Shalom Life | April 19, 2014

Top 20 Under 40- Eric Brass

A visit to Mexico inspired this entrepreneur to launch Tequila Tromba, Toronto's boutique tequila brand coming to your local LCBO next month.

By: Ilan Mester

Published: February 21st, 2012 in Culture » Society » Interviews

Top 20 Under 40- Eric Brass

Shalom Life is proud to present our 2nd annual ”Top 20 Under 40” list. This list encompasses 20 individuals of diverse occupations and backgrounds from businessmen and businesswomen and innovative entrepreneurs, to philanthropists, entertainers, doctors and more, the list places a spotlight on the myriad of talented, creative and passionate Jews, all under 40, who call Canada home.

Top 20 Under 40- Eric Brass

Age: 29

Eric Brass studied at the prestigious Richard Ivey School of Business and worked at a major company. But he decided to take a gamble and launch Tequila Tromba, a boutique tequila brand that’s available in some of Toronto’s trendiest bars. And it looks like his gamble paid off.

It all started back in 2005 when Brass visited Mexico while on an exchange program.

“When touring around the beautiful tequila highlands I realized that my perception of tequila, as something you shoot at some seedy bar at 2 a.m., was seriously misguided,” he admits. “It's actually a very refined spirit with a rich history that is produced in one of the most lush and beautiful places in the world. It is a spirit crafted to be sipped and appreciated much like a fine scotch or cognac. Tequila is the most misunderstood spirit on the planet and that to me screamed opportunity and challenge.”

Brass says that the fact that Tequila Tromba is made of 100 per cent agave isn’t the only thing that separates his brand from many others.

“Our batch sizes are smaller than our conglomerate competitors,” he says. “We take great care in selecting our agave, which we steam cook at lower temperatures for longer periods, so the soft, sweet agave notes remain baked inside and are not burnt off. Most big brands cook for yield, we cook for taste. Geography also plays a massive part. Tromba is produced at the highest point tequila can be made at in Mexico, as a result the agave that grows there is larger and sweeter and the temperature at distillation is lower, resulting in a softer, sweeter tequila, the kind of which the region is famous for.”

The 29-year-old entrepreneur says starting his own business was something he’s always dreamed of. “I've always had the entrepreneur bug,” he says. “I spent time working at a big company and though it was a great place to work, I would get bothered by big company antics. Sometimes it got me recognition, but most of the times it just got me in trouble.”

His advice for other young entrepreneurs is to go for it. “Put it all on the line, trust yourself and do it,” Brass says. “You will never know until you try and may never forgive yourself for not. Be prepared to work. Sacrifices go hand and hand with new ventures. Don't expect to keep a 'normal' schedule for quite a while. Keep in mind that if you’re doing what you love, you’re never ‘working.’ ”

As of next month, his brand will be on the LCBO General List. His goal is to make sure the brand continues to grow. “We want to grow tequila consumption in the province and establish ourselves as a top premium tequila,” he says.


Shalom Life is currently searching for the best and brightest Jews under 40 in New York who have gained recognition in business, entertainment, philanthropy, technology and more. Please send suggestions to top20NY@shalomlife.com

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