Setting up a Craft Gin Business....How hard can it be???
Well it's actually really hard!!
When I had this whimsical idea walking round a little distillery shop on the Isle of Skye, never did I think it would be as hard as its been. I now know why you don't "just" set up a gin company. But you know when you get one of those ideas that just niggle and won't go away, well this was definitely one of those ideas. I then casually did some research about setting up a gin company. I quickly realised that it didn't come cheap. Setting up a small craft distillery can be anything up to £500,000. So that was a definite no!! I wondered if I could set up a craft gin for under £10,000.
I knew distilling my own gin wasn't an option so I looked into the possibility of pairing with an existing distillery to make my gin. This was an absolute minefield. I spent days on the internet researching distilleries that gave the option of doing contract gin. There were more than I thought, I began contacting the distilleries and asking for their process and costs. The quotation differences were phenomenal and I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. I eventually got an email from a distillery and I was just drawn to the company. The quote seemed reasonable and after doing some quick calculations I believed I could work with the price and process that they'd given me.
So after some back and forth a decided to settle on this distillery, so I signed a contract and started a lovely working relationship with them.
I spent time talking to their master distiller about what I actually wanted my gin to taste like. we talked through flavour profiles and my likes and dislikes. He took everything onboard and told me to leave It with him. He would create my gin and send it to be in a couple of weeks!!
It was so exciting, little did I know the hard part was yet to come.