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Distillery dimensions and production goals


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Hi everybody

I have been a hobby distiller for the last 10-15 years (gins, fruit brandies and even a whiskey – some good some not so good) and it has been a lot of fun. Now I see a great opportunity to get into commercial distilling – I got offered a relatively affordable location in a central urban setting (Europe) where it should be legally possible (I checked it very carefully) and where there is definitely a market (many tourists) and no other local distillery. Also, I have a great and authentic story to tell and good contacts to a local winery that is producing “cheap” grappa on a large scale and that I want to use as base spirit. My objective (3-5 years) is to produce (and sell!) up to 200.000 bottles (total) of gin, absinthe, vodka and liqueurs (e.g. limoncello) a year.

However, besides having visited a few gin distilleries and read all information I could find on the forums (thanks everybody) and some books I do not know much about commercial distilling. Naturally, I have many, many questions and uncertainties. For now, however, because the opportunity is mainly given through the location I got offered, the one thing I want to ask you, is whether you think I can reach my production goals given the dimensions of the offered location. Available for production is a 240 m2 open space with a 5m ceiling plus 80m2 for a tasting room (Bar). I also have an annex to the building (80m2) that can be used for offices and sanitation. Since my friend and future distributor has a large warehouse close by I will also not have to worry about storage space for the bottled product, we talked about it already. Also, I am planning to work with the genio or istill (2 x 500l) because they are very compact (1.5m*1.5m) and efficient (8hrs per run). AND keep in mind that I do not plan to produce the base spirit in my facilities.

Here is a simple floor plan including the equipment which I think is essential. What do you think? Is it possible to produce up to 200.000 bottles with a good logistic? Where do you see the bottlenecks? What am I not aware of?

Thank you so much! Really, any thoughts and 2 cents are welcome!



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Hi cornelius_b,


We are at the same stage in Sweden. Trying to start something missing here. And just getting all permits and finding a place to begin this journey is pretty dxmn hard to be honest.

Not sure in what country you are, but up here its an endless discussion with different municipal offices and regional government institutions. It really puts us up to the test.

For us, the floor plans are the easy parts, same goes for production equipment. 

I would say, your floor plan, looks nice :)

We are forced to have a smaller place to produce in, and getting a tasting room, well that is just not worth the pain in more permits here.

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Thanks! Yes, navigating through all the legal requirements is an odyssey down here in Portugal too. The biggest hurdle so far is the fire risk implied by the storing of GNS at the production facility. Working with lower proof alcohol (lower flash point) as base spirit makes things easier! Well, all this is so complicated that I was afraid of losing the focus on the challenges regarding scaling up my somewhat limited home distilling experiences to commercial "production".  So I posted the question regarding dimensions/space and production goals. 

Btw, here are the specs in feet: available for production are 2600 square feet open space with a 16ft ceiling, 860 ft2 for the tasting room (Bar), 860 ft2 annex to the building that can be used for offices and sanitation


Still hoping for more opinions regarding the feasibility of my goals!  



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  • 2 months later...
If you want high capacity and very small distillation space, then you need a stripping column and not a "nice big 500 liter tank". :)
Before the first drops of alcohol go, your tank will need to be heated for hours, while the stripping column will give out the first stream of alcohol in about 20-30 minutes, and will give out a constant stream of alcohol throughout the entire work shift. If you stop the column, then it will not need to be cooled throughout the day - it will be enough to put cold water into it for rinsing, and turn off the steam generator heater.
In principle, it is possible to process tens of liters of 8-12% mash input mixture on an area of 2m2. And this is not the limit.
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