Steps in opening a distillery

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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby HDNB » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:42 am

need a business plan? look at this, find the African brewery and model your info after it.
http://www.bplans.com/site_search/?stq= ... tq=brewery


Consider what you can sell, not what you can make. if you have a retail location in a touristy area maybe you can pull of 15 a bottle you are lucky. expect 5 bucks a crock at wholesale.

if you want to make 5000 a month and have zero overhead, you need a wholesaler that can move 1000 units a month consistently. a "good" selling likker here moves about 1 case per store per month of a quality likker with a name. you do the math on how many stores you need selling your unknown brand.

to make a thousand bottles a month, you need to do about 5 x 1000L ferments at 10% that gives you 65L of absolute alcohol after cuts. 65L cut to 40% is 162.5L or 216 x 750 mL bottles (a fifth)

thats 5 days of mashing, 5 days of stripping and one day of spirit run. (assuming you have multiple fermenters and still kettle of 1350 L (need headroom right?)

then you gotta fill, topper, label and tamperproof each bottle. it will take 2 days with a six head gravity spout and automatic labellizer.

then you gotta deliver to your wholesale account. at least one day.

count on a day for marketing, doing pour, whatever.

we are up to 15 working days per month, have not fixed anything, bought or picked up anything or filled out the myriad of reports....that's another 5 days, and your work month is done.

good luck. :thumbup: :wave:
I finally quit drinking for good.

now i drink for evil.
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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby Huffy2k » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:38 pm

Single Malt Yinzer wrote:To give a little more color to what Bluefish said - To get a label (COLA) approved you may need to submit a formula (grain bill or other ingredients/processes) for approval for a specific type of spirit being made. It's not always required but can be required randomly even on non-required requests (yes, it happens). Traditional whiskeys/neutrals wouldn't be super hard. Anything non-traditional would need to go the Distilled Spirits Specially route and would require an approved formula. It's not hard to do but is very time consuming as you can't be certain that any formula will be approved or when. Either way it would present a substantial amount of effort on a distilleries' time and they would have to charge to cover it.

Can it be done? Yes. Would it be expensive? Yes. Would it be awesome? YES!

I do know one distillery in my area that was looking into it. I don't think they pulled the trigger on it due to the expense and complexity of it.


If you're thinking about us, we haven't ruled it out yet! Still on the back burner but definitely not dead yet!
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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby bluefish_dist » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:16 pm

I have thought about doing it as well. I have two labels that would be suitable to use, a whiskey and a Bourbon. It just becomes a large time sink as each person would have to come in with wort ( I can buy wort with no real issues) or mash in on site, then we would ferment, distill, put in a barrel, wait, bottle. So it could take several months start to finish. I still have some test batch equipment so 10-15 gallon batches would be easy.
If there is someone in Colorado that really wants to make a small batch of legal whiskey, pm me.
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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby Huffy2k » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:14 pm

Bluefish, We have gone as far as putting together a flyer to promote our "be a distiller" program but haven't put it out there yet. We have a jacketed 15 gallon still we would use to mash, a big old pot and a simple copper wort chiller we'd use to ferment. Making only whiskey, we wouldn't need a formula approval and we'd like to let the customer design their own label (with our input) that we would submit for COLA approval. Like you though, the time commitment scared us from pulling the trigger. I do think there would be a demand for this type of program.
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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby BoomTown » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:17 am

HDNB wrote:wanna get some ideas going? copy and paste these headings into an excel spreadsheet column, and then extend the columns with month 1, month 2 etc and start punching in your information.
"1. CASH ON HAND
[Beginning of month]"
2. CASH RECEIPTS
units
(a) Cash Sales
(b) Collections from Credit Accounts
(c) Loan or Other Cash Injection
"3. TOTAL CASH RECEIPTS
[2a + 2b + 2c=3]"
"4. TOTAL CASH AVAILABLE
[Before cash out] (1 + 3)"
5. CASH PAID OUT
(a) Purchases (Merchandise)
(b) Gross Wages (excludes withdrawals)
(c) Payroll Expenses (Taxes, etc.)
(d) Outside Services
(e) Supplies (Office and operating)
(f) Repairs and Maintenance
(g) Advertising
(h) Auto, Delivery, and Travel
(i) Accounting and Legal
(j) Rent
(k) bond
(l) Utilities
(m) Insurance
(n) Taxes (excize and state)
(o) Interest
(p) barrels


(q) Miscellaneous [Unspecified]
(r) Subtotal
"ESSENTIAL OPERATING DATA
[Non-cash flow information]"
A. Sales Volume [Dollars]
B. Accounts Receivable [End of Month]
C. Bad Debt [End of Month]
D. Inventory on Hand [End of Month] (units)
E. Accounts Payable [End of Month]
F. Depreciation
“…recreating the spirit made by my family for generations, but now legally.”

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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby Single Malt Yinzer » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:34 am

Huffy2k wrote:If you're thinking about us, we haven't ruled it out yet! Still on the back burner but definitely not dead yet!


