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Breaking Into the Boys Club: How to Become a Female Distiller

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Alcohol distillation, specifically that of spirits, has long been depicted as a “boys club”. This male domination of the industry has often seen key female distillers get cropped out of the main picture. Until recently, that is. Since late 2018/early 2019, more traction has been gained in shining the light on female distillers, women who are crafting some of the most complex and tantalising beverages of this generation.

These prominent women, in whatever part they play in the spirits industry, be it as the distiller, ambassador, and so on, are helping to pave the way for more women to hone their crafts. If you have the drive to succeed in this industry, you can break into that boys club and help become one of the next defining female distillers.

As you’d expect, the road to launching your own distillery isn’t an easy one. In fact, some have argued that it’s one of the trickier industries to enter into. Nonetheless, that isn’t a reason to give up on your business plans now — if you want to become part of something special, you need to put the time in and start doing so now.

Know Your Costs

Mapping out a plan of your business and its development is one of the main ways you’ll be able to identify any grey areas that need adjustments. As previously mentioned, opening an distillery is a huge feat, especially when you’re a craft distiller, which is why banks can often be weary about lending you money. They deem the risks too high. As a result, it’s best to draw up a costing plan before you get up and running; you need to know the size of your intended distillery, and the primary location, as well as ongoing expenses that will eventually become a part of the business as you grow.

Size Is Important

Most distilleries, even the small ones, take up a lot of space. Consequently, running your business out of the spareroom in your house and/or the garage isn’t going to cut it. It’s not surprising that ample space is needed when you consider the varying sizes of the equipment you’ll likely purchase. Stills alone come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, as do the cooling systems you’ll need to house your liquor, like those from G&D Chillers. Then on top of that, there’s fermenters, condensers, cookers, etc — in short, roomy accommodation is a distinct advantage.

You Need Licensing

It doesn’t matter where you live, a liquor license is a must-have essential of the trade. What is more, due to you creating alcohol as well as distributing it, you’ll need to take into account any additional regulations that your county/state might have. For example, in the UK, you need to own a license for every property you distill spirits in.

Business Banking Is Your Friend

When you’re just starting out, it’s tempting to leave your business costs as part of your personal account(s). However, not only does this almost guarantee future complications when it comes to working out business expenses and taxes, but you also miss out on the specific protections that business accounts offer. By keeping the two separate, you’ll be able to remain organized, all while steadily building a good credit score for your business.

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