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Tasting rooms


DonMateo

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Hello folks,

I am just curious as to whether people who have their own distilleries that have whiskey tasting rooms charge for the tastings? If so how much?

I am just working on a plan for starting up a distillery and trying to work out how the whole thing works and how much money I will need etc. Thanks for any feedback.

Cheers

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I work with an incredible amount of distilleries in all places across the states. I have seen everything from free tastings (per state or local law) all the way up to full blown bars where the distillery serves its own products either straight up or with mixers, in cocktails, etc., and they have revenues in the hundreds-of-thousands of dollars if not more! I think that you need to formulate this into your business plan based more on your location, laws, advertising, etc. These examples go from bourbon or whiskey to just vodka, to multiple products. As with everything, it is a bit of a moving target and depends on if you can afford to give out a bunch of free product, or need revenues for the tastes. I did recently have one of my clients tell me that they do not charge for the tastes due to the fact that 80-85% of the folks that taste by a bottle from them so they consider it a great investment. That is my two cents.

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Thanks very much Aaron,

Actually I am an Australian who is currently living in Argentina. Where I live, Mendoza is a world famous wine region and they have a couple of million tourists a year coming to taste the wines. There isnt anyone doing a craft distillery and marketing it well to the tourists. I mentioned the idea to a couple of guys I know who have their own wineries and they thought it was great idea. About 80% of the tourists that come to that region like alcohol so your not getting the buddhist monks. Lets face it after a couple of hours of tasting different wines sometimes you want something a bit different. As far as regulations things are pretty lax in Argentina but I am trying to find out what the regulations are. Because its a winery area they regulations are pretty light on and enforcement is pretty negligible. I am just in the phase of saving up money and then finding a decent location and then putting up a building and getting the equipment.

I am going to put a tasting room/Bar on the front of the place I am just trying to work out how to run the tasting room.

Thanks.

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Don Mateo - For what it's worth (since we are on another continent), our tastings and tours of the distillery are free. Inline with what Aaron mentioned, our state (PA) laws allow us to sell by the bottle and by the glass. We have not been open long but the vast majority of those who come in are buying bottles and/or mixed drinks. We are located in a rural area (on a farm) so there is quite a bit of repeat customers from the local area throughout the week. Weekend's are when we see the majority of our new customers / groups (bike runs, etc). With the new customers / groups, 95%+ are either buying bottle(s) and/or mixed drinks with the majority purchasing both.

There are quite a few small wineries in our area so there is an established "trail" for folks from the region and tourists who are looking to sample craft beverages and we have been tying into that. We have been contacted by wineries and a brewery about some cooperative marketing (mainly word of mouth recommendations).

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