A man walks into a bar… OK, no… In 2007, American businessman Ron Snyder jumped the fence and moved to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Snyder embodies the American dream of self-made super success beyond measure, thanks to his brilliance at many a company, including stupendously popular Crocs footwear. Officially retired, he is always on the lookout for a good thing—it’s in his nature, and his track record speaks for itself.
Snyder moved to Cabo because it’s scenic, the weather is delicious, the people are warm, and there’s tequila in them thar hills—quite specifically the hills in the state of Jalisco, where, close to the town of Tequila, there has existed forever the village of Amatitán. Here we discover an elixir known only to a few and imbibed solely by five local families for five generations. With no pressure for financial gain, this home brew was guarded by those who partook. That was until Snyder came to town.
When he moved to Cabo, Snyder made a friend of Federico Vaughan, a gentleman of Mexican and Irish heritage and a member of the exclusive Amatitán tequila drinking club. Turned out Vaughan was the critical link to accessing this secret supply of spirits formerly unknown to the world beyond.
Snyder and Vaughan, likely over a glass of the good stuff, at some point noted and toasted to the combination of their mighty skillsets.
So, five men walk into a bar … OK, not quite—actually, five men go into the tequila business. Snyder brings his business acumen, Vaughan his moonshine especial, and their financial partners are Grammy Award winner and country singing star George Strait—because he loves “the special stuff”—retired NHL star Brett Hull, and former NFL coach Mike Shanahan. No one is quitting their day job—they are involved with the business because, as Strait puts it, “it’s the best tequila.”
While this private supply was lovingly referred to as “the good stuff” or “the special stuff,” both of which would have been workable names, Snyder is a visionary who saw the big picture—no cheap puns for him. He christened the liquor Código 1530. Código means “code,” referring to the tradition of their tequila-making techniques, enhanced with modern touches and always striving for perfection. (A detailed review of the manufacturing process can be found on the company’s website, codigo1530.com.) Referring to the year of an important event in Amatitán’s history, 1530 is a sleight, winking at the days of the conquistadors. That’s clever branding for you, and they can get away with it because the product is sublime, with or without a lime.
The great news is that tequila is on the cutting edge of healthy living. According to the latest science of the alcohols available for your good times, tequila is a healthier spirit. Another sign of a shift in the collective palate is how the industry of intoxicating substances is substituting former favorites with tequila. Furthermore, it’s a trend right now to make, invest in, or merely consume tequila from small-craft, lesser-known brands. Código 1530 is one such brand.
Snyder tells me that his tequila pairs well for any occasion. “Only wine,” he pronounces, “is on equal footing and in a category of its own. However, the latest fashion with mixologists is combining wines with Código 1530.”
These days, Código 1530 has exploded onto the market with a fully developed concept, a tequila for all seasons and reasons. It has you covered from breakfast with a tequila Bloody Mary, to brunch with its tequila margarita, afternoon cocktails with a tequila cosmopolitan, and an end-of-day tequila cognac, which Snyder recommends should be sipped. With five flavors, the brand has a brew for every hue of your day, and its slate of tequilas are priced between $49 and $299 a bottle.
Código officials assure that the agave is sourced from superior plants, and they do not use additives at any point during the distillation process. Their concoction meets the highest possible standards and is boosted through its processing, such as keeping “the good stuff” in barrels acquired from Napa Valley’s finest vineyards and formerly used exclusively for the most select and rarest of wines. The trace of vino imbued into the wood affects the tequila for the better.
With a goal of dominating the market by providing the ultimate experience, Código 1530 is currently found through online retailers and in locations in California, Texas, New York, and all over Colorado (company headquarters are in Boulder), including Aspen stores and fine restaurants.