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Everything posted by Foreshot

  1. The history of Gin & Tonic is pretty interesting: Nice handout here: Will you be able to give them samples? If so samples of very different styles would be cool. I'm not a gin person and I would sign up for that.
  2. Yup, it's better to listen to the market. Not as much fun though.
  3. Welcome! I was in the area last summer. Quebec City was great. If you open a distillery up there that gives me even more reason to go back. I hope you are looking into apple and other fruit brandies. Ciders from the l'Île d'Orléans would make a great base for some brandies. Ask any question - someone here will probably be able to help or at least point you in the correct direct. Good luck!
  4. I think this is the origin of the "Queen's Share" Queens Share: Or simply known as ‘Queens’; any leftover grog from the Rum Boss’ Fanny-cup after distribution to his mess group. This was usually saved and accrued for a special occasion.
  5. Scotts and many others use the feints from previous runs and put them in the wash or low wines of the next run. You'll also see "Reserve" spirits from feints. It's also pretty common with home distillers. Example here, all "Queen's Share" bottles are feints runs:
  6. "Awkwardly hugged by oak" - I love that.
  7. Aside from Glencairn, what do you use for a nosing glass? I've use several different non-whiskey specific glasses (wine, old fashion, etc). I'm trying to build my nosing palate up and figure I could get something that would help. Thanks in advance.
  8. Oh and I also forgot another factor in changes to the business: Deregulation at the state level. It's getting a lot friendlier to distilleries in many states. PA is one that is really working to help them out. Other states are getting there too.
  9. If you’ve never heard of the Whiskey Loch look it up. For the future I do see the distillery business going much more like the craft brewery/brewpub business model. Due to regulations, taxes, and aging requirements I don't believe you'll see it getting as big. If you look back at pre-Prohibition history for brewpubs they operated slightly less prolifically as bars. So how many breweries can there be? Probably a fair percentage of bars/restaurants can turn into brewpubs without the market getting over saturated. In Pgh we have at least 30 with more coming. So how many small distilleries can there be? A lot. With the increase of small distilleries becoming a regional or national player is going to get harder. To do that you'll probably need to be bought out by a larger company. If you own a distillery and want to get bigger without getting bought out you’re going to need to hire to supplement your weak areas. The biggest issue with small businesses I’ve worked with is knowing the difference between marketing and sales. The two most common new business owners are either Technical or Sales people. Most technical/engineering people don't understand it and most sales people misunderstand it. I personally didn't really get it until I spoke to a CEO of a car company. He explained it to me like this: Marketing is getting people into the store, sales is what happens once they walk in. It's a good model for distilleries. You can market the hell out of something but if it's not in the store then it doesn't matter. And you can work with stores all you want but you need to get people to them. And even if you're in a store you hope that the store promotes your item so it stands out over other choices there. It's a problem that a lot of money can help. It's trying to figure out how to do it with little money to get to the big money that is the trick. Shelf space is tricky. Like 3dog said smaller stores can do whatever. Larger stores or chains don't necessarily want to deal with little guys. And larger drinks companies can buy shelf space (directly or indirectly) to crowd out the little guys. In PA state stores most of the shelf space is big name only. PA distilleries do get favorable terms. If you're a craft person from outside of PA good luck, I see nothing in my local stores that is even close to craft made. In the end retailers want to sell product, not sit on stuff that won't sell. I think you'll also see the return of regional specialization. The localness and terroir of grains, fruits, potatoes, sugar cane, etc is already important and will become even more so. Like Europe you'll likely see majority grain spirits in the north and more fruit and sugar based ones as you go south. With the ease of transport you won't see a strong differentiation but it will be there. And with the weather (warmer summers or in the south) you'll see seasonality in people's drink choices. The haute drinks will change too. Currently it's Bourbon. You can guess what's next and hope it works out. That's typical business, trying to stay a step ahead of the customer's interests. Excellent, cheap, or well marketed products will stick around, the rest will probably fall by the wayside. Two big things I see as changing the future also: Legalization of Home Distilling and the reduction of the FET for craft distillers similar to wine/beer exceptions. Both are in bills being presented to congress with a lot of appeal to the majority party. SCD - I was betting on Cod Vodka. I called it Codka! I guess I will miss the Anchovy wave. I was so close!!!!!!!!
