Saturday, September 25, 2010

Grants for "Spiritual?" Developments in the Agricultural Sector - hmm...

Feasibility Study for an Apple Processing Plant in New Glarus

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Division of Marketing
Agricultural Development & Diversification Program (ADD)
1999 Grant Project Final Report

Financial Situation/Needs
An Agricultural Development and Diversification Grant of $15,000 in FY 1999-2000 was awarded to Destination
Development, Inc. by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection to explore the feasibility of producing a brandy made from Wisconsin apples. An in-kind match of $42,000 was committed to the project by Destination Development. Bringing the total investment (capital and "sweat equity") to-date in the project to approximately $57,000.

Distilling spirits and new ideas; Bendistillery hopes to turn a farm operation into a tourist destination | | The Bulletin

Distilling spirits and new ideas; Bendistillery hopes to turn a farm operation into a tourist destination | | The Bulletin

:: The Copper Fox Distillery :: Home of Wasmund's Whisky

:: The Copper Fox Distillery :: Home of Wasmund's Whisky

3 people. Smoked fruitwood chip aged (patent pending claims). Single barrel batches. It seems Mr. Wasmund went to Scotland to learn about the origination of Whisky (no 'e') and got himself a fancy internship. He had some good ideas about embedding more flavor profile into a product that included fruitwood but also characteristics of peat like Scotch. Instead of using a peated smoke, the idea was to use smoke from the fruitwood - similar to that which is done to smoke a nice pork roast. One of the products is Copper Fox Rye Whisky.

Our latest way of "shaking up" the whisky world. A remarkable rye whisky made with an extraordinarily generous amount of our smoked malt. The mash bill is 2/3 Virginia rye and 1/3 Virginia Thoroughbred hand-malted barley—kiln dried with apple wood and cherry wood smoke.

Double pot-stilled to between 150 and 160 proof and aged with a progressive series of new and used apple wood and oak chips inside used bourbon barrels. Our innovative aging process results in a truly unique rye whisky that is savory and complex with the characteristic Wasmund's finish.

Dry Fly Distilling School

Dry Fly

For $1500, you can get a Two Day Basic distillation class that can be tailored to your specific needs, but is primarily focussed on:
  • Grain Handling and Mash Preparation
  • Fermentation
  • Stripping runs
  • Rectification
  • Finish distillation

A One Week Complete distillery operational class is available for $3500. Again, it can be tailored to specific needs but includes the following:
  • Raw material selection and milling
  • Wash House operations including mashing, enzyme use, mash QC and testing, efficiency evaluation
  • Fermentation operations including yeast preparation and fermentation management and evaluation,
  • Stripping runs on the 450 liter CARL stripping still including still operation, cooling and steam management, and sensory evaluation.
  • Finishing still operation including rectification, Alembic distillation, fraction cuts, and efficiency evaluation.
  • Filtering Operations
  • Gauging and TTB reporting procedures
  • Product finishing
  • Product packaging operations
  • Whiskey storage and barrel options
  • Tasting room operation
  • Sales and Marketing small production spirits
  • Business Planning

Kinda pricey. Doesn't include all meals, transportation, or lodging but you can view functional Whiskey and Vodka distillation in on week with hands on experience while getting a bit of schooling on operational support. Pretty cool.

Class costs do not include transportation, lodging, meals (we provide lunch only), or incidentals. Dry Fly will work with participants on securing suitable accommodations. All classes will be done on an individual basis. Should two participant wish to take the class together, the second participant will pay 50% of the full class price. No more than two participants per class. Classes require a 50% deposit to secure a date. The remainder of the class fee is due prior to the start of the class at the distillery.

No business plan for spirits in 06

Micro-distillers adding spirit to high-end hooch - East Bay Business Times

"Bill Owens of American Distiller, a professional group devoted to the advancement of craft distilling, says there are 77 micro-distilleries producing 0.5 percent of all U.S. spirits. Three years ago, when Owens started American Distiller, there were 52.

'For most people, this is a second business,' said Owens. 'Very few people are doing this full time to pay their rent. The banker types drop out real quick. Because they think it's like Silicon Valley and they want to get rich quick. We're talking about lifestyle, about pride in craftsmanship.'

Owens says he answers phone calls every day from people interested in starting a micro-distillery.

