2022 Agave Heritage Festival: Four days of mezcal tastings, dinners, music & more

The ultimate destination for “all things agave”

It’s been two years since the culture of the mighty agave plant was put on display in Tucson, but now that hiatus is finally coming to an end. From Thursday, April 28 – Sunday, May 1, the Agave Heritage Festival is celebrating its four-day event at multiple locations around town.

(Credit: The Agave Heritage Festival)

(Credit: The Agave Heritage Festival)

Todd Hanley, who is the festival director and CEO of Hotel Congress and Maynards, is feeling pretty triumphant about the festival’s return.

“We are thrilled to continue bringing attention and awareness to Tucson and Southern Arizona through the lens of this truly amazing and resilient agave plant in the form of a four-day festival,” said Hanley.

What to expect at the Agave Heritage Festival

The festival is considered to be one of Tucson’s most significant festivals, celebrating the plant and the strong southern Arizona connection with the indigenous traditions of Mexico.

Hotel Congress and Maynards are hosting the festival with support from Rio Nuevo, Visit Tucson, Sysco Food Service, Earth’s Healing, Bahnez Mezcal, UA College of Social & Behavioral Science, and AZ Arts Live.

“The Agave Heritage Festival offers a unique balance of culture, heritage, history, education packaged in an engaging and exciting four days of fun,” said Hanley.

(Credit: Agave Heritage Festival)

(Credit: Agave Heritage Festival)

A wide variety of individual events for agave aficionados will be happening throughout all four days, as well as experiences for those who want to learn more about the distinctive culture. A handful of agave experts will be in attendance at festival events including “Ignite Agave” — a special event featuring the Women of Mezcal — the Grand Agave Fiesta tasting event, and a cocktail-inspired dinner put together by chef Brian Smith from Maynards and mixologist Aaron Defeo from Lil Rituals Bar in Phoenix.

Multiple ways & locations to celebrate

Multiple spots and venues are hosting events this year in Tucson — the “City of Century Plants” — ranging from the Plaza at Hotel Congress to Mission Garden, the Desert Lab at Tumamoc Hill, Crisol Tasting Room, Leo Rich Theatre, and more.

Oh, and we can’t forget about the music, which plays an integral part in the festival.

Agave Heritage Festival

Photo courtesy of Agave Heritage Festival

On the opening night of the festival, the inimitable Lila Downs will perform at Centennial Hall. Also, additional entertaining events are planned at the recently opened Century Room Borderlands Jazz Club and Mezcal Tasting Room inside Hotel Congress.

“The Agave Heritage Festival has been identified as one of the community events with the best potential to attract visitors from around the country,” said Felipe Garcia, President of Visit Tucson. “It continues to add to our prestige as one of the top culinary destinations in the U.S.”

2022 Agave Heritage Festival Sampling of Events

Thursday, April 28
  • 2:30 – 4 p.m. at Crisol: Mexican Fermented Beverage’s Workshop/Lecture
  • 8 p.m. at Centennial Hall: Lila Downs performance
  • 10 p.m. at Century Room: Lila Downs After Party presented by Bahnez Mezcal and Tequila Fortaleza
Friday, April 29
  • 6 – 8 p.m. at Tucson Leo Rich Theatre: Ignite Agave – Women of Mezcal
  • 7 p.m. at Century Room: Larry Redhouse Trio Band
  • 7 p.m. at Crisol: Bacanora Tasting/Lecture
  • 8 – 11 p.m. at multiple downtown restaurants and bars: MezCrawl
(Credit: The Agave Heritage Festival)

(Credit: The Agave Heritage Festival)

Saturday, April 30
  • 7 – 10 p.m. at Hotel Congress:  Agave Fiesta
  • 7 – 9 p.m. at Crisol: Tequila/Raicilla Tasting
Sunday, May 1
  • 5 – 6:30 p.m. at Crisol: Sotol Tasting/Lecture
  • 6 – 8 p.m. at Maynards: Agave Cocktail Dinner with Lil Rituals Cocktail Bar

For more information and a full list of events, visit agaveheritagefestival.com.

At a very young age, Matt was gifted with the artistic ability to masterfully roll a burrito to the highest of standards.

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