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The dream vs the reality

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Hi everyone,

I'm a whisky fan who's flirted with the idea of distilling for a decade, and I think it may finally be time to take the next step.

I'm trying to get educated and looking for the best classes out there. I want to make bourbon and rye, and I'd like to do it in Colorado. The dream was to own a piece of land in the mountains with my home on part of it and the still and rickhouse on another part. I know that in some states, you can distill on a farm, so long as a portion of the revenue comes from farming. I don't believe that's the case in colorado, and I've seen that there are significant restrictions both federally and locally about how propererty may be used.

It seems that in Colorado, you need light industrial or mixed use industrial zoning, and that's pretty limited in the mountains. If anybody knows, is there more to the picture?

I'm starting from scratch. I need to learn the regulations, find the property, put together my business plan, learn how to distill, source my ingredients and hardware, get registered and start a business. I know that it'll be tough going and that I won't see any real income for a few years, if I do it right. I also know that it's become pretty competitive out there.

I have a good job now in a family business and I can just stay here and be fine. I can also expand the business in NJ, make use of some of the underutilized space and start distilling out here. I'd save a bundle, but it's not where I want to be.

I'd love to hear what you guys think.

Thanks all.


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What do I think...

1. Dont quit your day job

2. Be prepared to work long, long hours.

3. Learn to love bureaucracy

4. Put your local code inspector and fire marshall on your Christmas card list

5. Make a budget. Multiply by 4.

6. Know your competition

7. Try to have fun

I'd say you're a good two year (assuming everything goes as planned which it never does) from filling your first bottle.

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