'Nothing is easy in this business,' he said. 'I've never seen a business plan for this industry, but that will happen in time. It's part of the industry maturing.'

Many in the micro-spirit industry see larger profits on the horizon as the evolving sophisticated tastes of consumers grow with the maturing industry. Owens predicts the market could sustain up to 400 micro-distilleries."

Small Business and Franchise Success Stories: Dry Fly Distilling - True Small Business Irony - Guidant Financial Group, Inc.

Small Business and Franchise Success Stories: Dry Fly Distilling - True Small Business Irony - Guidant Financial Group, Inc.

Where did their small business dreams start?

“I think the business sense you get working for a large corporation is always a good experience,” Don explains. “I think what it does is give you the motivation to get the [heck] out. After awhile my thought process was that if at the end of the day everything sucks, it’s because I made it suck. But if everything’s great, it’s because I made it great. The only way to accomplish that is to start your own business.”


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Make Room at the Bar - Distiller Business -

Todd Leopold making Absinthe

Founded in Michigan as a brewpub and now exclusively a distillery, Leopold Bros. is part of a growing micro-distillery movement in the U.S. The number of small-batch distilleries has more than doubled in just a few years, from fewer than 80 in 2006 to 165 in 2009, says Bill Owens, founder of the American Distilling Institute. Boutique, artisan, craft, small-batch, micro--whatever the moniker--these independent, entrepreneurial distillers are fueling a "renaissance in American spirit-making," Owens says.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September is National Bourbon Heritage Month

Bill Text - 110th Congress (2007-2008) - THOMAS (Library of Congress)

the Senate--
(1) designates September 2007 as `National Bourbon Heritage Month';
(2) recognizes bourbon as `America's Native Spirit' and reinforces its heritage and tradition and its place in the history of the United States; and
(3) recognizes the contributions of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to the culture of the United States.

Aged Spirits | Tuthilltown Spirits

Tuthilltown Spirits

Tuthilltown makes some Unaged and some Aged Spirits with a VARIETY of Aged Ryes. I've seen the name around and apparently they're distributed by Domaine Select Merchants (along with the Whistle Pig I've begun to lust for). I like the fact that they're importing some adventurous brands.

Whiskey Biofuel?

Steve Inskeep from NPR

I wasn't drinking, officer. It was my car.

WhistlePig Whiskey: A Summer Day with WhistlePig

WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey from WhistlePig Whiskey on Vimeo.

Why did I get all teary eyed ?? I know - it was the Rye, the Drinkin and the Shootin. Oh yeah - and the Whistle Pig. Everything I dream of.

Slashfood article on Whistle Pig
Only 1,000 cases of WhistlePig's first bottling were released and half of those are already sold. Check New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco markets for availability with Domaine Select as distributor. I have not yet had a chance to taste it since I'm all the way down in Baja, Mexico but Dave describes the flavor as "fireworks in your mouth with a finish so long, it's got its own zip code." Knowing me all too well, Dave also says, "It's's outspoken." The price averages $70 a bottle.

Stop Hospitality Taxes

Interesting stuff you can fall into when you start digging. 40% or less of a spirit sale goes to the distiller... of which they pay for their materials, time, labor, blood, sweat and well... hopefully not tears - or sweat and blood for that matter... but you get the point. I'm not so sure that scotch and other imports would have the same ratio of taxation per sale, but this would surely show why some of my favorites such as Lagavoulin and Oban have increased in price so much over the last six to seven years.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bottle Typing/Diagnostic Shapes

Liquor/Spirits Bottles
Holy glass bottles man!

This is one excellent page of glass spirit bottles history. Why am I so giddy?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Specialty | Waterloo Container

Oslo Flint
A short stout 750 similar to Peach Street distiller's whiskey bottle.


The 4488 Bordeaux with a peculiar bubble at the bottom of the bottle. Similar to Van Winkle 12 year

Both styles make me want to drink.
I'm thirsty for a tall glass of whiskey.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Where'd all these whiskey dudes come from anyway? Whats their story? Click here to read about it from

Monday, September 6, 2010

Show us your metal! | TshirtSlayer - Worlds Largest Gallery of Heavy Metal Shirts, Patches, Jackets

Show us your metal! | TshirtSlayer - Worlds Largest Gallery of Heavy Metal Shirts, Patches, Jackets

This is one of the many things I love about metal. This t-shirt gallery is impressive. I've seen some stuff I haven't seen in years or ever before... I see some gaps though and think I may have to register and upload some photos. Though I've given most of my old tshirts to charity, had them destroyed in pits or been randomly burned... I still have some shirts from the past in storage. I think the first music shirt I bought ... well there were two. Sepultura short sleeve... had a big S on the front... cant remember on back. From the same show, I got a Napalm Death LS with tour dates down the sleeve, Mid artwork on front and a huge ND on back. I still have that one. The Sep shirt is long gone.

