frequently asked questions
How does BoozeWerks Use Affiliate Links and Outside Promotion?
BoozeWerks will use affiliate programs to enable access to platforms and vendors we support. Most links on this website are simply to help direct our clients to quality services. However, some links on this website will earn us a small commission. We do our best to disclose affiliate links in plain sight (usually right next to the link).
If you are going to use services we support- please consider going through our affiliate links! It helps us continue to broaden the industry connections.
Lastly, if you are a former client, we’d love to highlight your work! We are proud of the work we have done around the world and want our name associated with your success- but only with your approval.
Reach out to Jake Bradfield if you’d like to help contribute to our blogs, posts, and research content!
What makes a distillery a 'craft' distillery?
While there is no set definition as to what constitutes a craft distillery, two of the largest craft distillery organizations, American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) and American Distilling Institution (ADI), have laid out some general qualifications that are similar in nature and widely accepted throughout the industry.
According to the ACSA, a craft distillery is:
- A distillery that produces fewer than 750,000 gallons annually.
- A distillery that is independently owned and operated, with more than a 75% equity stake in their company, or operational control.
According to the ADI, a craft distillery is:
- Independently-Owned: Less than 25% of the craft distillery (distilled spirits plant or DSP) is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by alcoholic beverage industry members who are not themselves craft distillers.
- Small-Scale: Maximum annual sales are less than 100,000 proof gallons.
Hands-on Production: Craft distillers produce spirits that reflect the vision of their principal distillers using any combination of traditional or innovative techniques including fermenting, distilling, re-distilling, blending, infusing or warehousing.
While these requirements are important, the spirit of your spirit (pun intended) is what really matters. If your focus is on waking up every morning, rolling up your sleeves and distilling the best spirit you can using the best locally-sourced ingredients, then you are indeed the proud owner of a craft distillery.
I'm starting an alcohol producing business, when should I bring in a consultant?
Bringing in a business consultant as early in the planning process as possible is best. However, we understand that many who are in the early planning stages of their alcohol business may not be able to hire a consultant.
Regardless of who you hire, you should chat with a consultant, engineer, or appropriate professional before you begin to order equipment (like mash tuns, stills, presses, boilers, etc.) and again before you plan out your production space.
Many BoozeWerks clients leverage our services for discrete questions, and we are very comfortable popping “in” and “out” of a project, particularly early in the feasibility analysis stage.
Our exploratory calls are free, so please contact us, and let’s explore your idea together!
Will you travel on-site to help me with my distillery/winery/brewery?
On-site and in-person is always best! BoozeWerks has provided services to facilities on five continents!
Depending on the type of assistance that you need, our team will make all travel arrangements to work with you on-site. The best use for on-site travel is for new investor pitches, commissioning a facility or expansion, evaluating your current production process for inefficiencies and flaws, or constructing new parts of your operations.
All travel and on-site work is unique and the cost is negotiated up-front. Schedule a free hour-long consultation with our team so we can understand your goals and uncover the best ways to move forward.
How does BoozeWerks drive my project if they are NOT on-site?
It is not in our best interest to rack up travel expenses! Our team is digitally fluent and will leverage all forms of collaborative video and telephone conferencing software, email, SMS texts, and WhatsApp Chat (particularly useful for international clients). One member or our team even has limited experience with homing pigeons, if that is how you roll.
We also integrate with common engineering, architecture, marketing, and collaboration platforms, including AutoCAD, Adobe, GoogleEarth Pro, WordPress, Divi Suite, Mailchimp (and other lead magnet systems), Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, and the ubiquitous Microsoft Office 365 suite.
What are some of the services that a consultant can provide?
While the services of a consultant vary from company to company, the most common services include business planning, product selection, manufacturing process improvements, facility & production floor design, determining ingredient capacity requirements, equipment sizing and sourcing, utility usage and optimization, production floor improvements, TTB compliance, automation implementation, and growth planning.
Do I need an architect to start my craft brewery/distillery/winery?
Having an architect on your team can be extremely helpful when it comes time to build your facility. Once an engineer has determined what you need to run your facility (everything from equipment sizes and piping to fire codes and sprinkler placement), there’s still the matter of arranging everything in a functional way that’s conducive to operating your business. An architect will work closely with your engineer to bring to life all the planning done thus far to create a facility that’s functional and aesthetic.
What is a distillery/brewery/winery engineer?
An engineer is a problem solver and leader in the application of science in the real world. They take a complex situation, analyze all possible outcomes, and present solutions that improve and enhance the initial state of things. The engineer will help to determine capacity and production requirements, select the proper equipment for creating your spirits/beers/wines, design your production floor, and ensure all federal, state, and local regulations are met (among other things).
An engineer also holds a four-year degree in engineering, possesses real-world experience in the industries, and solves problems for facility owners. There is also an industry-recognized certification that engineers can apply for, a Professional Engineer. To be licensed as a Professional Engineer (PE)—in addition to a four-year college degree—engineers must work under a Professional Engineer for at least four years, pass two intensive competency exams and earn a license from their state’s licensure board. Devin, our lead distillery engineer is a PE.
What's the difference between a consultant and an engineer?
A consultant is a broad term that refers to anyone who has experience working in or with distilleries/breweries/wineries and can consult with business owners on different aspects of their business. There is no formal certification to be a consultant, but a good consultant understands how to dissect a problem, weigh the potential solutions, and leverage their network of experts to drive a project into reality. Jakob MBA, ICGB (Booze Engineer) and David ph.D (Staff Microbiologist) have engineering experience but are consultants by title.
How do I know if I've selected the right facility for my winery/brewery/distillery?
The first step in determining whether or not a building will work for your new craft alcohol business is to consider what you’ll be doing with the facility. Once we understand exactly what you’ll be making in your location—whether it’s a single vs multiple different spirits, lagers vs. ales, or wine varietals and ciders—we can help you maximize both your horizontal and vertical space to ensure that equipment and team members fit safely in your new facility.
Who else should I consider hiring to start my craft distillery/winery/brewery?
We understand that startup budgets are tight. However, we suggest that you seriously consider hiring a professional architect (preferably an architect with some craft alcohol experience) and an MEP team (Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing). A few other people to consider bringing on include a structural engineer and a civil engineer. If you’re unsure which people you need, it’s always best to check with your business consultant.