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Hletko also described the differences between starting a distillery a few years ago versus now. Because of changes in pricing, competition, the number of people entering the business, and the new variety of business models, Hletko said he wouldn’t start a distillery today with less than 10 times the money he started with just a few years ago. The panel discussed awareness of how much a person can invest before it may be necessary to add their name to your DSP license application. Usually, the threat of any legal responsibility (or liability) of having your name on the license deters people from wanting to invest too high a percentage, which is useful for any owner to help keep percentages favorable. This is also useful if friends or family want to invest; mentioning the extra paperwork will usually keep someone from offering to meddle too much. In regards to relying on your local state Rely on your local state guilds for help and guilds for help and advice. advice, the panel all agreed that it was important. Besides the ability to help any one specific distillery, guilds are important for helping to change laws that benefit the industry altogether. Two states right next to each other can have laws so varied that a successful business plan in one will fail in the other. The ability to sell to retailers and consumers, for example, can be a big difference in revenue. In fact, the panel mentioned examples of people who actually moved to another state just to open their distillery, so it is a possibility to be aware of. Morton, who recently gained capital through A successful crowdfund crowdfunding, said that campaign can raise besides securing the money and pubilicity. money, a business can take advantage of the publicity that comes with a successful crowdfunding campaign. Many of the 350 people who contributed to his crowdfund might not have known about his brand before, but now they’re all like brand ambassadors. When someone asked about concerns regarding tied-house laws, the panel didn’t think that should stop anyone from crowdfunding. There are some options if anyone is concerned however, including creating a separate LLC in order to receive the funds, or to only crowdsource a specific aspect of a business, such as marketing. While asking for money likely won’t be your favorite part of owning a distillery, it is almost always essential, and there are many people who can offer help and advice. If your distillery is in need of capital, don’t hesitate to reach out to organizations in your city, and keep in touch with your state guild.

Distillery start-up costs have changed in the last few years.

If you missed the Indie Spirits Expo this year, you can attend next year in Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York. For show dates and more information visit indiespiritsexpo.com. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  

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Profile for Artisan Spirit Magazine

Artisan Spirit: Winter 2016  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Winter 2016  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.