get the liquid to vibrate, and we plan to get the booze into the char.” Getting the business up and running could have been quicker than the 18 months it took, but Steve says they are OK with the timeframe: “It took us probably a year and a half to build this distillery, because we did it all just us. We’re doing what makes sense and what’s efficient, but doing the work ourselves, that’s what allows us to do talks, giving tips about how to do it yourself.” The most daunting part of getting everything going was the federal paperwork. Once they got to the state and local level, it was a piece of cake. When they had their distillery checked off for meeting fire codes, things went ultra smooth shares Steve: “Having a 25-year relationship with the fire department really helps. They know our quality of work already from construction and it was no problem at all.” The Bohners say their community has been very supportive, telling that the distillery has been welcomed just as well as their contracting business was, and they were able to celebrate that support by including their Humboldt area farmers in their initial release party. People are always curious about their construction company, which Steve has run since 1988, and Amy has been working in for the past 15 years. Will they keep going knowing that both businesses take a lot of commitment? Amy explains, “We don’t plan on stopping
the construction side of our business anytime soon. It will probably be 10-15 years before we get there.” And while some construction companies are seasonal, theirs is not. “We have really good rain gear,” Amy says with a chuckle. “Sometimes it’s too wet for the job we need to do, but we work year-round.” This makes it challenging for them to plan around a production cycle. “Usually we’re 8-5 construction and then we open the door and start distilling. We are often here until one in the morning.” For now, they don’t see any need to hire employees for the distillery. With the small size, they are able to keep things up and running on their own, and Amy spends a lot of time there while Steve runs their construction business. The tango of running two businesses works well for the Bohners, thanks to their strong working relationship and their dedication to what they do: “We do go really hard on the weekend days, but some weeknights we are working in here, too,” Amy said. “But you know what? We’re young, we’ve got a lot of energy, we don’t have kids, and our businesses are our babies, so they get all of our attention. So it works.”
Alchemy Distillery is located in Arcata, CA. For more info visit www.alchemydistillery.com or call (707) 822-8013.
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