5 Must Have Apps for Your Distillery

5 Must Have Apps for Your Distillery

Running a craft distillery tends to be like giving a rabid cat a bath in the middle of a tornado. Most of them are run on rather slim margins, and even if they are deep in the black, it isn’t like they are overflowing with personnel. The big, corporate distilleries have foreign investors throwing millions into their stock. Craft guys and gals have their dreams and lots of coffee. That is why they need to take every edge they can get, and productivity apps can be exactly that.

Hooch Apps

Hooch Apps

Everyone has a smartphone, whether they like it or not, and businesses taking advantage of this new fixture of life is nothing new. I’m not just talking about Facebook taking all your data and doing unspeakable horrors to it either. I remember seeing a trucker struggling with an iPhone a few years back, and after striking up a conversation with him, I came to learn it wasn’t his.

How Your Distillery Can Simplify Year End Paperwork

How Your Distillery Can Simplify Year End Paperwork

Wouldn't it be nice if all we had to do to complete our year-end reports was to press one single button, and POOF…it would all be magically done? Yes, it would. And maybe when some genius finally creates an accounting-bot (a Hooch-Bot) like something from Star Wars that will do everything for you. Until we figure out a way to make a real-life Hooch-Bot, you have Hoochware. It's close to a Hooch-bot already. It just lives in your browser instead of beeping around the office.

New Years Resolutions for Distilleries

New Years Resolutions for Distilleries

As we languish in the midst of the Christmas hangover (not a literal hangover, but the quiet after the storm of family, road trips to see them, and all the wrapping paper and toys scattered on the floor), we look into the future. Or at least a week away into New Year’s Day. That magical day, for some reason, where we reevaluate our life decisions and get inspired to make permanent and drastic changes that last almost until the end of January. That’s when gym memberships spike. It’s the typical “New year. New me.” B.S. we roll our eyes at when that one friend we have says they are going to change.

5 Ways Distillery Software Simplifies Running a Craft Distillery

5 Ways Distillery Software Simplifies Running a Craft Distillery

Running a distillery is hard work, and it isn’t just in the physical labor side of things we are talking about here. The owner and managers are always on the move. There are the usual things like playing phone tag with vendors, staff meetings, meeting outgoing orders, reordering ingredients, bottles, and other raw materials. Then there are the wildcard days where you find out that part of the rackhouse’s roof is leaking, the company van decides to break down on the interstate, or a critical worker calls out with the flu on the worst possible day to call out on. Once all those fires are contained, it’s time to make sure all the paperwork is in order – assuming it wasn’t the paperwork that had to be done in the middle of said fires.

New Tax Reform Could Help Small Craft Distilleries

New Tax Reform Could Help Small Craft Distilleries

I say it would be hard to find anyone in the liquor business that is 100% behind what the government does to us. And that feeling doesn’t have anything to do with which party is in power either.

Accounting for Alternating Proprietorships & Contract Distilling

Accounting for Alternating Proprietorships & Contract Distilling

One increasingly common practice in the liquor industry is contract distilling or having alternating proprietorships. With the maze of laws and regulations that the states and federal bodies force distilleries to go through, it should come as no surprise that bringing in someone else adds to the complication. The TTB red tape is enough of a headache as it is. And if generic accounting software like QuickBooks doesn't handle the standard side of a distillery's books all that well, it will turn contract distilling and alternating proprietorships into an absolute horror show.

What Your Distillery Can Learn from Going to Tradeshows

What Your Distillery Can Learn from Going to Tradeshows

There was once some wise individual who said something to the effect, “Just shut up and listen, will ya’.” It’s good advice for life, and it’s something that can work for craft distillery tradeshows as well. Sure, tradeshows are mainly about self-promotion and getting distributors, restaurants, and other vendors to notice your fine spirits. After all, you need to get people to buy your liquor to make money. There is more a distillery owner or manager can do other than promoting their brand, and that is watch, listen, and learn.

Tips for Distillery Managers

Tips for Distillery Managers

Distillery managers have a tough job. On the one hand, they’re working at a company that has to make a profit, just like any other cubicle farm in the big city. On the other, making spirits is more than a job. It’s a calling steeped in tradition. There is an inherent level of passion found in people working at all levels of a distillery that doesn’t exist in companies that make gaskets or slip covers.

Choosing the Right Distillery Software

Choosing the Right Distillery Software

There’s a good chance that, if you happen to be a distillery owner or are part of the management team of one, google has slipped several ads for distillery software into the webpages you visit. There are a ton of choices out there, but just like the liquor industry, there are the top-shelf accounting software suites and the bottom of the barrel rotgut some companies churn out to turn a quick buck. There’s a good chance that, if you happen to be a distillery owner or are part of the management team of one, google has slipped several ads for distillery software into the webpages you visit. There are a ton of choices out there, but just like the liquor industry, there are the top-shelf accounting software suites and the bottom of the barrel rotgut some companies churn out to turn a quick buck.

Advantages of Distillery Software

Advantages of Distillery Software

Owning and operating a distillery requires a lot of working capital and resources, and not just in terms of money. It takes a good deal of time, along with a unique level of expertise, to make the liquor. Then it needs to be marketed and gotten to your vendors, which requires even more experts handling the business side of things. There are also a ton of rules and regulations a distillery must adhere to while doing all of this. Keeping track of it all is a daunting task.

