I've just set up my own distillery company!

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  • I've just set up my own distillery company!
  • Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    Competition is brewing;
    http://www.chefsinscotland.co.uk/news/news/galldachd-na-h-alba-brewery/

    You manage. Tues night ride @Ae? jamesmio and one or 2 others from here go.

    Fellow farmer/biker/brewer, Dave might have some words of wisdom;
    http://speyvalleybrewery.co.uk/our-story/

    JnrT is an engineer; https://cochran.co.uk/news/general/we-build-small-boilers-too-starting-at-455kg-ph

    Kit
    Member

    Indeed teacake, and it’s a major issue for me. Being in a rural location with poor energy infrastructure and shallow pockets, it’s going to be a compromise whichever route I go down.

    yourguitarhero, ace, well done! I have no idea how to distil either, but I’ll figure it out πŸ˜‰

    Saw that article in today’s Standard, Trekster. Although good luck to him. Setting up in the centre of Lockerbie in a terrace of houses, without planning permission or staff, he’s about the level of preparedness that I’m at!

    Don’t ride much these days, but I should try and get myself out. Drop me an email with details and I’ll get along sometime!

    I looked at Cochran’s for boilers. Their ‘small’ boilers are about double the capacity I’d need, unfortunately.

    Kit
    Member

    UPDATE 7/7/17:

    Planning permission in and registered, so let’s see what the local authority have to say.

    Three licence applications off to HMRC (distiller’s, warehouse keeper, excise warehouse).

    Been on a short course with Brewlab in Sunderland to learn more about distilling and the industry. Was very interesting, although ho much of it was relevant, I’m not sure!

    My students are Heriot-Watt seem to be doing well with their projects. Was up a couple of times to see them do desktop distillations and do a few tastings.

    Business plan finished and the financials pretty much figured out. This leads me to be neck-deep in paperwork for funding applications as I try and secure Β£100k of public grants and a business loan (about 1/3 of the total project cost)!

    Cheers,
    Kit

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    Hi Kit, good luck in your venture.
    I’m in the Off trade and currently stock over 80 gins and have hundreds available to me within 3 days order>delivery from Hammonds of Knutsford.
    We’re North England (Yorkshire) based in a fairly affluent town.
    Gin has been the big thing for a year or two and specifically gins that have a unique selling point in their botanicals. The main feedback from customers seems to be buying from us as a result of them trying these gins at fairs, Gin Fairs, farmers markets, agricultural shows, Also from local Gin bars and pubs/restaurants.
    Our biggest selling Premium gins are currently:
    Sharish, a blue coloured gin that turns pink when you add tonic, novelty.

    Slinsby’s Rhubarb Gin, made locally in Harrogate and unique Rhubarb taste (really easy sell with tasting stock).

    Brockmans Gin. Unique wild berry fruits taste, quite sweet, goes well with Ginger ale, Gin for people who don’t particularly like gin, gin for the alcopop generation etc. Local gin bar and pubs really push it with ginger ale and then punters come to us and buy a bottle (also really easy sell with tasting stock).

    Whittaker’s Gin made locally in Harrogate, their USP being that they’ve won a trade award with their Pink Peculiar, but also sells well because they bottle in 50cls so the price appears reasonable for an award winning premium gin (Β£24).

    Liqueur Gins, 20% abv rather than normal gin @40%+. The main ones being Edinburgh Gin (Rhubarb & Ginger our best seller) and Zymurgorium range. We’re currently pushing Edinburgh Gin Rhubarb and Ginger liqueur with Appletizer to make a Rhubarb and Apple crumble liqueur drink (again, appeals to the alcopop generation and people with a sweet tooth or who don’t particularly like straight gin and tonic).

    We sell the odd bottle of all the other stuff often mentioned here, Silent Pool, bathtub, Opihr etc. Some sell because they’re now heavily pushed in the Supermarkets. But of the premium retailer who stocks a premium range, it seems to me that you need a USP to sell more, tasting stock and maybe people in store and/or at regional events to push the product.

    There’s talk within our business that Gin interest will tail off, but I haven’t experienced that yet.

    Kit
    Member

    UPDATE 8/9/17

    Still waiting on planning permission. Apparently I needed a bat and barn owl survey, which my architect neglected to tell me about. That delayed things by a month, but all that info is in now. Not heard anything else from the Council, but they’re apparently hugely understaffed, so God knows when I’ll hear.

