Talk to a Business Insurance Broker Before Starting a Craft Distillery Business


For some people, there’s really nothing better than winding down with a nice glass of wine after a long day. For a long time, you’ve been turning the idea of producing your own brand from a recipe you proudly call your own, and imagine, how people would love winding down with your beverage.

A Booze of One’s Own-The Micro Distillery Boom

You may toy with the idea of starting a micro-distillery, also known as craft distillery, which is essentially a small-scale version of the world’s biggest distilleries where drinks are blended from highly varied ingredients to bring classic or new spirit to the market. You can produce virtually any type of liquor there is, but the real challenge to carve out a niche for yourself is in creating drinks no one would find anywhere else but in your very own distillery.

Ten years ago, craft distilleries were few and far-between: only 70 existed throughout the nation. Now that number has grown to a total of 623, producing new interpretation of classic spirits from whiskey, gin, vodka, and rum, Washington, Colorado, and Michigan are the top three states when it comes to craft distilling. But if you wish to join this elite group, you need to face a mountain of preparations at hand.

For one, new craft distillers will have to face a lot of legal hurdles to obtain their licenses. Federal approval is what some distillers would term as a “huge background check” where every detail of your life is put to question. Getting a license on the state level isn’t as involved as nationally, but things can get tricky because every state has its own set of rules and regulations; meaning, what works in Arizona may not work in Michigan or elsewhere. Some distillers find the regulations taxing, but this is just one of the things needed to get through to get a foothold in the market, where people are increasingly into experiencing localized brews.

Licensing is only the tip of the iceberg, though. A craft distiller must be absolutely savvy about the industry—sales, accounting, production, marketing, pricing, distribution, and regulations. A distiller must also be highly aware of (and be prepared for) the different risks involved in craft distilling, such as business-busting incidents like equipment breakdown, product recalls, loss from theft, and product contaminations. To know what safeguards need to be in place, and to protect yourself against extreme losses, it’s important to have an experienced business insurance agent from firms like Allied Insurance Managers, Inc. They can explain the conditions and features of the policies they offer that your business might need, including property and liability coverage, risk management, and worker’s compensation.

Bottom line is, coordinating with the right companies and getting support from a trusted business insurance broker, coupled with sheer determination and passion, can turn your craft distillery into a sound and profitable venture.

(Source: A Booze of One’s Own: The Micro Distillery Boom, April 6, 2012)

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Headquartered in Rochester Hills, Mich., Allied Insurance Managers is one of the largest, privately-owned, independent insurance agencies in Michigan.