Richard Betts
2 min readAug 8, 2018

Goodbye Sombra.

The Oaxacan Sierra as seen from the road to San Luis del Rio.

There are so many reasons today to feel sad, upset, or angry. The world is in a precarious place and so many of the issues at hand are much more important than the one I’m writing about now. But, be that as it may, this is something I need to do.

Thirteen years ago my love of both agave and Mexico compelled me to create Sombra Mezcal and, eventually, Astral Tequila. In this time we have learned and created, we have pioneered a true path of total sustainability for mezcal, and we’ve become a meaningful part of the beautiful Oaxacan community. It has been an amazing journey and a particularly meaningful part of my life; I am proud of all that we have accomplished at Sombra.

Today, however, it is time for me to say goodbye.

I will confess that this has been a very difficult decision for me to make after having spent nearly a third of my life working on something so dear to me. However, life springs anew, and I am excited about the future and opportunities to create again.

While I remain a shareholder in Sombra and Astral, I have chosen to no longer work on running either business.

I wish the partnership well as they guide Sombra and Astral into the future.

My Left Elbow. Forever.

Always loving,


Richard Betts

Current: Komos Tequila, Superbird Paloma, An Approach To Relaxation. Past Founder Sombra Mezcal. NY Times Best-Selling Author.