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Everything posted by Patio29Dadio

  1. Good responses. The general message is that I am either over-reacting, or need to learn how to deal with it. Well I certainly know this. But we are talking about a shift that potentially makes the entire industry of what we do losers... unless we can shift to cannabis in a bottle... or unless it is a micro trend that doesn't stick. Given what we are seeing today in trends being manufactured and pushed through our always-on media feeds, I guess I am dubious about being natural and not also manufactured to some end. Ok. Interesting. My sense was based on comments I heard from some of these young consumers that they are flooded with alcohol choice and marketing and tired of it. I am old enough to have lived through 3 of those... and this last one isn't quite like the previous two. However, the downfall of humanity is another topic... I and just considering the downfall of craft spirits consumption. I will keep up the pitch for craft, authentic, etc. Funny, one debate I had with a young dude telling me alcohol sucks... destroys lives and marriages. I said "well if you are smoking a lot of pot I doubt you have much of a life, and are certainly going to have a harder time getting married." That pissed him off for some reason.
  2. Hugote - Sorry I missed your questions. Alex_Sor has provided a ton of great information. One thing for our system, it includes process controls to inject house water into the cooling loop when the tank level reaches a low point. This is a bit sub-optimized for us as the chiller and heat exchange are designed to chill down our water overnight between processes... not have enough BTU power to chill the process water in use. It is our 400G stripping runs that will overuse the 1600 gallons and require make-up water... thus potentially ending up with warmer condenser water toward the second half of the run. However, with a Danfoss themo valve we can adjust the flow to the condenser to compensate. We should have enough with our ~150G finishing still to cover a batch. But again, we certainly cannot run out of process water, so the system will open up the house water valve as needed, and depending on the temperature of the city water, we will see the process water warm a bit. In the future I will increase the size of my chiller and heat exchange.
  3. I have been reading a growing number of articles saying that Millennials are rejecting alcohol. I have had some debates with people in this age group confirming the very thing... basically lauding cannabis and putting alcohol in their hierarchy of things they are addicted to cancel. It seems that COVID, our government responses to it, the impact to the on-premise market, the consolidation of distributors, the explosion in ready-to-drink offerings... and now this trend for another young person and nanny-state try at a new Volstead Act in practice, is about the perfect storm of crap for our industry. I for one, think the explosion in hard seltzer and other big-producer industrial consumer ready-to-drink alcohol products has reached a point of over-saturation. They are truly pushing over-consumption and it seems the smarter generation of young people have about had it with that marketing/media manipulation. Unfortunately they are not differentiating those products with our premium, hand-made craft products of agriculture. We compete with these big products, and it seems they are potentially pulling us down with them. I am taking every opportunity to differentiate our products from these other products... that frankly I believe are crap. Really, flavored soda water with some GNS? Another very frustrating aspect of this... the kids seem to be on a kick to reject tradition. The stories of history connecting to our industry... the nostalgia... the authenticity... these are starting to be responded to as negatives. I think we better get on this or we are going to see a generational downward trajectory in market. Interested in your take on this. Am I over-reacting?
  4. The legislation gives additional relief to a list of NAICS codes for "hard-hit" small business... but since Distilleries, Wineries and Breweries are considered NAICS 31 - Food Manufacturing - they are not included and do not have access to that additional relief. This is a damn shame.
  5. This is why I always vote for the candidates that promise more and bigger government. sic.
  6. Like many smalls getting started, we thought it was special to hand-write the batch and bottle number on each new finished spirit product we produce. Tasting room customers like it... it absolutely connects to the feeling of craft, hand-made and artisan. However, the batches are getting big and we will move into 3-digit and then 4-digit batch numbers soon. So the hand-writing is becoming a big PITA chore. One suggestion is to pre-print the "bottle number" when the labels are produced... and then hand-write the batch number. My employees are a bit against the pre-printing as they say it looks "too corporate" for a small craft distillery. One idea they have it to just write the batch number and skip the bottle number... basically have a batch number space on the bottle label but no bottle number. I think this is a reasonable idea. Anyone out there with thoughts, ideas, recommendations?
  7. So we are surrounded by plum orchards. They are for prunes. We have made a run of Slivovich last year, and it was/is fabulous (not selling, but drinking). But you wrote "high proof". Are you looking for a neutral spirit from plum? I don't know that we would want to do that, but we can certainly produce a high proof plum brandy. What quantity? It is seasonable. I need to check with the local farmers for estimate for when the plums would be ready. Email me at jeff@patio29.com with more info.
  8. Uline sells single bottle shippers.
  9. Depending on what you are doing. If you are proofing for bottling then I recommend a rest of a few weeks or even longer if you have the time. It is really quite amazing how a long rest after proofing will improve the spirit as long as there is some head space in the container. Creeping up on a bottle proof helps ensure proofing accuracy, IMO. There is a thermochemical reaction with H20 and ethanol combining. It takes a while to settle down. This increase in temp is the reason that brandy makers will take months to proof for barrel entry, and then months for post aging pre-bottling. They don't what the chemical reaction to delete subtle qualities. Too fast proofing can also result in saponification... a soapy quality to the spirit. Sometimes a proofing rest will help mitigate that problem. We are in the business of waiting to get the best stuff in the bottle.
