Building a Successful Distillery

The alcoholic beverage industry is extremely profitable, and many people are eager to get into the game. The industry is quite extensive and has room for almost everyone, but the problem many individuals face is how to start. Without a plan in place, the slightest miscalculation can have disastrous effects on the momentum of your business. The good news is, with a simple framework in place, you can create a path to developing a successful distillery.

Step 1: Develop an Outline

The absolute first step is identifying the position or the gap in the market that you're going to fill. It seems very entry level to start here, but a lot of businesses have failed because they didn't address just how they would set themselves apart from the competition. Distilleries are popping up every day, which means you'll need a unique point of view to get a leg up. Ask yourself:

  • What type of spirit will I make?

  • Will there be any unique flavors?

  • What process will I use?

  • Who will be my distributor?

These questions will help you identify the equipment and building you will need to get your distillery started.

Step 2: Build Your Team

It's not every day when you find a skilled distiller who's also an expert in management, marketing, and financing. Before launching a company, assemble the team you will need to move your product from the distillery into the customer's hand. Regardless if you can fill the position immediately, define the roles and commit to a plan to fill these spaces when the time is necessary. Many business owners might find it challenging to relinquish control even if they are capable of doing the tasks. Spreading yourself too thin is one of the fastest ways of losing funding and destroying your business because you're making decisions without the time to research. Keep your sanity and improve organizational flow by appointing key decision makers to help you achieve success.

Step 3: Iron Out the Details

This step is an expansion of the outline you created earlier. It's now critical to define all the nitty-gritty details that will make your business flourish. Even if they don't seem fun. The alcohol industry is heavily regulated on both a state and federal level. Start compiling all the licenses, permits, and documentation to get started. Code requirements vary, and more than likely you will have an appointed enforcement official, so get this information in writing and make plenty of copies. Additionally, get together your building specs to have on hand when you meet with engineers and technicians. The conclusion of this step includes putting your actions and ideas to a timeline. But most importantly, abiding by this timeline.

Step 4: Get to Work

It's crucial at this step for you to know exactly what equipment you'll need and find ways to procure it. The final phase begins with installation and ends with enjoying the fruits of your labor. Use a critical eye when it comes to vetting vendors for equipment. They will need to function as flawlessly as possible for at least five years. Expert tip: when your production team has completed the plumbing, electrical, and installation, have them validate the equipment by demonstrating that it works. You don't want to move ahead only to find out you're missing an essential component for the development of your product.


Brindiamo Group has been working with distillers all over the globe for over twenty years. For questions or help on developing a solid business plan, connect with our expert advisors. Visit our website to learn more.

Brindiamo Group