    Have been awarded my first bit of grant money. Well, I got an email 3 weeks ago to that effect. No paperwork as yet! That will cover 50% of my branding and online presence work. Quite positive about another small grant from Scottish Enterprise to help with the bottle design for my first product.

    The big pot of cash is from a fund called LEADER. That’s Β£50k’s worth, decision due next Thursday. Positive noises throughout the feedback process, so hoping that’ll come good.

    Been round a few distilleries: Arbikie, Glasgow Distillery and Annandale Distillery. I actually got a whole day with the Annandale guys. Mark and Daz, who run the distillery operations, are top guys and I learned LOADS in a day with them. Great experience, and has got my pumped for my own project.

    My distilling licenses were rejected, on account of me not having a distillery for HMRC to inspect. Naively, I thought they’d be able to give feedback through the establishment process, but apparently not. You’ve got to commit, build, and then apply just before you begin trading.

    Yesterday, met with my design agency (Contagious in Edinburgh) and started off the process of designing the brand, product name, bottle design, etc. Really exciting stuff!

    By the way, did I say that I’ll be making……… rum? πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    You’ve got to commit, build, and then apply just before you begin trading.

    That’s mad. What if they say no?

    met with my design agency (Contagious in Edinburgh)

    You’ve already had a lot of delays and it’ll take the Contagious to come up with a design?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    What if they say no?

    Existing players get to buy some extra capacity cheap πŸ™

    Premier Icon monkeysfeet
    Subscriber

    You’ve already had a lot of delays and it’ll take the Contagious to come up with a design?

    POSTED 53 SECONDS AGO # REPORT-POST
    πŸ˜† Badum tish πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    The big pot of cash is from a fund called LEADER.

    bloomin’ EU, sticking their noses in etc. πŸ™‚

    And well done, exciting to see things coming off

    scotroutes
    Member

    Rum! Good call.

    hodgynd
    Member

    Good luck Kit ..
    I’ve got to admit that I haven’t read all the posts before jumping on this thread so I don’t know if anyone has suggested this as a “product ” ..but on a bothy night last year one of our number produced a bottle of sloe Whisky which he had made himself ..now I have previously tried a Gin version and loved it ..but this was something else ..and although I’m not a huge spirit drinker ..I would buy a version of this if it was available ..
    Hope it doesn’t sound too daft ..

    Kit
    Member

    That’s mad. What if they say no?

    They give you feedback at that point for you to implement, and work with you to ensure your compliance. Seem very rare, though. When you’re chucking 6 figures at a project, you’re likely to do plenty of research into what will satisfy them, and make sure you get it done. So, risky in terms of possible delays, but probably not in ultimately getting something going.

    hodgynd, if you’re meaning a sloe rum, then Beach Craft Spirits already make one. If you’re talking about a sloe whisky, I won’t be making whisky, sorry!

    big_n_daft
    Member

    big_n_daft, OK thank you. I’d looked at the SEPA exemptions and didn’t know what counted as ‘Distillery Waste’, so will get a formal clarification. For land spreading, it’s up to the farmer. I’ll provide him with an analysis of the waste and leave it to him to make that call. He’s a conscientious guy, so I’ve no worries there. But we also have a local AD who might be interested. Interested to know how you know so much about this; do you work for SEPA? If you’ve got the time to spare, I’m free 23rd. Email me Kit[dot]Carruthers[@]gmail[dot]com. cheers.

    Apologies missed this.

    I’m not in SEPA, I have some relevant current industry experience, just not saying what industry….

    Email me on t _ interweb AT outlook DOT com

    Also get details of the deployments by the farmer, and the occasional lab analysis. Its insurance against a later claim

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    So, risky in terms of possible delays, but probably not in ultimately getting something going.

    Gotcha. That makes more sense, ta.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Contagious to come up with a design?

    Had to read that a few times πŸ™‚

    [reports for swear filter avoidance]

    Premier Icon sas78
    Subscriber

    Sounds great Kit, nice to see something down “home” going forward. Although I have lived in Edinburgh, 22yrs Annan and indeed Dumfriesshire will always be home.

    Love the story about the Nerf things on the window of the Shed! I think I met JamesMio on a stag do in Tignes years back too. Haha

    All the best and when you are selling something let us know in here and I will buy!

