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Glenlyon

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Everything posted by Glenlyon

  1. Glenlyon

    What part of the Business Plan did you struggle with?

    Boy, that's a real limitation. A good customer can easily drop $200+ each visit which equates to about four bottles. If you have debit you can increase those sales even higher.
  2. Glenlyon

    What part of the Business Plan did you struggle with?

    Thank you Paul for the compliment. We're distilling with one of your 45G tun/stills. Works like a charm. The mistake we made is - we should have bought a bigger still to start with. But, live and learn!
  3. Glenlyon

    What part of the Business Plan did you struggle with?

    Hi Paul, We too are tucked away in the country side. Our local village houses about 1200 people and the surrounding countryside hosts another 20k or so. Our market is very geographically constrained. Only a few errant bikers wander by occasionally. We cater heavily to the locals. We deliver, simply by loading up the 'ol SUV and heading out. For liquor Store sales, we have to go through their central warehouse, but for everything else, its us or the mail. We're not allowed to re-use bottles. Technically. The brew industry uses growlers up here, but I don't see that catching on with spirits customers. Most all of our sales are through the tasting room. We have several restaurants who are really interested but so far, we're too small to deliver a regular product. Hopefully later on this summer we'll be able to do that as well as start on-line sales. So far, the vast majority of our business is word of mouth, eventually though we'll have to start advertising. Its remarkable how close what we are actually doing matches the business plan we wrote over a year ago.
  4. Glenlyon

    What part of the Business Plan did you struggle with?

    Yep. And, further we don't pay the province any mark up fees. Only the Federal excise. So, the only revenue the province gets is the 10% sales tax charged when the customer actually buys the product. We can sell via Public Liquor Store, private stores, rural agencies, bars and restaurants, online and through the tasting room. The only thing some smaller distilleries can't do is sell mixed beverages by the glass. Although, some can. It all depends on the license you apply for.
  5. Glenlyon

    What part of the Business Plan did you struggle with?

    That's the BC way for craft distilleries!
  6. Glenlyon

    What part of the Business Plan did you struggle with?

    We've gotten a LOT of mileage out of our business plan, so its worth struggling through the exercise. Numbers are not that bad if you come at it systematically. After all, you already know quite a bit of information by virtue of the development of the idea. You know what the taxes are and that's key. After that, look at what you think it going to cost you to a) build the business and b) run the business. Now figure out how much production your planned equipment will give you and the amount of money you need to keep the doors open. Now you know how big of a market you'll need to develop and how many cases you'll need to/can actually produce. You don't need to be precise. The real objective of projections is to get you thinking about the reality of the balance sheet. The bigger the business you plan to start the more difficult the task is. However, if you are smaller, much of this can be done in a couple of hours with a calculator and a map. In the end though, no matter how detailed the plan is, it can in no way prepare you for the tsunami of work actually running a distillery is. Like for example, the amount of time you'll spend just keeping the work space clean both for your own sanity, but also for any visitors/customers who will inevitably show up, just when you don't want them.
  7. Glenlyon

    wooden fermenters

    Watch the Netflix show I mentioned, it will help you change the inspector's paradigm.
  8. Glenlyon

    wooden fermenters

    Or not
  9. Glenlyon

    wooden fermenters

    I've looked at them. I have a couple of barrels I was considering converting to fermenters. I suspect though, we probably won't get around to it anytime soon. In episode 4 of of Netflix's "Cooked" series - they investigate using wooden barrels in the raw milk cheese making process. The results are not what you might expect and further, offers a very interesting set of possibilities visa vie whisky and lacto's role in it. Check it out. Likely you will be more inspired to get happening with some wood.
  10. Glenlyon

    TTB Approved Shimmer?

    Mine gott man! That's strange! Talk about gender marketing. What is that shimmer material?
  11. While there still may be some issues - BC has some of the best liquor laws in Canada and they are improving quickly.
  12. Glenlyon

