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Hello from north Texas


wfd245

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Hi my name is Steve and I have been an avid brewer for over 10 years but I find myself more drawn to the art of distilling. I love single malt whisky and have been wanting to open up a small distillery. I don't have any investors so I will foot the bill for everything, but what I really need help with is exactly what all forms do I need to fill out to open a distillery. I have read as much as I can on this website but still just a bit confused. what in the world does COLA stand for? do I need a lawyer for anything? when I talk small distillery I'm talking about starting with a 55 gallon still. I have tried to contact some other distilleries in Texas and hoping they would be helpful like those in the craft beer industry but I have not had any replies back. any and all help is very much appreciated.

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Hello Steve, we are a manufactory from Hangzhou, China. We build high quality winery and brewery equipment. We just finished 2 unit of stills for Blackhorse winery. Check our equipment on our facebook if you have interest.

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Hi Steve,

You've found a good resource in this site. The TTB does try to facilitate new distillers but they are tragically backlogged and even a return phone call can have you waiting days. Be sure to ask around on here if you have a nagging question or concern but be aware that many of us have gone through the same trials and tribulations as you. Search the site well before posting and see if your question has been answered before.

Opinions vary on this site, but an alcohol attorney (a good one) can be a valuable resource. Dealing with state and federal ABC's is like many other big industries; it's not what you know it's who you know. An experienced lawyer or consultant can streamline approval processes and licensing and can save you vast amounts of time but at great $$$. Decide where your trade off is time vs. money and go that route. If you are looking to start small and don't have any time-sensitive aspirations I would definitely advise going it alone and figuring things out the hard way.

As for COLA's they are just like the beer industry: Certificates of Label Approval. These are proof that your label on your product has been vetted by the TTB and passes it's rules which can be found in the Beverage Alcohol Manual (BAM). Depending on the State (not sure about TX) you will need one on file for every product you sell, even if it's not distributed. The major difference between beer COLA's and spirit COLA's is that the current wait time for spirit COLA's is ~40 days. Get them submitted ASAP, even before your product is ready so that when the time comes and you have a green light you aren't waiting on piece of paper.

Good luck.

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Steve,

This website is a great resource, but you will have to do research far beyond it. If you have already, you should probably read through the TTB's regulations. http://www.ttb.gov/spirits/index.shtml

Have you met any of the distillers in Texas in person? I've met a good chunk of them (Live in Dallas) and they are usually happy to help. However, I wouldn't expect them to call you back if you don't meet them in person. They have a lot to do and may get contacted often. Not sure explaining regulations is something that'd like to do.

Cheers,

Tufted

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Hey Steve, don't be scared of the TTB. I've found them to be very helpfull when I have a question. There is a lot to figure out, but if you read the laws on their website( over and over helps), its not as complicated as it first seams. The biggest set back was a mental one for me. Realizing that I wasn't just gonna fire up my still, and make some booze right away. There is a lot of hoops to jump through, but they are all totally doable. You can absolutely get licensed with a small still, u just need all your other ducks in a row. To be realistic, it can easily take a year or more to get it all taken care of. Consultants can speed it up immensely if you've got the $. Go to the TTB website and spend your free time reading and reading. If you get serious and need an affordable consultant to handle your federal permitt (they also make some awesome yet affordable equipment) hollar at me and I can refer you. They got me my permitt in 36 days. Now I sit and wait on the state. Haha. Hoops! And I'm jumping! Just like everybody else here had to do. Good luck to you!

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Hello Steve, we are in the same boat but as mentioned above.... Go to the EXPO in Louisville, KY. I am headed there out of Florida. We are lucky that we have a great connection with a current Craft Distiller which helps weed out some things but you will be spending hours and days.. weeks on research to get things in order. You are starting out small, we are building 2) 200 gal, 3) 25 gal to start with. Good luck! -

CHEERS - Ronda

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