Well, only a year since the last post! Let no-one say this business is for sissies! What a year it has been since we opened our doors in December 2017. What began as a retirement project has grown into something a little more substantial. And it has been a year of highs and lows as we learn about the industry, its products and its peculiarities.
As I write, I am sitting in Sydney, Australia, here to attend the Australian Distillers Association conference on the weekend in Adelaide. As I did in my previous company, it is nice to try to benchmark what we do in South Africa against what is happening elsewhere in the world, to learn as much as I can about the world of craft spirits, and to open up opportunities.
And at last, our new look website is up and running. Lots more to add to it, but the bones of it are here. Thanks to Rochelle who worked above and beyond the initial scope with love and passion. Hope you like what it is now, and what it will become.
And hopefully, as things settle down in the distillery, there will be a bit more time to add some more reflective notes in the blog – at least more than once a year!
Until then, grab a bottle and enjoy the summer!
Well – it’s September 2017, and after nearly two years of thinking, planning, drinking and getting involved in a myriad of things that have nothing to do with making premium craft spirits, we are nearly at the starting line.
Opening a craft distillery, at least on the scale we have set out to do, is not for the faint hearted.!
It needs deep pockets, endless patience in dealing with things (people, suppliers and organizations) outside one’s control, and a deep and unwavering self-belief. It is after all, one of the most regulated industries that exists, and if one wants to operate ethically and legally, as we do, it’s the name of the game.
There have been many great moments, and if one takes time to try to enjoy the long journey rather than fixate on the destination, there is joy and great satisfaction to be gained from knocking the problems on the head one by one.
The learning curve has been huge, and apart from the challenge of the chemistry, biology and physics that go hand in hand with mastering the art and science of distillation, we now know more about drainage, cooling systems, plumbing, construction, legislation, and process control than we ever cared to know! So perhaps there will be a few blogs reflecting on lessons learned over the first few phases of getting started, and hopefully more musings to come about the really fun things which we believe are around the corner.