    Cheers!

    I’m starting the MSc in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot Watt… em, tomorrow!
    So I like approve of this thread.
    Keep in touch! Depending how you get on, I might be looking for some work experience/placement next year.

    Also, not sure if you’ve had any thoughts on distribution yet, but a good friend of mine owns a spirits distribution company – I can put you in touch.

    hodgynd
    Member

    Kit ..sorry I jumped in without reading the fact that you were set to make rum ..
    I did mean a sloe whisky ..and it was delicious ..maybe someone else will pick up on it πŸ˜€
    Good luck with your venture ..all the best ..

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    Quite a few distillerys popping up http://craftydistillery.com/

    http://www.solwayspirits.co.uk/spirits.html

    Ride with jamesmio and Katie on a Tues @Ae….

    Kit
    Member

    UPDATE 14/9/17

    Got some good news today! Two grant applications came good, worth Β£55k, on top of a previous grant award. Still only a fraction of the cost of the whole thing, but it all massively helps.

    The building is now clear and ready for the joiner and builder to come in and remove the roof, demolish the gable wall, and grub out the floor. Still haven’t got my planning permission, but should be forthcoming by the end of the month. Work should start beginning of October, all being well!

    Some photos below of the current state of the place. The lower, older building will be the distillery, and is due the major works. The larger, newer building will be my bonded warehouse, and have only minor repairs (mainly to make it secure!).

    sas78 I was 18 years in Edinburgh. Still adjusting to being back down here! And glad you’ve committed before even tasting the stuff πŸ˜‰

    yourguitarhero I was speaking to Annie Hill yesterday and she said that the MSc course had started. There’s 100 of you, is that right? Mad! Happy to accommodate you next year, if I can. Pester me around March time, if I forget to drop you a line.

    Trekster, you mentioned Ae rides. I must try and come along one evening, before it gets dark (no lights).

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/YHCemi]Big byre, little byre[/url] by Kit Carruthers, on Flickr

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/Y7sK6d]Main entrance[/url] by Kit Carruthers, on Flickr

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/XrBAME]Small byre inside[/url] by Kit Carruthers, on Flickr

    I think there is 130 students this year.
    A very international mix – lots of Europeans, Americans, Indian and Chinese students, and lots of women too – more than I expected.

    big_n_daft
    Member

    The building is now clear and ready for the joiner and builder to come in and remove the roof, demolish the gable wall, and grub out the floor. Still haven’t got my planning permission, but should be forthcoming by the end of the month. Work should start beginning of October, all being well!

    remember as the project includes demolition it may well be notifiable under CDM Regs

    Some photos below of the current state of the place. The lower, older building will be the distillery, and is due the major works. The larger, newer building will be my bonded warehouse, and have only minor repairs (mainly to make it secure!).

    I would go for really tall stills, then you have a claim to be the “-est” in something

    check how much you can store before COMAH kicks in

    everything will turn black due to fungus over time

    I’d try to get to Inchdairnie, it’s new and built as a modern distillery rather than twee

    for a laugh

    This $7,000 Bike Is Made From Whisky Barrels

    Kit
    Member

    UPDATE 23/11/17

    Well, my last update was a little optimistic… I finally got my planning permission a couple of weeks ago (yay!) but that only just followed putting in for building warrant. I can’t start any work on the building until that comes back in the affirmative, which could be January (or later πŸ™ ).

    But planning permission is great news. It means I’m definitely doing this!

    So Ninefold Distillery will be producing sometime next spring/summer! Shiny logo to accompany it, based on our family crest:

    And also got myself online at:

    http://www.ninefolddistillery.com (holding page at the mo)

    …and the usual social media places, if you do a search for Ninefold Distillery. Don’t want to upset the mods with advertising πŸ˜‰

    munrobiker
    Member

    That looks excellent, well done on investing in a decent designer!

    remember as the project includes demolition it may well be notifiable under CDM Regs

    Unless the work is going on for more than 30 days then it’s not. It is being at least aware of CDM on something this size though so you can ask whoever you get to do the work to be on top of it on your behalf.

    Kit
    Member

    Aye, I could do the demo work I need to do, but then I’d be left with an exposed soil and no roof over the winter. Plus I’m not convinced the walls will hold up too well without the gable end and roof. Certainly the structural engineer doesn’t want to rest the new roof on the existing walls!