Yes, but I didn't want to tell people you were doing something that you may or may not. Let me know and I can be the guinea pig. You already know I'm going to do a Pgh version of Octomore. You have the peated malt ready to go! :)

I even have a label image ready to go:
FNLsghM0_400x400.jpg
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Keep up with everything faster: search.php?search_id=active_topics
Look for it in the HD Wiki: http://homedistiller.org/wiki
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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby Bamaberry » Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:49 pm

HDNB wrote:wanna get some ideas going? copy and paste these headings into an excel spreadsheet column, and then extend the columns with month 1, month 2 etc and start punching in your information.

In a previous life - BEFORE PC's - I was required to prepare a 15 month business plan for my division of a national company. It was BRUTAL!
But when it was done I had a firm grasp on my business. In addition, I was required each WEEK to update expected results in revenue compared to plan.
Last day of the month I had to do a final estimate of revenue and expenses and it better be damned close to what the actual numbers turned out to be.
In other words, if you do a plan and go forward, don't stick it in a drawer and forget about it. Use it as a road map and live with it every day.

Also, I became a consultant, VP of a company in that same field. I hated it!
If you go down that road, first of all don't sell yourself short. Anything you give for free will be perceived as having no value. And state the ground rules up front. Once we started billing a company, they expected me to be there every day. Means you have little time for more than one client, and not time to go out and get more.
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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby HDNB » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:27 pm

there's a thousand cliches in business...no one plans to fail, they fail to plan! how many times have you heard that?

business is tough. If it wasn't everybody be doin' it. simple fact of the matter is you need to know exactly what you are up to or be in a position to call this a tax write off and a really expensive hobby.

i mean, i can build a car. Sure as shit I ain't gonna try to take on Ford. Dickin' around making whiskey you are never, ever going to take on the Beam corporation or Buffalo Trace, Diago, louis vuitton, in Bev...they are the masters of this business.

but if you can keep your overhead low, watch the pennies and the dollars make a great product at a reasonable price you may get a local following. If you are lucky you'll have tourists to draw from. win a few awards and maybe with really good marketing and a stroke of luck you can get some media hype nationally and create a bigger demand for the product...maybe, just maybe be in a position where you can actually sell more than you can make!

but hey, if you don't buy a ticket...you can't win!
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now i drink for evil.
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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby DAD300 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:57 pm

Five years of planning, two years of spending money and a year getting all the permits.

Stuff will bite you, you never saw coming (an additional restroom $5,000, extra sinks $1,000 and so on).

If you have to borrow money, you'll have to have some other pay check while building, to have a time plan you can stick to and make money as soon as possible. That's tough!

We're about to turn our first buck, but it will be a year or three before we turn a profit! I'm probably kegging whiskey as my kid's inheritance.

It's not impossible, just very hard.
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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby BoomTown » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:06 am

DAD300 wrote:Five years of planning, two years of spending money and a year getting all the permits.

Stuff will bite you, you never saw coming (an additional restroom $5,000, extra sinks $1,000 and so on).

If you have to borrow money, you'll have to have some other pay check while building, to have a time plan you can stick to and make money as soon as possible. That's tough!

We're about to turn our first buck, but it will be a year or three before we turn a profit! I'm probably kegging whiskey as my kid's inheritance.

It's not impossible, just very hard.


Yep. And while the work is rewarding, it is also never ending. A bit like being a rancher, cause you have to keep feeding the machines everyday, day in and day out.
“…recreating the spirit made by my family for generations, but now legally.”

Griffin Whiskeys, made in the traditions that started the Whiskey Rebellion and led to repeal of Prohibition!
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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby LWTCS » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:36 am

Capitol is definitely an issue. Best plan on no revenue for at least 3 years.
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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby MoonBreath » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:24 pm

Think out a the box..Creat extra income from being simple..Multiple product thru single recipe dinominations..Rapid age with adjuncts for revenue while ageing small casked limited edition bourbon...Small scale with large volume kettle for any growth or upward curve..Develope a signature recipe worthy of a following ..Sell bed and breakfast opportunities, with apprentice for a day deals..Run customer small batch recipes for revenue..Main thing is a good likker, try gettn some hardware..Push your product, it'll speak for itself ifn it's good enough..
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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby rubber duck » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:32 am

Your biggest hurdle in getting the doors open is going to be your local government people. City planers, building inspectors, fire Marshall, zoning, and such. Depending on where you live most of these folks won't know anything about distilleries except that they saw a TV show about moonshine and a still caused a fire. You had better know fire code and be prepared to educate a lot of folks on building and fire code.

After that figure it's going to cost twice whatever you think it's going to cost.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck
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Re: Steps in opening a distillery

Postby jdetechguy » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:52 am

Rubber Duck is spot on. And, do not mention a tasting room in your TTB filing anywhere. That is good for a 2-4 week delay while you clarify. The State can be a bigger challenge than the TTB, but you commercial building inspector and fire Marshall need to become your best friends. I also suggest looking for a town that is pro-business.

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