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How do I get started? I want "VERY" small distillery in MA


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I am new on the forum and a new ADI full member. I've been involved in distilling as a hobby for roughly about 5 - 7 years and I have fallen in love. I do have a success day job/career, but very much want to start a very small distillery focused on vodka and whiskey. I've done some research here and there and have found a small still that I like (hillbilly flute). Besides dabbling here and there, I am a complete noob and am looking for advice, suggestions and information on how to get a very small scale option going in MA. I'm not looking for this to take over and become my day gig, at least not now. Just want to make my hobby into a side business that I can grow over time. Please let me know how to get started on this endeavor, what steps I should be taking and everything and anything else.



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From my very limited experience, meaning that I've been planning out a distillery over the last year and if all goes well I hope to be signing a lease and spending money within a week.

The biggest problem you will encounter is going to be the general costs of opening and maintaining a distillery. If you have a suitable building which you own in a city which allows it this will make your journey much easier and much cheaper. If you need to rent/buy a space, this is where things start getting really expensive really quick.

One problem you will have being really very small is that if there is ANY demand for your product, you may not be able to fill orders. When orders don't get filled the distributors and stores lose interest and quickly move on. So, you need to be big enough to start handling initial and future production. With that you begin to need extra room for pallets of bottles and everything else. Speaking of pallets, you need to order a couple to produce your first month's product and then also start working on month two--this increases your startup costs.

I can't share my whole story since I'm not in business and I've spent months on my plan but I will say that I am really trying to do this on a very strict budget. With that said, my startup cost has doubled and my yearly cost has tripled from what I first estimated. The sad part is that I'm still worried that I may be spending too little.

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Its easy if you have a small building on a rural peice of property and possibly have fire suppression or a small enough operation to not require it by the county. Most places are getting more tight about this increasing the upfront costs to home owners / land owners going this route. Maybe go the ethanol fuel permit route at first. same license process, different end use. Much simpler to explain to county and slip in the easy way.

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