    The marque has come out great, and certainly worth the money! Particularly when half of it was paid for with a grant. Or will be when I put the claim in…

    Kit
    Member

    UPDATE 16/01/18

    Not much more on the building front, however… I gone done a vlog! Pretty terrifying. I had to learn how to: shoot video on my camera; fly a drone; be comfortable looking at and listening to myself over and over again during editing; edit; all the social media stuff for videos.

    Feedback welcome, even if you hate it!
    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_Sjloclq9s[/video]

    MrSmith
    Member

    Next time have a crib sheet of topics pinned underneath your camera so you can drop the ‘err’s’ by not having to think about the next point. A pause is better than an ‘err’. Looks a really interesting project which I would happily watch without the err, .. err’s.
    You can always cut and retake if you pause and you have other footage to put in. That’s the beauty of b-roll, you can stop and start as many times as you like if you have something to cut to.
    You can always show a bit of footage with VO as the building and setting is half the story (you being the other half)
    Look forward to seeing the update.

    enfht
    Member

    Bit random, but won’t the forklift hit the metal joists in the bonding warehouse?

    Good video though.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    honest review?

    It’s you umming and erring in an a cold empty barn. I’d save the footage and do a piece when you’ve got something to show off. Sort of; this is what I started with, this is what it looks like now!

    Good luck with it. πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I would echo thoughts above but would add less is more – lovely nice shots, intro to you and the new project, job done. 2mins. Maximum.

    (I can see all our videos at work – folk get bored past 2-3 mins…)

    I see there are projects working with you at uni!

    Kit
    Member

    Thanks for the feedback!

    I doubt that I can get rid of the um and ers, it’s a habit that I’ve never been able to break, despite plenty of public speaking. I’d tried to write a script but I couldn’t read it πŸ˜† Maybe some big bullet points next time… I shot a whole day of stuff and went back to reshoot, intending to be in the same clothes so that I could cut stuff together as needed. But Day 2 was **** baltic so I ended up with the jacket and gloves, and just worked with what I got.

    Lots was cut out, and I’m sure subsequent vids will be shorter. I know people have a crap attention span. I won’t, however, be waiting until I’ve got something to ‘show’. The whole point of the vlog was to show progress from barn to distillery. So major milestones in building work, the kit arriving, etc.

    It’s a massive learning curve: teaching myself how my camera does video, talking to camera, aerial footage, editing, etc. is all brand new to me. But glad it’s, um, mostly positive, er, feedback.

    I see there are projects working with you at uni!

    News to me! I had two last year, maybe that’s what you’ve spotted.

    MrSmith
    Member

    Also when you lock the camera off turn off the AF you can see it hunting while you are talking, it’s very distracting.
    Have you tried flying your drone through the building yet? Saves on buying a dolly or slider πŸ˜†

    Kit wrote:

    I see there are projects working with you at uni!News to me! I had two last year, maybe that’s what you’ve spotted.

    Are you Dumfriesshire Rum?

    Kit
    Member

    Unless there’s another rum distillery on the go that I don’t know about, then yes I am ‘Dumfriesshire Rum’!

    Can you email me kit@ninefolddistillery.com with the details of the projects, please?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Don’t forget to send some STW Towers as thank you for promotion, mods probably wouldn’t say no too. πŸ˜€

    Kit
    Member

    I wondered how far I could push it πŸ˜†

    Kit – mailed you the details.

    Also, I’m not sure if you’ve looked at your distribution yet, but I have a friend who runs a distributors based out of Edinburgh. I can put you in touch if you’d like? He’s very knowledgeable – a chat can never hurt.

    Turns out, I may also be getting into the spirits production game….

    Kit
    Member

    Also when you lock the camera off turn off the AF you can see it hunting while you are talking, it’s very distracting.

    Yeah, I noticed this afterwards too, and it’s hunting like that because at whatever crazy small aperture it was working at, it’ll be trying to AF by contrast detect, rather than the smoother/faster phase detect AF.

    Anyway, “ Saves on buying a dolly or slider” only if I don’t crash it! I flew it around inside the bigger building and it was slightly terrifying 😯

    Kit
    Member

    UPDATE 4/3/18

    *whispers in case the mods hear*

    Building work has begun…

    More vids online…

    *slinks off again*

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