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  1. @LaChascona - visit us at Microshiner.com and let us know what you think. Cheers!
  2. Hello all I wanted to clear up a little confusion about our recent fundraising effort on Kickstarter that was brought to my attention by one of your fellow distillers. We are not charging distilleries to be in the app, which is why we did a Kickstarter. It was a fundraising campaign to enhance our ability to add distilleries that are not currently in the app, something we cannot currently do in a cost-effective way. Because, as this distiller told us in an email, the app is more valuable to any one distillery if it contains all of the other distilleries ("to be truly useful TO THE CONSUMER it must list almost all the microdistilleries" is what he actually said, and we agree), we feel every craft distillery has a vested interest in seeing the app improved, which is why we looked to you all to fund this enhancement through a Kickstarter campaign. It is similar to how many distilleries turn to patrons to fund their early efforts through membership clubs and whiskey barrel pre-sales, raising capital from the community who has the most to gain from their success. As we agree that the app is more useful the more distilleries it contains (network effects), we have purposefully avoided the "pay-to-play" route. Our hope is with this better understanding of our intentions, we will see a much more significant response to our next crowdfunding campaign.
  3. @LuckyTiger We recently ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund the necessary enchancements to add new distilleries but unfortunately fell short of our goal. We are looking forward to revisiting it soon, so shoot us an email and get on the mailing list. We'd love to hear more about your distillery. cheers!
  4. We are excited to tell you how you can ensure your distillery and spirits are properly listed in the MicroFinder app. MicroFinder is the world's only location-based mobile app for discovering craft spirits and finding micro-distilleries. Make sure that your distillery and spirits are listed with a pledge to our Kickstarter campaign! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/microshiner/microfinder-find-micro-distilleries-discover-craft?ref=project_build# Become a backer today!
  5. Thanks for the feedback @Thatch! Some of it has to do with map extent. It will only show distilleries within 100km of the user location (i.e. map center), and there is some nuance to that when you zoom out and/or move around from the default view. We will continue to investigate. Thanks again for helping us improve !
  6. Hello Thatch! Currently, we use the ADI/ACSA criterion to qualify the distilleries and spirits on our platform. We're not certain why you are only seeing two in the State of Ohio, as there are appears to be 5 or more, including Indian Creek, Buckeye, and Mill Street, but thanks for bringing it to our attention. Can you share a screenshot? We will look into it! Please note that not every distillery or spirit that meets the criteria has yet been added to our database. cheers!
  7. We are thrilled to announce that our mobile app is now available for download in the Google Play and Apple App stores! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microfinder-by-microshiner/id1384291726?ls=1&mt=8 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microshiner With the MicroFinder app from MicroShiner, users can find nearby micro-distilleries based on their current location, find reviews, hours of operation, and directions, and save their favorites to their profile using the My Bar function. Users can also search our database of craft spirits by spirit type, rating, and price, rate spirits themselves, save their favorites to My Bar, and order spirits online where available. We couldn't be more excited to be providing this valuable tool for discovering craft spirits and creating this new route to market. Please contact us with any questions at growth@microshiner.com
  8. With Ezra's being acquired and the resulting hiatus, Binny's and Ace's Independent are the two largest online retailers still fulfilling to large portions of the US. There are numerous other smaller operations, depending on what market you are seeking to target. Once you have found one, please let us know so we can add it to your cart in our app (if you're on it). If you need some help, drop us a line. https://www.microshiner.com/download-mobile-app
  9. You've put your heart and soul into your spirits, and they are amazing. Let's make sure they look that way too. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and in today's image and video focused world, having high quality images of your product is more important than ever. An investment in professional photographs of your core product line for your website, marketing materials, and online presence will pay dividends well beyond their cost. MicroShiner is a full service media production company dedicated to serving the craft spirit community. And where others can only provide deliverables, when you work with us, you have access to the value-added benefits of seeing your products promoted on our platform. Already have photos and videos of your bottles and cocktails? Drop us a line and let's talk about making them a part of our #DrinkBetter and #DailyPour social media campaigns! Our RSS feed has over 1500 subscribers, which is more people than the number of times that "craft spirits" is searched for on Google in a month. MicroShiner - Media Services.pdf
  10. Really impressed to see the Brewers Association come out and say this. Thought we would share. https://www.brewbound.com/news/brewers-association-new-brewers-set-realistic-growth-expectations Setting a ceiling for scale and reverse-engineering your business model from there is paramount to success in the craft space. As they say, micro is the growth engine of craft.
