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Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul Discuss Their New Liquor Venture

Entering the spirits industry is no easy task, yet Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have managed to carve a niche with their mezcal brand, Dos Hombres, in just five years.

Interestingly, one half of the duo, Bryan Cranston, known for his stellar chemistry with Paul on the hit series Breaking Bad, was initially reluctant about mezcal. “Bryan’s introduction was with a not so great Mezcal…” Paul laughs, nudging Cranston to share more.

Cranston recalls his first bad experience with mezcal during his high school years. “My buddies and I got together and one brought a plastic bottle with a worm at the bottom. It smelled like industrial carpet cleaner, but we tried it anyway. I thought, who would drink this?

Fast forward decades later, Paul convinced him to give it another shot at a bar in New York, where he tasted some high-quality mezcal. “I realized that a poor-quality introduction can turn you off forever—or at least until you get corrected,” Cranston admits.

Their journey was not a typical celebrity venture. Cranston and Paul partnered with Gregorio Velasco, a maestro mezcalero with generations of expertise. The traditional methods used in Dos Hombres give it a unique complexity, blending smokiness with flavors of local zapote fruits, apple, mango, volcanic smoke, and wood.

Launching Dos Hombres required juggling their acting careers and personal lives. “We knew it would be a lot of work,” Paul says. “If it was easy, everybody would do it, but it’s been a labor of love.”

“I also knew that Aaron would be a great partner because our work ethic is very similar,” Cranston adds. “We both came from blue-collar families, and that experience taught us hard work.”

Self-funded from the start, their hard work paid off. In its first year, Dos Hombres ranked among the top twelve mezcals in the US, climbing to number four by the third year.

Their wins have also led to strategic investments. Constellation Brands took a minority stake in 2021, though Dos Hombres remains independently owned. Cranston compares the spirits business to the entertainment world: “It’s all about creating a great time and customer loyalty.”

The most surprising discovery has been the general unfamiliarity with mezcal. “People still congratulate us on our tequila! We like to say we’re tequila’s older, more sophisticated relative,” Paul says.

Until mezcal gains wider recognition, they focus on promoting Dos Hombres as a premium product and collaborating with other high-quality brands. They’ve partnered with Applebee’s for Mezcal Margaritas and recently with Modelo for National Michelada Day.

Part of their success involves giving back. “We’ve done well with Dos Hombres, but what makes me smile is our program giving back to San Luis del Rio,” says Cranston. The initiative provides clean drinking water and aims to establish medical facilities, benefiting the whole community.

“You can have a successful business and still be good stewards to the earth and its people,” Cranston emphasizes. “It’s not just the right way to do business; it’s the only way,” Paul chimes in.

Their commitment and friendship have transformed Dos Hombres into more than just a business venture. “We’re proud to bring a beautiful piece of Oaxaca to the world,” Paul says.

As our conversation ends, it’s clear that their journey from meth to mezcal has been transformative, marked by unwavering dedication to quality and community.

Source: Dos Hombres