5 Must-Visit Tequila Distilleries in Jalisco
Skip to main content

Join our newsletter for a shot of tequila news and great deals sent right to your email!


More to Enjoy

  • Whiskey Raiders
  • Rum Raiders
  • Gin Raiders

5 Must-Visit Tequila Distilleries in Jalisco Off the Beaten Path

Must-Visit Tequila Distilleries

From fine dining to “Frankenstein” machinery, here are the 5 must-visit tequila distilleries in Jalisco if you’re looking for something a little different.

Home to over 90% of the world’s tequila production, the eponymous town of Tequila, Jalisco is a worthwhile pilgrimage for spirits lovers of all types. But touring a tequila distillery can prove a surprisingly difficult task if you don’t know what you’re in for.

While there are over 1,680 registered tequila brands on the market, there are only about 140 approved distilleries in all of Mexico.

Each of those distilleries, distinguished by the 4-digit NOM on the back of your tequila bottle, varies vastly in scale. While Varo Destileria (NOM 1616) produces just one brand, Casa Maestri (NOM 1438) produces over 128 and counting.

For this list, we’ve omitted the Jose Cuervo-esque mega distilleries of the industry and instead focused on the very best of the best aficionado-approved producers. If you happen to be in Jalisco anytime soon, these are the five must-visit tequila distilleries.

Tequila Los Abuelos (NOM 1493)

(Photo: Tequila Fortaleza)

Widely considered one of if not the best tequila distilleries in all of Mexico, Tequila Los Abuelos distills just one beloved brand — Los Abuelos, better known as Tequila Fortaleza in the United States.

At their small-batch distillery perched on the hills overlooking Jalisco, you’ll be able to walk the fields, witness their stone-ground tahona in action, and see how they craft their iconic agave piña-shaped corks. To top it all off, you’ll be treated to a tequila tasting and snacks served in a cave (where you might even see some tequila bats in action).

Tours are available by appointment here.

Tequilera Los Alambiques (NOM 1474)

(Photo: Tequila Ocho)

Home to Tequila Ocho, Los Alambiques distillery offers both a trip through the production process and a fine dining meal at the acclaimed Restuarante Ocho Agaves.

The recently constructed facility is oriented as much more of a “visitor’s experience” than the average distillery. You’ll get to taste tequila straight from the still and sample various vintages as you peruse their subterranean tasting rooms.

If you don’t mind spending a little more than usual, tours are available by appointment here.

La Alteña (NOM 1139)

(Photo: La Alteña)

Founded by Don Felipe Camerena Hernandez in 1937, the historic La Alteña distillery produces the cult-hit brands El Tesoro and Tapatio. Today, the distillery is run by Don Felipe’s daughter and grandson, Jenny and Carlos Camarena.

Despite its small size, La Alteña’s brands have a prolific influence on the tequila industry. If you’re willing to make the trip to the tranquil outskirts of Arandas, you’ll be rewarded with an inside view of the production process behind a renowned over 80-year-old distillery.

Tours are available by appointment; reach out to [email protected].

Tequileña (NOM 1146)

(Photo: Don Fulano/Facebook)

Tequileña may be the largest distillery on this list, but it certainly doesn’t skimp on quality. Among others, the 12 brands it produces include Don Fulano, Cimarron, ArteNOM Seleccion de 1146, and the $350 viral-hit Tears of Llorona Extra Añejo.

Located in the heart of Tequila, the distillery is equipped to produce over 25,000 liters of spirit per day. Though its scale doesn’t match anything near that of a Jose Cuervo or Sauza distillery, touring Tequileña provides insight into an age-old tequila question: how on Earth could so many brands be produced under one roof?

Tours are available by appointment; reach out to [email protected].

Destileria El Pandillo (NOM 1579)

(Photo: Tequila G4/Facebook)

After working for most of his life at his family’s La Alteña distillery, Felipe Camarena broke off in 2007 to found El Pandillo. There, he invented the much-beloved Tequila G4.

Felipe Camerena is frequently referred to as the “mad scientist” of the agave spirits world for good reason. His agave shredder, dubbed “Igor,” and his mechanical tahona, dubbed “Frankenstein,” are handmade inventions built from spare parts laying around his junkyard.

Despite its rough-and-tumble approach, El Pandillo produces one of the most sought-after brands among enthusiasts worldwide.

If you want to see those off-kilter methods for yourself, tours are available by appointment at [email protected].

Read More:

Travel Log: A Trip Through the Vast Agave Fields and Historic Distillery of Jose Cuervo

Celebrity Tequila is Often Questionable At Best; Here Are The 5 Best Reviewed Bottles Around Right Now

Premium Tequila: Luxury Sipping or Marketing Ploy?

Here at Tequila Raiders, we do more than write about current events in tequila. We are the only media property reviewing tequilas and aggregating the scores and reviews of other significant voices in the tequila world in one place. If you’re interested in getting a shot of tequila in your morning email, sign up for our Deal of the Day newsletter

This post may contain affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site. This helps support Tequila Raiders at no additional cost to you.

Filed Under:

Follow Tequila Raiders:

Pedro Wolfe is the managing editor of Tequila Raiders. With several years of experience writing for the New York Daily News and the Foothills Business Daily under his belt, Pedro aims to combine quality reviews and recipes with incisive articles on the cutting edge of the tequila world. Pedro has traveled to the heartland of the spirits industry in Tequila, Mexico, and has conducted interviews with agave spirits veterans throughout Mexico, South Africa and California. Through this diverse approach, Tequila Raiders aims to celebrate not only tequila but the rich tapestry of agave spirits that spans mezcal, raicilla, bacanora, pulque and so much more.