    Testing for alcohol proof

    Buy legal booze. Quality is assured.
  13. Glenlyon

    minerals in mash water

    Here in BC - you have to get a water license to be able to use private well water for commercial purposes. So they had a great deal of information about the rocks and stuff around our area. Between provincial Government and the local health department, I've been warned about the arsenic many times, so if you have a problem, you would probably already know The RO system completely cleans it up to everyone's satisfaction.
  14. Glenlyon

    minerals in mash water

    Both. Unfortunately for me I'm dealing with arsenic, so to get the health stuff cleared, I had to agree to the RO throughout the process. But the CBW RO system I have allows for some slight adjustment to help dial in the profile you want.
  15. Glenlyon

    minerals in mash water

    Check out CraftBrewWater.com for affordable RO systems. Ours works great.
  16. Glenlyon

    minerals in mash water

    You should get a water report or already have one (presumably a part of your health certificate) - which, will provide a profile of what you have. That way you know where to start when making modification decisions.
  17. Assuming you are still in the building stage - run cat5 from your camera points to the base station. Dead easy and you can probably do it under your electrical permit. We ran ours after hours with the electricians full support. They didn't want to do it. That will save much of the installation fee and you can focus on the hardware. You get a much better signal with less failure factors if you are hardwired.
  18. Glenlyon

    To the core consumer, craft means local

    True, but a boring perspective when trying to get a conversation/debate stared
  19. Glenlyon

    electrical code classification

    Specifically in aircraft hangers, yes. But, not distilleries. You would think it would be the other way around, but - stupid rules right?
  20. Glenlyon

    electrical code classification

    This is good advice. After careful consideration, what we did was to install a very limited number of XP 110 outlets. We hardwired everything else including the stills and scales and we eliminated all switches of any kind from inside the production area. We put our fans on the exterior of the building and we negotiated a deal with the planning/building dept to install a 3 hour fire wall between the tasting area and the production area. That allowed us to treat the tasting area as a regular code environment which saved us a ton of cash and hassle. Also, we were adamant that the XP wiring was installed inside the walls. Normally, this kind of wiring is done through conduit mounted on the walls. Very ugly. Our solution made for a much cleaner space and made the final electrical inspection easy. We have a very safe workspace and we're pleased with the results. It did cost more, but much, much less than we might have spent if we just followed the code book blindly.
  21. Glenlyon

    electrical code classification

    There is a loop hole that will allow you to convince the local building/planing department to relax the explosion proof designation. It is however, going to cost you at least $10k and require that you work with an engineering firm who knows the building code system and distilling - a rare combination. So if you are going to be a big operation, by all means spend the money. However, if you are small, it may be cheaper to just go the XP route, if for no other reason than self preservation. We went XP and although it did cost more, any additional costs will be insignificant in the long run.
  22. Glenlyon

    To the core consumer, craft means local

    I read the story and and I don't think size was the problem. And, marketing is important. However, business failure factors can come in all forms for all different sizes of business. Economic theory dictates as soon as you start a business, you are by default, now going out of business. It simply a matter of time and management skills which, will ultimately decide whether the business lasts a few weeks or centuries. Who dosen't want to be in the craft booze biz? All the media reporting from wine to beer to spirits has made it very attractive, especially, from a 'fantasy' vision of the idyllic craft lifestyle. But operators with actual distilleries know, in reality, this is a really tough business. I think a lot of people are attracted, then dismayed to realize that its hard work from a paper perspective and its hard work from a labor perspective. No sitting around watching the sunset sipping on superior spirits. Those days disappeared when you packed up your illegal basement operation. Identifying your market, regardless of the business size, has always been a challenge for business. Not to mention, even if you get a customer, what's to say the next time that customer is thirsty, they simply stop into the liquor store? Or, while in the store, they pass your bottle in favor the the usual brand name swill? After all, its much more convenient either way. So getting people to be loyal and come back for that second, third, or fourth bottle is very difficult. Even, if they openly profess to support local. How do you boost that 1%? One customer at a time. The best advice is freely given by the ADI - 'Win Your Backyard'. That may mean hand selling a lot of locals for a few years before you can rely on the word of mouth to provide that steady business you are trying to build. Also, just because you are successful dosen't mean you can maintain that. I'm dealing with an accountant. They have provided excellent service for my businesses for many, many years. But this year? Off the rails. Dysfunction, costly mistakes, high fees. They are about to lose us. So, you always need to have a firm hand on the tiller, no matter the business and craft alcohol is no different.
  23. We have two HD cameras covering the tasting room, one on the bar and one on the display. We also have them outside and in the distilling area. All told, I think we have seven of them. Cost $2k, no additional fees or costs. Records to hard drive and loops over time. Accessible through the internet or direct.
  24. I would definitely be an early adopter of this. Hopefully, not too expensive.
  25. Glenlyon

    What is adequate ventilation? 

    Not to mention lost profits!
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