  10. Any photos of the Hillbilly stills?
  11. Some things to think about: - Are you planning on fermenting/distilling on the grain? - If not how/when are you going to lauter it off? - What about sparging/recirculating wort over the grains? - Do you have a pump capable of moving around the mash?
  12. It's the way they did it in the old days. Watch for changes in the yeast over the generations, I read in "Yeast" that the yeast can get damaged and cause it to change flavors/attenuation/alcohol yield. If I remember correctly it was around 7 generations that he suggested going back to a more pure version.
  13. Here's an interesting new one, the Norlan glass:
  14. Thanks ACDC & Odin. Ralfy's Glass review: I like the Ardbeg glass with the cover (Odin's Grappa glass), pint and cognac glasses. I want to be able to get the full array of aromas. The pint glass peaks my interest. It might be bad for drinking but nosing I think it has potential. Ardbeg glass, not bad at £5 each with cover:
  15. Thanks Odin. I probably will order these: It's set of 6. I need that as my wife like to point out, I break everything.
  16. Tangential to your topic - Read about Six Sigma or Lean manufacturing. It's about eliminating waste in your processes. Two heavy hitters: Lean's "TIM WOODS" - Lean's 5S - The idea is to reduce the amount of time you're doing things that don't make you money. An example - if you use a specific tool all the time put it in a place that's easy to get to it instead of mixing it in with a drawer full of other things. (5s) That reduces the time you're looking for it. Fastcap has some great videos showing real examples:
  17. Nothing technical, but enjoyable Episode 1: Episode 2: Episode 3:
  18. The biggest question is the ROI - How much money is implementing the system likely to save you in lost downtime? I would think if you're in an urban area 2-3 days and you would be able to get most simpler stuff fixed. If you're more rural then if might take longer. (Repair Days) * (Number of failures yearly) * (Labor lost) = basic yearly "Downtime" cost. - How often do you think the Chiller is going to break down? - How long do you think it would take to get something simple fixed? (Repair guy local? Parts? Common brand/size of cooler vs exotic/odd size?) - Is the emergency system itself likely to cause failures? (It appears to be getting complicated. The more complicated something is the more likely it is going to break.) - Are you going to test it? How often? - If the system is activated will it affect the glycol system and will you have to do maintenance on it after? At what cost? - Will the system be able to cover workflow 100% while the chiller is down?
  19. Like SCD said there isn't a great book on distilling. I'm up to 24+ and I still wouldn't say there is a single one that covers everything. It's best to start reading and keep a notebook. Jot down the key ideas you run across. I started a private blog to keep track of posts and links from here and other websites with searchable notes.
  20. Welcome! Let us know when you're going to open. I'm in the Pgh area so it would make a fun trip to visit you and Hedgebird and sample some of your work. Hopefully your paperwork goes though without any trouble.
  21. Tell them your answer is {confidential}. That kind of answer is BS. I can understand if they want some NDA, but totally confidential is crap. It seems like an answer a company that is faking it until they make it. They could be awesome but too many warning signs.
  22. Thanks Odin. I really like the part on ester formation and the exploration of the Maillard reaction. You're contributing a lot to knowledge of distillers everywhere.
  23. I've been to Huffy2K's distillery several times. He's put a ton of work into it and it shows. It's really a great example of a tasting room/event space.
  24. > Of course if your only ambition is to run a successful distillery-giftshop-cocktail lounge in your hometown, your valuation will likely be less dependent on your case volume and growth potential, and more dependent on your profitability and potential to generate dividends in a limited size market. It would probably be valued more closely with that of a successful local restaurant or bar. Spot on, I totally agree with this.
  25. >Something like 6X gross revenue might be worth considering as a starting point for negotiations, i.e. $1M in sales translating to a $6M valuation. When I see gross revenue valuations most are between 1x and 3x. Starting at 6x might be a hard sell to someone. Most people want a 3-5 year return of their investment not including stock price increases, at 6x gross revenue that will be tough to do. I'm not saying it's not a place to start, but I would not expect to close near there.