  10. It seems like that might be the case. However, I wonder if these are people that know they can make some money repackaging the bulk order. Puerto Rico and Haiti for example. I told them that I would only do the deal FOB... that they would have to pay for an take responsibility for the shipping. Two of them gave me a freight contact where I requested a quote based on the shipment dimensions and weight. The quote came back and I copied the requestor and told them that they would need to pay the freight and pay me in advance of the order being filled. If a scam I am guessing I will not hear from them again.
  11. Here is where we are... They want certificate of analysis for all ingredients or else for each batch. We talked them out of needing one for the isopropyl alcohol we use for denaturing because the SDS includes a paragraph that is enough of an analysis (basically they are needing proof that there is not too much methanol in the final product). You can only use the exact products in the recipe that the FDA allows. For example, we wanted to use inhibited proplylene glycol instead of glycerin/glycerol as we have a good supply of the former... they said a resounding NO! Need to have the process well documented. Need to demonstrate accurate proof measuring. They want batch records. The containers need the batch number on the label. Have to be registered with the FDA for the product. The registration number (LABELER CODE needs to be on the label.) This takes a few weeks. I am in California... the land of regulating everything.
  12. I am getting some requests for large orders to places like Puerto Rico and Haiti. They are asking for a freight quote and I get one but tell them I am only willing to arrange FOB sales. Before I move forward on this, I wanted to check with others to see if they have had any experience with similar orders. I am always suspicious. However, I do know that these places are in need of hand sanitizer.
  13. Only taxed on what you move out of the bonded area and it needs to be bottled. You can change the proof in the barrel with no tax consequences.
  14. They are coming back for a re-inspection. Which tells me that we have too many FDA employees with not enough to do. There are no politicians in my neck of the woods that will fight this fight... they are all made from the same cloth of big oppressive nanny government that are always here to help... right.
  15. Just got one. They almost forced us to recall. The reason.... we have the SDS for the GNS we are using but they wanted us to keep batch records and have every batch analyzed by a lab. So, they used us and now they are set to abuse us. I just told staff to cease and desist and when people call in to ask for the product tell them they can thank their government for screwing them over. Between the economic destruction from COVID orders, the continued restriction in state-to-state alcohol sales that are clearly in violation of the US constitution interstate commerce laws, and now this after the fact attacks on distilleries that tried to help (we donated over half of the hand sanitizer we made)... anyone feeling like they will benefit from political choices that increase the size of government?
  16. Passing the water through a UV light is not that expensive. You can find one on Amazon.com.
  17. I believe they are brokers. They don’t finance, only refer you to others that will finance. You might be better off looking for an SBA Community Advantage 7a loan.
  18. Thanks. This is the type of answer I think I am looking for. Did you pay those as a discount to the wholesale billing, or did you get an invoice from the wholesaler to pay? Not that this makes much of a difference, but it would help me a bit in budgeting.
  19. Working with a prospect distributor that is asking me what brand launch incentives I offer. I told him I would get back to him. His general expectation is a 60-90 day program where I pay a dollar premium for product placement. One for on-premise sales and one for off-premise sales. So much for each #-bottle placement, etc. Interested in hearing from others for what they have done. I get the need. A new brand has more work associated with it to get on the shelf. Sales reps are motivated by compensation.
  20. Interesting. It can get a bit convoluted with the math for margins vs markup, but it sounds like you are doing a simple 40/30/30 based on the MSRP? So if you have an aged rum or whiskey with total COGS of $10.50 including federal excise tax and your target MSRP is $40 your price to the wholesale/distributor is $16 and your gross profit is $5.50. Assuming 30/30 wholesale-retail split their gross profit would be $12 each. Do I have that correct?
  21. This may seem like a dumb question, but I am considering being completely open about my pricing strategy with distribution partners I am courting. This includes my complete COGS and expected margins. Does anyone with experience on the wholesale side have any advice or recommendations for full disclosure vs holding more internal details private?
  22. I think one of our changes needs to be lower barrel proof. We have been doing 60% ABV. Took a recommendation from a pro producer using 30 gallons. Lowered the proof, left some head space and back into the barrels. Already noting the improvement after a month. Smaller barrel lower barrel proof? Don’t fill to the top? Seems oxygen is in shorter supply in the smaller barrels both lack of head space and lower ratio of liquid... thus more H20 and lower fill will help make up some difference. Interesting if this is the answer, as it means using more smaller barrels... which really starts to help the financial calculation for full sized barrels. Which may just be what everyone has to go through to get to that final epiphany that the small barrel program does not pencil out.
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