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How many of you out there would be willing to pay a reasonable fee to a consultant that could make sure you start off on the right foot, or, if you have started and are finding fermentation etc is not going as expected? I imagine many would. But money is tough. What if a consultant was willing to work with you on price, offered payments etc, so that you could see the benefits before you paid the consultant in full. Giving you a degree of protection. And priced way better then most consultants out there. There is a lot of misinformation out there costing people a ton of money. I am posting this to test the waters, to gauge the interest level if you will.

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Sounds good to me! The one thing that is real hard is to learn at a reasonable cost. Some classes are more than $1,000 a day!! wow :0

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We've engaged two separate consultants in our start up process and they have been invaluable. A master distiller with 30+ years in the distilling and wine industry and an ex-TTB compliance officer. Both have earned what we've paid them ten times over. We would probably still be floundering without them.

I also attended the SIPS craft distilling course put on by Rusty Figgins at Batch 206 in Seattle. It was around $1500 for the whole class and was another invaluable resource and I got to meet other people from all over the country who were also starting distilleries. There was even someone who was going to travel from as far away as France to come take the course but couldn't make it.

http://www.sipsclass.org/default.html

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Consultants can go any direction that you allow them to go unless they have to be in complete control. That is not my Distillery Consulting company. Some have set project costs, some will be very flexible and others are willing to work on specific details for you distillery. It really comes down to, how much information are you wanting to get out of a consultant. Prices do vary a great deal.

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1A Distilling:

I totally agree about everything. That is why I also do consulting work.

I total love to help people out. But your right, when people come in an take up 10-20 hours a week at the distillery it starts to add up.

I would think every distillery will get there fair share of people asking questions, so be prepared new distillerys.

Especially with the increase growth rate and the Distillery market.

Take care!

www.redbootstills.com

joe dehner

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I agree that for some distilleries, with sufficient budgets, consultants are worth it. But, these forums have been the best consultant I could have had in this process. 99% of the info you need can be found here, or on the TTB website. Best of luck.

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With all due respect, Tory...99% of the info is NOT here. At best, there's 40%. To be sure a VERY IMPORTANT 40%, but after all my time in this (and the beer) industry I still learn something new and valuable every day. I figure I've learned about 30% of what there is to know...and I'm being generous.

There is a great deal of specialized information that we consultants can bring to the table that can save a lot of money for a new distiller, or even the old hand...when something new is being developed. I think you'll find very few people who have used consultant services to be disappointed in what they receive for the money, and most consider it a good investment. It's a bit like having a competent luthier set up your guitar that you made...it will play THAT much better.

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Natrat, nailed it again. 30% tops from this website. Don't get me wrong, there is some great information on here but thing being typed is much different than what happens in real life.

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I could not agree more with what has been said above. There is so much misinformation out there, that a person, who does not know Distilling will find themselves with a million dollar mess on there hands. I have seen people dump mash after I got there and saw the shape the place was in, and there processes. And not all consultants are equal, I do this part time, I want to see people succeed. And they can't if I am raking them over the coals to get them straight.

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Great points. The forums are a good jumping off point for finding other sources of info, and for meeting members of the distilling community, who are an amazing source of help.

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My 2 cents worth: knowing what I know now, had I re-prioritized a small portion of my start up capital to hire one or two consultants that I've come to know well, I think I would be in a better position with my endeavor than I am today. As for the caveat emptor of hiring consultants, any in-production distillery can suggest a few reliable and proven candidates. We certainly have our favorites.

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We just recently branched out and started a consultancy agency for craft distillers. We're pretty competitively priced but realize that there are still people (particularly startups) that'll get a little sticker shock. But we have our podcast, Distilling Craft, and are coming out with some more free resources for people wanting to start a distillery. Is anyone willing to offer some feedback when we get these free resources up? We are trying to keep the startup and newbie in mind and if anyone's been through that phase recently, we'd love your feedback.

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I do consulting also, with a sliding hourly rate, depending on size of facility. But I also consult as a scientist in other high-tech areas, and my rates for that are double or more. I try to be liberal with my knowledge on the forums, but often people's questions require the dedicated time and attention that they will need from a consultant. There are many good ones that post or lurk in the forums here.

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Any recommendations for good consultant regarding compliance with TTB forms and regulations for a small distillery with limited budget?

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I worked with Dave pre DSP approval -- great resource. But post approval for periodic reporting Whiskey Systems makes my life so much simpler. Now only if they'd document and expose an API... 

 

 

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Does anyone have contact info for Mr. Dunbar that they can PM me ?  I tried his email last week and did not hear back. I realize it is summer and many are on vacation, but I would like to reach out to him.

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