.
- Spirits evaluation
- Spirits competition design
Clayton is a perpetual student and experienced teacher with more than a decade developing original curricula for industry professionals. Industry education is one of his most rewarding fields of work. He provides intensive, brand-independent education on tequila and mezcal to bars and restaurants throughout North America and Asia.
- Bar and restaurant education
- Staff trainings
- Industry bootcamps
EVENT HOSTING + SPEAKING
Clayton is an exciting speaker, adept at holding a crowd’s attention. His presentations combine cultural and technical expertise, humor, and irreverent flair. He travels internationally as a speaker and hosts tequila and mezcal tastings at bars, corporate events, and private homes.
- Speaking engagements
- Corporate experience tastings
- Custom events
NETWORKING + CULTURAL ANALYSIS
Clayton is an authoritative, charming, and erudite commentator with a deep and nuanced understanding of the legal, political, and cultural issues that make the Mexican spirits industries so complex. He has contributed his analysis to scores of stories, including television news, travel shows, documentaries, and academic works.
In addition, his cultural and linguistic fluency, social science background, and 25 years of experience in Mexico make him an excellent guide, interpreter, and “fixer” for journalists and academics. He thrives in high stress, improvisational environments, and his deep connections and stellar reputation throughout Mexico allow him to safely facilitate media stories and academic research in mezcal and tequila production regions, as well as during natural disasters and social conflict.
- Cultural knowledge and contacts for journalists
- Expert commentary for television, radio, and print
On a lighter note, if you are an international bartender looking to learn, work, and make a name for yourself in Mexico, Clayton is a great resource.
- Placement for bartenders seeking training and mentorship in Mexico