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Can you tell me who underwrites your bonds. I have been turned down on 3 times so far, I have had to educate the bonding companies about the bonds I need; they seem clueless. I think the refusal to provide bonding is because I am asking for so much. For a start-up I'm seeking a Unit bond - $10,000 for operations, $15,000 withdrawl, and $4,000 state even though I can't reach this level of production until after the 9th month. I'm sure many of you already went through this and finally found a company that understands this.

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we approached the same local insurance company that provides our general liability and vehicle insurance. I've never considered the bond as something we were applying for and thereby could be declined from receiving. We told them the amounts we need and they took it from there, about 2 weeks later they had some papers for me to sign, and the first payment on the premium was due. If you've been decline (3 times ?!?) I doubt it's the amounts you are asking for since they directly affect the premium they will charge you and that's how they make money. Insurance agencies evaluate risk for a living, and somewhere somehow there are some risk-red-flags on your app if it's been turned down.

and we're not required to have a state bond either, but every state is different. just a heads up.


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Contact Jennifer Royall at John Sutak Risk in San Francisco. Took me 10 minutes to get my bond. Very inexpensive. Premium was $10 per $1,000 annually.

She was great help. The bond was technically through Hartford.

Jennifer C. Royall

John Sutak Risk Services

One Embarcadero Center, Suite 1040

San Francisco, CA 94111

Direct 415.901.2551

Main 415.394.0700

Fax 415.394.8839

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We got ours through:

State Farm - Chip Beake

Ask for Barb Harner

106 East Olive Street

Fort Collins, CO 80524-2861

Phone: (970) 482-1936

Fax: (970) 498-0773

I had some difficulty and had to search for someone who would give us a bond. Barb did a great job.

email me if you want more details.


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Bonds, Property and Casualty and all the insurance needs for a micro distillery...Just call Ted Barnes.

He's very familar with the special needs that we all have. He will make this step easy.

Ted Barnes cell # 610-710-1617

or email tedb@thebeacongrp.com

Good luck.


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This is actually a subject that does really benefit revisiting. I will use the info provided. Thanks to all.

A little advice would be to ask about the process to raise your coverage level. It might be worth overbuying now as it will be a pain, or at least it was for us to increase, especially when we were barreling and had sales of about oh.. let's say...Zero. there was no understanding by our local agency. The process took so much effort and time I would glady have paid the increased premium fee in the beginning. You will reach your limits.



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I wasn't able to get increased coverage. I was told the insurance underwriters look at these things like a loan. Even though it's not. But they want to see that they're able to come after you for the $25K in case of a claim. They don't want to be 3rd or 4th in line on some equipment in case they need to collect. The more debt you have, the greater the problem. The local agency was somewhat understanding, but certainly didn't want to work hard to increase the bond with another agency.

I had to stay with my existing bond coverage and adjust my product mix to stay within it.

Maybe I'm not in touch with reality, but $15K withdrawal coverage seems like a lot to me. That's enough for over 5500 bottles at proof twice a month (about 1111 proof gallons). Seems to me that's a lot of booze. rolleyes.gif

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Hartford actually has their own insurance classification for distilleries now.

We have sent a number of people to them.

We work both with Michael Klee and Jennifer Royall. Ryan already posted her contact info above.

If you want to go beyond the bond, I am happy to share Michael's address for insurance needs as well.

Just contact me.

All the best,



Kothe Distilling Technologies.

Award winning handcrafted German engineered potstills for the production of high quality fruit and grain spirits, as well as bioethanol. “Kothe Destillationstechnik” uses patented technology to specially engineer each still with solid quality and energy saving compounds to meet the particular needs of each distiller. Kothe Distilling Technologies is the sole representative of “Kothe Destillationstechnik” in North America, Canada, and Mexico.


Kothe Distilling Technologies Inc.

5121 N. Ravenswood Ave

Chicago, IL 60640



(312) 878 7766

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  • 1 year later...


You need to read this in it's entirety.


Subpart F is relavant to your question.

Mins and Max's are listed there for each category; distiller, warehouseman, processor.

You'll need enough to cover all of the alcohol in production and storage as well as the stuff you withdraw every 15 days.

If you are doing all three, a Unit Bond might be your best bet.

I don't like having to get increases in bond and the necessary paperwork that goes along with it. I've been in business 20 months and I'm on my third round. I think you should estimate what you think you're going to need in 12-18 months and shoot for that number. Others have found it easier and have opted to get a new bond more often.

Of course, it's $13.50/proof gallon. But if this number doesn't make sense to you, you need to do much more reading before asking anymore questions.

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  • 4 months later...

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