Opening a distillery is a dream shared by an increasing number of individuals, but it is not something that should be taken lightly or embarked upon unprepared. There are numerous questions that need to be asked and answered before investing a significant amount of money in property and equipment. This article will not provide you with all the information needed to start a distillery and launch a brand (that would require several books), but it will provide you with a solid starting point for your research.
If you are serious about pursuing your dream, you will need some basic equipment. When we say basic, we mean it. This list represents the bare minimum, so depending on what you plan to produce, the desired production volume, and the requirements of your process, you may need to make adjustments.
Alcohol cannot be produced without water. Distillation involves adding and removing water throughout the production process, so you need a reliable water source for your still.
A fermentation tank is a large vessel in which you ferment grains, yeast, and water mixture. Essentially, yeast consumes sugar and produces alcohol during this process. After a few days (depending on your specific process), you will run the remaining mixture through the still.
ACE 1000L Fermentation Tanks
This goes without saying, but to produce drinkable alcohol, you will need a still. It’s not much of a surprise, right?
It may also be beneficial to have floor drains for waste disposal. Trust us when we say you can never have too many!
ACE 500L Copper Still
The two main questions you need to answer before getting started are: 1) What are you going to produce? and 2) How much do you intend to produce?
Without knowing the answers to these two questions, you won’t even be able to begin looking for a building. Every aspect of your distillery will be based on these factors. And vague responses like “everything” or “as much as possible” are not acceptable. Conduct market research to define your target market and understand its potential demand. A well-defined business plan is essential.
Naturally, we often get asked about the cost of opening a distillery, and there are usually follow-up questions. Therefore, we will go ahead and address some of the most common ones:
How much does it cost to open a distillery?
Distilleries come in various sizes and forms, much like cars. Do you want a luxury sports car with all the bells and whistles, or a used van? The cost difference between these options is substantial, just like the difference between distilleries. The cost will depend on a variety of factors. Based on our experience, we have found that it always costs more than initially anticipated. Therefore, it is crucial to gather as many details as possible during your research before making any investments. These details can make a significant difference.
Don’t Forget About Branding
Many people overlook the importance of branding. Some individuals believe that once you have a great product, people will automatically flock to purchase it. However, that is not the case. You will need effective packaging and branding to differentiate yourself from the competition. Additionally, consider who will be responsible for selling your brand. If your distiller is not skilled in public speaking or dislikes engaging with crowds, they may not be the best choice for promoting your product. So, carefully consider who will be representing and selling your brand. Keep in mind that this will add additional costs on top of the expenses associated with opening the distillery.