The History of "Bottled-In-Bond"

The History of "Bottled-In-Bond"

As a small business owner, working in a heavily regulated industry, having to deal with all the rules and red tape to get even the simplest things done can grate on the nerves something terrible. It seems like every other week there is either a new rule we have to work with, or an existing one gets made more complicated. And the government is strict with all sides of the liquor industry. Other businesses can get away with a lot more than we can.

Whiskey Econ 101

Whiskey Econ 101

One of the big questions lots of people asks when they get that first idea about opening a distillery is, “How is the hard liquor market doing?” They probably already heard enough that it’s doing well, but how well? Is it just the big boys raking in the cash or can a small independent operator make a good living?

Legal Liquor in Alabama and What it Means to You

Legal Liquor in Alabama and What it Means to You

Well about a year ago, The John Emerald Distilling Company put out the first whisky to be legally distilled in Alabama in 100 years. That’s wonderful news. It was a pretty small batch, but a lucky few get to sample some wonder regional liquor from the Yellow Hammer State. It also highlights a major problem facing many men and women with dreams of opening their own distillery.

Finding the Perfect Distillery Solution Supplier

Finding the Perfect Distillery Solution Supplier

One thing about the distillery industry is that nothing ever stays the same. As soon as a new bunch of politicians get elected, there comes the new and/or changed laws and regulations – usually right after we just got used to the old ones. There also seems to be a new trend popping up every other week, for better or worse. And new markets emerge along with other distilleries trying to do the same thing you are.

5 Things Craft Distilleries Need to Know about Generation Z

5 Things Craft Distilleries Need to Know about Generation Z

First off, they aren’t Millennials, but they are close. Also keep in mind that half of them aren’t quite legal drinking age yet, so be careful you don’t pull a Phillip Morris by targeting those too young to legally buy your booze. Even by accident.

Market Your Craft Liquor—3 Tips for Marketing to the Back to College Crowd

Market Your Craft Liquor—3 Tips for Marketing to the Back to College Crowd

It’s getting close to back to school time. Many of the people running distilleries might not take notice. After all, the first thoughts that spring to mind are crayons, backpacks, and notebooks for the kids. Hard liquor isn’t on the list there. But there is one group going back to school this fall who might be a good idea to market to. College students.

Favorite Presidential Hard Drinks

Favorite Presidential Hard Drinks

Every job has its own bits of stress that goes along with it, and that goes double for being President of the United States. Even during the years without wars and depressions, there’s always the other headaches that come from running the country. Past or present it doesn’t matter. It’s no surprise that most of our presidents liked a drink or three to deal with the long days, or to start one off. Most of them stuck to beers, wine, or various kinds of liquor. Not that there’s anything wrong with those choices, but a few of our past leaders liked drinks that were a little more exotic or exciting.

5 Habits of Successful Distillery Owners

5 Habits of Successful Distillery Owners

It takes more than big dreams and good recipes to run a successful distillery. Just because it’s a passion doesn’t mean that it isn’t a business that needs all the usual attention a business requires. It takes a lot to make a distillery successful. Going in willy-nilly and hoping things spontaneously work out is a sure way to failure. Some industry veterans will give any budding distillery owner tons of advice - some good, some more of an entertaining anecdote. It’s a great way to learn. If you don’t get a chance to talk to one of these gurus, here are five things to keep in mind if you want your distillery to be a success.

The Taxman Loves Your Liquor

The Taxman Loves Your Liquor

We all know that old saying, “The only sure things in life are death and taxes.” It’s also ironic how much liquor is taxed, considering taxes are one of the big reasons we have the occasional drink. We all understand that taxes are a necessary evil…part of the time. We need roads, a strong military, and good schools. What our tax dollars all too often get us are shrimp running on treadmills and schools that produce high school graduates who can’t read the diploma they’re given.

A Lesson in Rackhouse and Proof

A Lesson in Rackhouse and Proof

Most people go through life enjoying whatever products they use, without ever considering what it takes to make them, let alone make them good. It’s human nature. We have enough on our minds without wasting time wondering how they get the plastic straws wrapped up in their paper sheaths. Still, some things are more important than plastic straws and people should know how much work goes into making something amazing. And by something amazing, I mean craft whiskey and bourbon, or any worthwhile liquor.

The Hardest State to Start a Distillery

The Hardest State to Start a Distillery

Saying which state is the hardest to open a craft distillery in is a hard question to answer. The laws and regulations in one state are different than another, plus there’s the federal regulations to deal with, but they each poses their own unique problems that will be harder for some to beat than others. Some states have old laws still on the books from back during prohibition, others laws are there because of modern moralist/ temperance fanatics. Then you have the ones that are there to protect the people making all the money.

Put a Lid on the Barrel Management Nightmare

Put a Lid on the Barrel Management Nightmare

For some craft distillers, finding a barrel in the warehouse is comparable to finding metaphorical homework your dog ate. Yes, you know you did it, but you have no clue where it is or even where to begin looking. In rows of literally hundreds upon hundreds of whiskey barrels, it’s like looking for one special needle in a pile of needles…

Combat the Two Most Common Headaches for Distillers:  TTB Reports and Inventory Control

Combat the Two Most Common Headaches for Distillers: TTB Reports and Inventory Control

For most distillers, TTB audits make them wish that prohibition still existed and that bathtub hooch sold in speak easies was a modern day reality. After all, secretly distilling whiskey and competing with Al Capone himself to sell your brand on the black market is comparably easier than complying with the government regulations in contemporary craft distilling.