Costs of setting up a small distillery

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Costs of setting up a small distillery

Postby Aidan » 14 May 2010, 20:07

How much, approximately, would be the initial outlay in setting up a small distillery like Abhainn Dearg?
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Re: Costs of setting up a small distillery

Postby Jude » 15 May 2010, 17:40

Where do you want to start?
Suitable Land with sufficient water that you can use (not that easy to find)
Building
Machinary
Equipment
Materials
Not to mention -
Planning permissions
Licences and enough of all types of red tape to encompass the globe.
Water
Barley
Thats before you get to Casks
3 years of nothing, if you can afford it.
Add to that all the normal expenses that goes with starting up any new business, oh and not forgetting wages.


I'll leave this open if anyone wants to add to it....................
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Re: Costs of setting up a small distillery

Postby fishboy » 15 May 2010, 18:03

Not cheap then? :D
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Re: Costs of setting up a small distillery

Postby sorren » 15 May 2010, 18:17

I would argue that in todays market its an expensive thing to start this type of business from scratch, it may be more beneficial to find a closed distillery and re open it and hope some stocks are still there... but what a great dream to own your own distillery, and all that whisky...... :thumbsup:
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Re: Costs of setting up a small distillery

Postby Pete Smoke » 15 May 2010, 18:21

Theres an excellent chapter "So you want to build a whisky distillery?" in the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2009. Too many variables to put a figure on but Frances Clotworthy of Loch Ewe states

"We began the project with £50,000. The quotes for the stills, casks and building were horrendous, and to me seemed ludicrous. Eventually, i contacted some whisky enthusiast builders, removed the word distillery from other essential quotes and looked to mainland Europe for the equipment. We completed the basics under budget."

So that means it would cost anywhere between the above and 'shit loads'!
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Re: Costs of setting up a small distillery

Postby Aidan » 15 May 2010, 19:59

I'm guessing that it would cost a lot more than imaginable, but it's something I'd consider doing in Ireland. A distillery/brewery... Just about all the closed distilleries in Ireland are demolished, unfortunately.
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Re: Costs of setting up a small distillery

Postby Nick Brown » 16 May 2010, 13:01

Pete Smoke wrote:Theres an excellent chapter "So you want to build a whisky distillery?" in the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2009. Too many variables to put a figure on but Frances Clotworthy of Loch Ewe states

"We began the project with £50,000. The quotes for the stills, casks and building were horrendous, and to me seemed ludicrous. Eventually, i contacted some whisky enthusiast builders, removed the word distillery from other essential quotes and looked to mainland Europe for the equipment. We completed the basics under budget."

So that means it would cost anywhere between the above and 'shit loads'!

Ladybank apparently found that even a million quid was not enough.
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Re: Costs of setting up a small distillery

Postby Jude » 16 May 2010, 15:36

fishboy wrote:Not cheap then? :D


Not a lotta change from a tenner ;)

I've no idea what it would cost to set up, but my guess is it isn't for the fainthearted.

If it isn't achievable on your own then partnerships are an option, which is equally scary as it leads to a dependency on others - sounds a bit like our political situation at the moment.

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Re: Costs of setting up a small distillery

Postby Mr Tattie Heid » 16 May 2010, 17:19

You couldn't even do what Loch Ewe did--it's a shoestring little place with an undersized still, pretty much a bootlegger's operation, built under a legal loophole that has since been closed. And they only age the spirit for a few weeks in 5-litre barrels, so there is no warehousing to speak of, and no investment in wood and maturation time. It's not really a commercial distillery at all.
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Re: Costs of setting up a small distillery

Postby Pete Smoke » 16 May 2010, 17:27

I know MrTH. I just thought it was an interesting quote. What was the legal loophole?
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Re: Costs of setting up a small distillery

Postby Mr Tattie Heid » 16 May 2010, 17:41

I forget exactly...Mr Clotworthy explained it to me. He was told that he couldn't operate a still that small, and he had some legal advice that said he could...they quietly approved his license and then made sure no one else would do the same.
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Re: Costs of setting up a small distillery

Postby Peat Sampras » 16 May 2010, 19:12

Mr Tattie Heid wrote:I forget exactly...Mr Clotworthy explained it to me. He was told that he couldn't operate a still that small, and he had some legal advice that said he could...they quietly approved his license and then made sure no one else would do the same.



He told it to me too on Wednesday but that kind of stuff is hard to remember after the influence of some new make and a few drams at the famous bar :)
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