  11. I was sad to see the recent news about the closing of Cooper River Distillers. Here is a link for those who haven't seen it: https://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/2018/04/04/cooper-river-distillers-announce-closing/485693002/ While the experience at Cooper River is wholly their own, and I don't pretend to speak for it, I do believe that it is emblematic of two tendencies in the space that put a lot of craft distillers at risk of a similar fate. No matter what the business, there is a sweet spot between what the fixed and marginal costs are to operate and the amount of the market you can reasonably expect to capture. I haven't done the math to know exactly what that is for craft distilling, but I know it exists. I also know that if that percentage of market isn't big enough to cover your amortized startup costs, well ... you either started too big or you aren't putting the appropriate focus on marketing. My opinion is, when it comes to craft distilling, oftentimes it's both. My motivation for pointing this out is driven entirely by self-interest: I operate a content marketing platform for craft spirits. But I also sincerely want to see every one of these small producers succeed, because I believe their continued viability is tantamount to the future of civilization. I don't presume to tell them their business, but rather share some insights from a great deal of time spent looking at it from another perspective. "I would've liked to see things grow bigger, but at the scale we're at, it's not easy," said James Yoakum (distiller at Cooper River). "Growing (production) to the next level would have meant millions of dollars that we just couldn't find." In craft, the decision of what scale you are going to attain has to be determined at the onset. It is a function of the market you can reasonably expect to capture - in other words, the local one. Every decision about the business follows from this initial determination. The capital required to start a distillery is significant, much greater than that for beer, on par with planting a vineyard. To premise that initial investment on an assumption that the enterprise will capture anything more than the local market, more often than not, is to expose a fundamental flaw in the business plan. Why? Because the core customer of a micro-distillery doesn't care about craft, they care about local. If they wanted "craft", as in other than local, they would buy commodity. Which is why you see so many former Bud and Jim Beam drinkers flocking to such "craft" brands as Samual Adams and Bulleit. But you don't see craft drinkers asking for them. No, those drinkers are asking for local. Or at least micro. Which leads us to the next tendency, which is to under-invest in marketing; specifically, in content marketing that encourages consumers to ask for local, wherever they might be. Anyone who would drink a craft product wants to only drink craft products. But when they find themselves staring at the backbar in a crowded tavern, searching frantically for the labels they would love to try but can't find while the bartender glares at them impatiently, they default to Tito's. The entire difference? Content marketing that encourages them to ask "what do you have that's local?" So how much money has gone into a collaborative content marketing campaign to that end, knowing that, if only 1% more commodity drinkers did "ask for local" then every micro distiller would see a 1% increase in sales? Exactly zero. Now obviously I can't say whether having this knowledge would have saved Cooper River. Most likely not. But I do know that it is key to ensuring the future success of the micro-distilling industry as a whole.
  12. Hello friends in craft We have a very limited number of advertising slots available in our soon-to-be-released mobile application. If you are interested, give us a shout at growth@microshiner.com cheers - cobey
  13. Content marketing is the new way of doing things, and it is important for craft to plant its flag in this new landscape. Already established brands like Grey Goose are partnering with media outlets such as Tastemade to create branded series that connect with audiences on their own terms. It is a trend that cannot be ignored. But how are small craft labels going to compete with massive marketing budgets from the likes of Bacardi? How will you be able to cut through the noise? That is where a platform like MicroShiner comes in. MicroShiner is a content marketplace dedicated solely to craft brands. We are working to build a platform that puts craft on an equal footing. A channel that is accessible to craft labels, where they do not have to compete with huge advertising spends, but still provides a readily available platform for sharing their message. We know many craft producers are already making their own branded content. That’s great, but if everyone does it, what happens to the attention of the craft consumer? Is it aggregated, or diluted? Now imagine if instead we had a single channel filled with that same content, where a consumer can go to find a vast amount of content about craft that leaves them inspired to become a part of this growing movement. The network effect of such an approach, leveraging your collective content in a synergistic manner to everyone’s benefit, bringing craft consumers together in one place, magnifies the return on your marketing dollar immensely. Because you're not competing with each other. You are all competing against the conglomerates. At MicroShiner, we understand the demands on your resources. Hey, we’re a craft brand too! But we also understand the power of community. And we’ve done the math. For a brand that is only distributed in 2 states, putting money into promoting itself on a global platform doesn’t make sense. Except that it does. Because right now, the quickest way to increase your sales is to increase awareness about craft itself. This is what MicroShiner is working to do. Our first and overriding goal is to get people to ask for craft and local spirits every time they make a purchase. Right now, craft’s share of the spirits market is only a few percent. But if we can get just twice as many people asking for local or craft spirits when they are at the bar or bottle shop, your sales will nearly double. Which is why investing money in content marketing that is aimed at improving awareness of craft spirits is absolutely the highest and best use of your marketing budget outside of your immediate area. We want to see you succeed, and we're here to help make that happen. So let’s make a craft content marketing platform together. A place people can tune into to celebrate the values that are craft, a place free from the noise, a place where being small is an advantage, not a liability.
  14. I empathize with your situation. I am not armchair quarterbacking your industry. I am simply trying to offer some alternatives solutions to the problems you describe that I feel are more sustainable than the one you proposed. I have invested many thousands of dollars and countless hours of time into building a marketing platform for craft producers because I believe in the value of craft and am adamant that this new paradigm requires an entirely new approach to marketing. It is important to note that distillers are not the only people in this industry, and just as you have disrupted the production end of the equation, there is going to be disruption of all the other facets: compliance, distribution, logistics, sales, and marketing. Whether you choose to believe it or not, I am on your side, and I have skin in the game. I sincerely want to see you succeed, and I believe it is important that you do so. There are alternatives to lowering costs. Lowering costs is a race to the bottom that ends in centralization and automation. It is the anti-thesis to craft. Craft is about increasing value. These alternatives are going to require eschewing the accepted practices of the past and creating new ones that are designed for the craft market. They are going to require investment and collaboration, and they are going to come with their share of growing pains. However, they are absolutely requisite to future success in the craft spirits industry. As you say, the market is only going to get more crowded. The front page of Amazon is only so big.
  15. 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.
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