Mean Mule Distilling Co. is doing something different than any other distillery in the United States. While a growing number of distillers are creating American agave spirits, Mean Mule is the only distillery that produces agave only.
Mean Mule is helping keep Kansas City, Missouri on the map as one of the Midwest’s powerhouses for making handcrafted spirits and adding agave to the list.
The blue agave plant is a relative of the aloe plant and its juices from the core of the plant, known as the piña, are distilled into agave, also known as Tequila.
Just as champagne cannot be called champagne unless it was made in the region of Champagne, France, by law tequila cannot be called tequila unless it is made in Jalisco, Mexico.
Mean Mule is taking this Mexico favorite and making great agave with the finest Weber Blue Agave in Kansas City.
Mean Mule’s Story
Mean Mule’s story is about good old-fashioned midwestern ingenuity, a mule and a grandmother who knew her way around a liquor still.
Jeff Evans is CEO and founder of Mean Mule. But it’s his wife, Meg Evans, COO of Mean Mule who is a 6th generation distiller with great-great-great-great-grandparents with an infamous bootlegging operation.
The story is set in 1920’s prohibition, Meg’s great x-four Grandmother built her own still and made moonshine. Meg’s great x-four Grandfather bought the meanest mule he could find to stand on the floorboards that hid the mash, the bottles, and the still that were housed in the basement.
Family legend says no lawman wanted to tussle with this mean mule. Thus, their bootlegging became a family tradition, and everything from how to use a still, to how spirits should taste, to knowing when it was just right for drinking has been taught from generation to generation.
Today, Mean Mule is family-owned & run by Meg and Jeff Evans along with master distiller brother-in-law Tyler Gloe.
Making Mean Mule Agave
The single-source, 100% organic Weber Blue Agave used by Mean Mule is grown in Jalisco which is the Tequila region of Mexico where agave is traditionally grown.
Once the agave purée arrives from Jalisco, it is combined with yeast and water, then it ferments in stainless steel for a few weeks before the distilling begins.
In 2015 the Mean Mule team handcrafted their own multi-plate column reflux still, made of copper and distilling process using Jeff’s science and engineering background.
Jeff shared “the process of distilling agave spirits on this type of still makes us unique, not to mention that we are one of the very few distilleries that use an entirely copper still”.
While the agave is grown in Jalisco, it is distilled at Mean Mule in Kansas City, Missouri.
So, it may be no surprise that the Mean Mule distilled agave tastes very similar to premium tequilas from Mexico.
Mean Mule produced 1000 cases in 2020 and as of October of 2021 has produced 1400 cases of agave.
Master Distiller, Tyler Gloe is always trying something new and currently experimenting with distilling into whiskey barrels. They are also planning for a gin distillation in the spring of 2022.
Mean Mule Distilling Co Agaves
Mean Mule began distilling spirits in 2016 and is the first American company to distill agave and the only distillery that produces agave only.
- The Silver Agave has no aging and isn’t put into barrels. It simply settles for 72 hours and is ready to bottle.
- The Gold Agave takes about eight weeks to age in Missouri white oak barrels to the proper taste and color.
- The Heritage is aged in Cooper 53 white oak barrels from Missouri for about one year.
Their flagship spirit is the Silver American Agave Spirit, which recently won a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Mean Mule Agave Spirits are gluten-free and Organic. There is nothing in the spirits but 100% certified organic agave nectar and water.
Mean Mule Tasting Room & American Agave Spirits
In addition to the distillery, Mean Mule operates a tasting room and private event space, the Agave Lounge.
The Mean Mule tasting room is dedicated to blue-agave–based spirits, although it serves other liquors and some beer and wine. It won best cocktail finalist in Kansas City in 2021 from The Pitch.
Before the awards and accolades, two priests walked into the tasting room. They were the first customers in the Mean Mule bar. After a few libations, they asked Jeff for the bill. Jeff asked if instead of paying the bill they could bless the space. They chose the latter and gave the Kansas City distillery a Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The priests have yet to return for a second visit, but when they do, they’ll find they have a drink in their honor.
Midnight Preacher Cocktail Recipe
- ¾ Oz Mean Mule Gold
- ¾ Oz Yellow Chartreuse
- ¾ Oz Aperol
- ¾ Oz Lime Juice
Shake Over Ice, Double Strain Into A Chilled Coupe Glass, Garnish With A Lime Swirl.
The Mean Mule serves unique cocktails as well as tequila flights. You can order beer, wine or another spirit, but why? They are the only agave distillery in the United States producing only agave, and they are doing it well.
The cocktail menu changes seasonally and every bartender has a signature drink on the menu.
The Agave Lounge will be hosting cocktail classes soon.
Mean Mule Distilling Co. Info
Address: The distillery is located in East Crossroads in what is known as Brewers alley or the “brewmuda triangle” neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri at 1733 Locust St.
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 4pm – 10pm, Friday 4pm – Midnight, Saturday 12pm – Midnight, Sunday 12pm – 7pm Happy Hour 4pm-6pm every weekday.
Mean Mule Happy Hour: Tuesday-Friday 3-5pm.
Distills: Silver American Agave Spirit, Gold American Agave Spirit, Heritage American Agave Spirit.
Related Post: J Rieger Craft Spirits — Kansas City’s First Distillery is located in the Electric Park neighborhood of the East Bottoms. A first-time visit to the J Rieger & Co. distillery should include a tour and tasting, a visit to the museum, heading upstairs to the Monogram Lounge to enjoy a cocktail and food. Finally, a ride down the slide to finish the experience!