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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/23/2018 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    To sum this thread up: If you are a brewer, winery or distillery you need to do the following to be craft. Grow your own trees Cut them down yourself Make your own barrels Buy raw land Zone raw land into farm Turn raw land into farm Plow, plant, and harvest seeds by hand Mill them grains by hand with a mortar and pestle Mash them in a butter churn Ferment them using your own harvested and selected yeast. Build your equipment yourself using steel and copper from your own environmentally friendly mines and steel factorys. Distill them using only power from solar panels, wind turbines, or geothermal systems which you built yourself from parts sourced only from other craft renewable energy manufacturers. Use proofing water which you made yourself from only naturally occurring hydrogen and oxygen. Again, sourced from equipment you made yourself. Blow your own glass using silica which you also mined and refined yourself Each label must be hand painted on the bottle by nobody else other than the distiller themself Each cork must be made from your own cork farm, and it must be completely renewable The tamper seal must be made from biodegradable materials which, you guessed it, is also made completely on site. You must self distribute using a bicycle with no more than 10 speeds/gears (>10 speeds makes you a corporate pig) and sell only to mom-and-pop stores. You must be on site for each bottle that is sold by the select liquor stores so that you can explain to each customer how you are completely transparent. When that customer has died of boredom from your story (because they just wanted to buy a bottle of vodka) you must be a paul bearer in their funeral to show that you are comitted to a lifelong relationship with every customer. If you stray from any of the above bullets then YOU ARE NOT CRAFT and are basically lying to your customers and a complete scam artist who is only out there to deceive customers and make a buck.
  2. 1 point
    Mr @Dehner Distillery, I would agree that "things are just as clear as mud as far as what happens behind the scenes in this industry". Deliberately so. Fortunately we live in an age where information is free and travels at the speed of light, so there is no reason for it to remain thus. To be clear, MicroShiner exists to protect the interests of that portion of consumers, admittedly small, who are looking to invest their dollar in a new paradigm, and to promote those micro-distillers who are committed to providing that value proposition. The issue at hand, as I see it, is that every distiller has "different target customers, different areas to sell into"; however, in a significant number of cases, this is neither the practice nor the narrative. It has been said here that 99.9% of consumers do not care, so I would challenge everyone to share the narrative that has been put forth in this thread with their next customer and see where that leads. Anyone whose narrative matches the value proposition they are offering would have nothing to lose in doing so. By your own admission and math, there are not ~2000 micro-distilleries operating in the USA. There are many fewer than that. A rectifier is not a distillery, whether it be craft or not. At some point, words matter. I try to be careful and specific with mine. At the risk of being unpopular, I will say this, which was the point of my original post. There is a group of us who realize that our current production, distribution, and consumption behaviors are not economically or ecologically sustainable. Within that group there is a cohort who believe that craft (i.e. micro-scale production using intermediate technologies) will be instrumental in developing a sustainable and resilient economic system. This is what drew me to what you all were doing: distributing the production capacity of a critical fixed and use value asset across the landscape. In fact, market forces to create that distributed model are what, along with oil prices, are driving the growth of craft, not consumer preference. Because distillation, more so than wine and beer, is a capital intensive activity that adds significant value to the feedstock (i.e. real value of output in food/fuel/medicine is orders of magnitude greater than the cost of production), to have that capacity both centralized and monopolized is of negative benefit to both the individual and society at large. So I was excited by what you all were doing, that is, until I learned about this business of NGS. I am a pragmatist, so I say this: there is nothing wrong with NGS or bulk spirits, within context. Properly applied, their production is highly efficient and their marginal cost nearly zero (although there is a point of diminishing returns when you are talking about hauling water). So in that light, I am all for them; they should be used wherever it makes real economic sense. However, what has been made perfectly clear in this thread is that the real use value of craft is being subsumed by those who are marketing sourced spirits under its guise. The result of this is that capital that should be flowing into actual craft production is instead being siphoned off as profit. This is where I have a problem, because I feel very strongly, as does a not insignificant portion of your base (i.e. those critical early adopters, or 1000 true fans), that buying craft rather than commodity is a critical step in building a truly resilient economy. I understand markets, and I am aware that the average person doesn't know enough to care where their spirits come from, or the implications therein. But I also understand the law of diffusion, and that it only takes adoption by 2.5% of the population to create a shift. It is interesting to note that Apple only makes up ~12% of market, but ask anyone to name a computer brand and half of them will say Apple. Likewise, ask someone to name a craft vodka, and they will likely say Tito's. Lastly, @MGL - I did not say do it all yourself. What I said was, source from other producers who share your scale, ethic, and values. That will drive capital into more distributed capacity and allow you to align the entirety of your brand with your craft value proposition. For those who have read through to this point and given my thoughts genuine consideration, I thank you for your time and effort. We are currently working on a peer reviewed and hosted blockchain solution for micro accreditation and mobile tools for validation. I'd love to hear your opinion and feedback.
  3. 1 point
    To that question, the answer is no. Nefarious people are going to do nefarious things. There will always be risk. Whether it's someone stealing a recipe or someone imitating it there will always be a risk that someone has something almost exactly like yours. You can though check out the background of the company/people and contact any customers they have. And honestly the harder part of the business is not the product, it's marketing and getting people to buy your product. There's plenty of rebubblers that don't care about the product and only care about selling. Just because a couple of your buddies like what you make doesn't mean you'll be a success and just because they hate it doesn't mean you'll fail either.
  4. 0 points
    Why not just skip the small distillery setup phase and immediately move into sub-contracted production? This way, you focus on selling and building brand, and not plumbing and building code. If the brand takes off, and you can produce cheaper than your sub-contractor, then build a distillery to suit the demand. To me, this feels like a good way to both mitigate risk, as well as to conserve and invest capital where it will make the most difference (sales and advertising, not stills and construction).
  5. 0 points
    Starting out with a very small distillery is a good way to fail.