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Someone...please talk me out of this

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Hello, y'all

I'm going for it, and I need y'all to try to talk me out of it. Just kidding, sort of. I've been putting together a business plan (which for me consists of staring at a computer screen for and hour and then typing one sentence) to start an artisan distillery. I am currently in the throws of making some big decisions regarding the operation, and this forum is priceless for helping me put these decisions into perspective.

My first thought, being a novice business owner with little capital to invest, was to start as small as possible. I originally wanted to rent a small warehouse and produce 3 to 4 really good, simple products. Then I get on this site and read all the kudos for tasting rooms and now I'm rethinking everything. I then had the idea that, if I opened an establishment that served local spirits (I live in Colorado, and would feature all-Colorado beverages) I might be able to turn a profit while I waited for the TTB, etc. Then I thought "ow". My brain started to hurt from all of the conflicting calculations and permutations of visions. So now I'm back to the simple warehouse o' liquor idea.

Thing is, I also think I eventually want a tasting room of some sort. I'm a musician (banjo, fiddle, and guitar player..and I'm missing a few teeth...kind of makes me a natural for this business, I think) and I plan to incorporate music into most every aspect of my business, from marketing to having dag-gum square dances in the tasting room (when I get one). So all of this comes in to the mix.

Brain dump done.

So I'm feeling kind of stuck right now. I'm thinking that my next step is to hire a mentor/advisor from one of the many who have posted here. I welcome any and all advice y'all have regarding...well....anything to do with opening a craft distillery. Mostly I need the warnings, which is what I meant by y'all talking me out of it. As many heads up of dangers as you can give me, I'd appreciate. Also, if folks here could recommend a good consultant to hire, that would probably be the thing I need to get my direction back. (Professional consultants don't go recommending yourself, now...I wanna hear it from those who have used your services).

Thanks in advance for all future advice and thanks in retrospect for all the info I've already gotten.

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Local to you there are a lot of great Micro Distilleries who you should make friends with, and of course the Local Guild, many of the master distillers moonlight as consultants/mentors/teachers.

Jordan Via from Breckenridge and Kristian Naslund from Dancing Pines are only 2 of many very qualified people on your back door step.

as for outside (the state) consultants, First and Foremost I recommend Sherman Owen, from Artisan Resources LLC.

I've worked with Sherman on a number of projects, and he is well versed in all aspects of setting up and running a distillery. from planning your distillery layout to barrel aging and blending, and all points between. he would be my top pick for a general consultant.

there are many other consultants that have a narrower field of expertise, and I know many here can tell you who was helpful to them when they were starting up.

And of course without self promoting too much, we make some pretty nice Distilling equipment, so be sure to drop us a line when you get to that point.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Divore??? Dad gummit! I just got married last September! What a pain....

Oh, well. I guess it's her fault...she bought me my first still and has encouraged me to start this adventure.

Wait...what was that you say? Perfect woman? yep. Gonna keep her, fellers.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I gotta tell y'all...

As I work through the business plan and begin the various processes to get the various balls rolling in the various directions, this forum is a GOLDMINE! If I have a question, I search through here and usually come up with an answer. Thank you all so much for your insight. I'm still in the stage where more questions come up than get answered...I'm still climbing the first rise of the roller coaster...ticktickticktick.

Thanks again. I'll be posting on here more and more as the days wear on. Stay tuned for my logo, which I hope to have in hand soon. Once I got that and a few other things in place, I'm gonna get on some guerrilla marketing...building the buzz, baby.

More to come...


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