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brentondouglas last won the day on June 8 2018

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  1. I started pretty much the same way you described in your original post. Weekend warrior. Very small operation (400 sq ft.). Very DIY. Bootstrapped, out of my own pocket. I worked a full time job for my first 3 years of business planning, renting space, buildout, permitting, and product development. The most money I had in my savings account at one time was about $22k. Luckily I was able to gradually scale down my shifts at my job as my distillery started to cash flow and grow and I was able to start paying myself. I dedicated all my spare time and money into this thing for 3 years before I was able to really take the plunge and distill full time. It was a difficult 3 years. Broken relationships. No vacations. No going out to eat. No spending money on anything but life essentials. But I didn't know any other way to do it. And, in the end, I pulled it off. Now, I've been distilling full-time for 5 years and I have 2 happy full-time employees. We're growing wholesomely, naturally, and without any outside investment whatsoever. And (kicks myself in the face) we stupidly have never opened a tasting room. I'm not saying the way I did it was the best or most graceful. But it is possible. And if this is the way you visualize it being possible for yourself, by all means, get started ASAP! Let everyone else follow the typical business plan and make another distillery eerily similar to so many others. Let your struggles help build your character and define your story. You don't need all the expensive equipment to make good product. Keep your overhead and investment in equipment minimized and plan on spending all your free time and spare money on this for years. You won't sleep much. Build the most basic and utilitarian "tasting room' as you possibly can. A tasting room is a great way to quickly generate cash flow. And ability to self distribute is amazing! Not only are your margins much better, but you can build tons of value into your distribution network. Survival = Success. Take the plunge!
  2. For instance, I just downloaded a public report from OLCC which documents: 1. the exact number of bottles sold in Oregon of every SKU of every distilled spirit product for the years 2016 and 2017 2. the total dollars sold in Oregon of each distilled spirit SKU for the years 2016 and 2017 It's interesting stuff. Some of the micro brands that are perceived as "successful" sell surprisingly low numbers. It helps me realize that micro distillers are totally wasting their psychic energy by feeling "competition" amongst each other. If only we could sell 1% of what Smirnoff coconut flavored vodka sells........
  3. The state of Oregon makes information on alcohol sales public
  4. Self-distribution rights are healthy for the industry. Not a perfect bill, but Illinois is working on it. Any support shown for self-distribution rights is appreciated. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=2286&GAID=14&DocTypeID=SB&SessionID=91&GA=100
  5. Sliding scale up to 100,000 PG is still my strong preference. And I reject the idea that a sliding scale is "too complicated" for anyone who has the capabilities to start and operate a DSP. I would hope that we all do everything we can to make sure small 1-person distilleries can start up and survive. Our "craft" market's appeal depends on a viable industry that offers variety and offers radical little distilleries making radical little products. I would prefer to not see a "craft" market full of distilleries skirting the 100,000 gal. line. Those distilleries would likely appear and function very similarly to each other and likely make our industry too boring to appeal to the next generation.........Right? ....Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but we can still improve upon this idea of lower excise taxes.
  6. Side note: There is no need to take stock in awards. Most brands have won awards and gotten gold medals. In general, the more awards a brand wins simply proves how many competitions they enter - not how good the product is. The entire tasting competition industry feeds off of distillers' insecurities and desire to be recognized. It's all not too dissimilar from how kindergarten teachers give all their students a gold star at some point throughout the school year.
  7. Blackheart, you can use zip code 60613 for estimating shipping. I can only use UPS. Thanks!
  8. Made by Pentair 1.5" pipe inlet/outlet inlet pressure gauge model: 156237 serial: 112249-1 Used only a few times pressure gauge will be removed and separately packed before shipping $250 + shipping For another $25 we will include the (2) 1.5"TC x 1.5"male pipe fittings.
  9. We have one workhorse of a burr grinder for sale. We used this thing for grinding gin botanicals for 2 years. Made by Bunn-O-Matic (legendary in their own right) originally as a coffee grinder. Easy to adjust the coarseness of grind. Hopper holds roughly 2 gallons volume. Customizations / Upgrades: 1. Replaced burrs (used for 6mo. with new burrs) 2. Industrial switch for motor 3. All unnecessary hardware has been stripped off This grinder is perfect for start-ups and R&D. $100 + shipping
  10. kkbodine, would you mind elaborating on issues relating to permits required? (eg. winery vs. dsp)
  11. I'm interested. They have technicians in the USA? I would need to verify this would work with my bottles. Do you have a contact I could reach out to? -Thanks
  12. We use this machine for a label that wraps around one corner. Basically, the machine helps get the label started properly and we then use our fingers to press the label around the corner. It's all about getting perfect initial contact between the label and the glass. Again, getting quick and consistent results from this machine is a skill the user has to develop. But the learning curve is relatively short compared to most things involved in operating a distillery.
  13. I'm confident that you could use the Race RLTC SP. While operating the labeler very quickly is a skill that has to be developed, you should have it dialed in after a few days of working with it.
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