I do have a Sadus DEMO shirt - a white Twisted Face tee that probably nobody has anymore except the band and me. It was given to me by Mark from Impetigo... theres some cool shirts from them here on the site :) and I also have a Death Human shirt that an old friend/co-worker from the record store Shane gave me. Not getting rid of that til it disintegrates.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Virginia Lightning story

When Whiskey Was the King of Drink : The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Chuck Miller, a Virginia farmer, gave up grapes for corn about twenty years ago...

Miller says he’s following in his grandfather’s Prohibition-era footsteps, but whiskey making in Virginia goes back farther than that. It began about 1620, when colonist George Thorpe figured out he could distill a mash of Indian corn. “Wee have found a waie to make soe good drink of Indian corne I have divers times refused to drinke good stronge English beare and chose to drinke that,” he wrote to his cousin in England, John Smith of Nibley.

Bourbon Drinks Page "Bourbon Drinks Page"

Bavarian Breweries & Distilleries

Pot still manufacturer - handmade copper and stainless steel from Germany/Hungary.

Beautiful stuff. Some ballpark equipment startup costs (in Euros).

Artisan distilleries find a high-end niche

Small companied discover market for hand-crafted whiskey and other spirits. Consumer news - Food Inc. -

This article from 2007 quotes Ralph Erenzo from Tuthilltown Spirits in Gardiner, N.Y. in saying that he pretty much just breaks even and has a regular job. Bottle tops are sealed with wax served up out of crockpots.

They created a wholesale liquor business from scratch. Until they landed a distributor this year, Erenzo loaded up his trunk and made the rounds to retailers from New York City to Albany.

Lee, meanwhile, learned the nuances of fermenting — things like how to retain notes of vanilla in the final product. And he relied heavily on his mechanical aptitude to install the 125-gallon still in the barn’s second floor. The unit — with its bell-shaped kettle, gauges, vapor columns, valves and pipes — looks like a science experiment, which it was.

“It took us about 2½ years from a dead stop knowing nothing about it until ’We can turn this thing on and make alcohol,”’ Erenzo said.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stranahan's = Big business whiskey?

Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)

Now, I ain't tryin' to get anyone's panties inna bunch... but Stranahan's TM was applied for by "PROXIMO SPIRITS INC".

Don't know who that is? Did you ever see the Sopranos on HBO? The character Christopher?

Yeah. That dude. He does commercials for Tequila on tv now and I think he's gonna play a cop on some new ABC series or something... anyhoo, that Tequila is "1800" which is apparently owned by Proximo, along with Hangar 1 Vodka, Kraken black spiced rum and a few other tequilas and vodkas. I just saw the Kraken bottle sitting at the Dusty Boot yesterday.

Cool logo. Curious about the TM ownership though. Stranahan's is not listed on the Proximo site.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Information on Whiskey. Best Whisky brands and how they are made

Kinda cool little site on recipes, history, styles, etc...

Barrel Eduation 101

Kentucky Whiskey Barrels1

Stave Joint
Bilge Hoop
Quarter Hoop
Head Hoop

Learn and regurgitate people.
Test on Tuesday.

This Barrel Carving company makes the heads really creatively. Very cool stuff.

Oak Barrels LTD | Barrel Information | Small Oak Barrel | Barrel Info | Wine Barrels | Oak Wine Barrel | Tequila | American Oak | Whiskey Barrels | Fermenting Vinegar | Aging Wine

Piss thru bung. (heheh)

Winter Park residents pitch Craft Distillery in Kentucky

The State Journal article

Some good info regarding capacity of Buffalo Trace contained within the article. Interesting how a CO couple wants to operate in KY (?). Beats the heck outta me. What are the advantages of doing so as opposed to doing here in this beautiful state? Does the environment make that much of a difference? Is it the land expense? Resources?