What can attendees expect to take away from that session?
AP: The goal of this session is to give attendees a broad understanding of the many facets of running a distilling business. We will go as in-depth as possible on each topic while still covering the breadth of material needed to touch on each area of importance to attendees. Attendees will leave with a variety of recommendations on further reading and resources to help them dig into topics deeper as they continue in the industry.
CM: The session will be a firehose of information. Folks will walk away with some high-order overviews, handouts from each of the presenters, the notes they take and some great new relationships both with the presenters and with their classmates as well. We see it as an opportunity for ongoing dialogues and assistance with the presenters, peers and ACSA’s membership. It takes a village to raise a child and to successfully launch a business.
JH: The most important thing we hope to give the attendees is a solid list of network contacts that can help them get to where they want to be—whether it’s a vendor with a specific specialty or a person that can point them in the right direction.
What was the motivation behind including Start-Up Distillery 101 this year?
AP: The motivation was to ensure than all aspiring industry members have access with top notch education. We tried to remove as many barriers to this education as possible to help more people elevate their knowledge.
JH: We have often been told that one of the deficits of our education programming is we provide such high-level info, that we miss the newcomers to our industry. We want to change that and make sure everyone, regardless of background or industry experience, has opportunities to come and learn with us.
CM: We know that the better each of us does, the better we all do together. Assisting new entrants with identifying potential blind spots, tools to help solve for those, and folks who can help them along the way, is the best way we know to ensure that new distillery owners are building businesses with strong foundations, which will become healthy peers in our industry. We’re excited to help everyone feel setup for success.
Could you give us a quick outline of how the course is going to be structured and what topics will be covered?
CM: The class is all day Saturday and Sunday morning. Saturday we’ll cover Business & Financial considerations in the morning including Insurance, Exit Strategies, Cash Flow, and Policies, to name a few. Then we turn the rest of the day’s attention to Production & Safety. We’ll discuss everything from selecting a site, raw materials and equipment to safety, including preventing accidents, OSHA compliance and how to develop a Safety Program. We’ll dig into some chemistry and recipe development and touch in on TTB compliance as well. We close Saturday with a cocktail reception including our speakers so attendees can get a little extra time with those they might want to hear more from. Saturday’s a big day.
Sunday we devote the morning to sales & marketing. We’ll talk about packaging and branding, revenue generation decision making, sales Plans vs. marketing plans, working with distributors and leveraging relationships. By noon Sunday, our goal is to help open attendees to a scope of new questions and to have some of those questions answered as well.