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Blending House/ Independent Bottler


Nowhereland

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I've dreamed of getting into the spirits business for years. Took classes at Moonshine U, toured many distilleries and tasted plenty of spirits. Might look into doing a WST online training soon too. 

My idea is to start a small Blending House/Independent Bottling business much like in the tradition of ones found in the UK. We have a few examples here in the states (Barrell, Single Cask Nation, Jefferson, Crowded Barrel, etc) but it still feels like a tiny niche carved out of a much larger industry. Most are focused mostly on being NDP and sourcing for their own brands. 

I love the idea of sourcing from smaller craft distillers around the country (not MGP for example) and experimenting with unique, small run blends and single barrels. Every state has a unique profile to play around with. Rich and dark Texas whiskey or a spicy and herbal NY Rye. The goal would be to collect a "library" of flavors and be as transparent as possible (within legal limits). We focus on the art of blending, finishing and maturation. We are explorers and storytellers. 

There's almost too much amazing whiskey being made out there. Especially as some of these smaller producers continue to mature and grow. I've done my research and crunched the numbers on building out a distillery (equipment, space, staff, state and federal permits, etc.). It's out of my reach and, frankly, why spend years trying to master distilling and aging when so many others have already taken that risk for me? 

I'm thinking some sort of membership system would need to be built out (reference Single Cask Nation).The kind of space needed is more about footprint and less about location and equipment (saves a little money) and the type of permits, at least to get started, aren't as costly or time consuming. 

 

I'm thinking whiskey, but i dabble in rum too. In fact i think Rum is on the rise and will be the next "big category". Would love to explore interesting rums made outside of the typical areas but I'm getting ahead of myself. 

 

I would LOVE to read everyone's thoughts on this. Especially those who actually distill or are in the industry. Would this be something YOU would like to participate in? Be honest! 

 

Thanks! 

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Are you planning to 1. store the barrels and 2. do the blending & bottling at your own facility?

If you have cash and a place to store the barrels I suspect there will be plenty of inventory available in the next 6 months as operations close or need quick cash survive the downturn. 

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Yes, that is the current plan. Since i'm looking at such a small scale operation i rather have ownership over the entire process. I haven't looked at specific numbers yet, but i imagine contracting with someone would be much more $$ long term. 

 

Interesting point. Sadly i agree. 

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