“When are you opening?” That’s the question we get all the time. Believe me, I wish I knew. I had hoped we would have a soft opening by the end of October, but here it is October 21, already. We both knew that this adventure was going to be a struggle, but I don’t think either one of us realized how the mini projects would slow us down.
One project that is taking much longer than I thought is the labeling. I first ran into budget issues when it came to designing the labels and I couldn’t hire a designer. Therefore I had to create them myself. While being able to create them is fulfilling, the learning curve ate up a big chunk of time. Currently I have four labels created, two have been approved and two are still awaiting approval. I thought the label approval would be the hardest part–wrong! I soon learned that my custom label design (cut-out) would require a custom die cut from the label printer. That is another $300-$400 per die. So, I put my fake graphic designer hat back on and did some redesigning. I now have my label designed for a standard die cut. I was fortunate enough to have done these changes before the TTB requested label corrections. That was an interesting experience as well—a story for another time. Nonetheless, I was able to resubmit the new design. The next step was to decide which label maker to use and what paper do I want. I worked with 3 different companies to get quotes and made a decision yesterday. I’m now waiting to see a sample and hope to have labels in the next couple weeks. I started this label process 4 months ago.
Along with the labels our other hold up is the gas company. Dave had to convert our gas line to a larger pipe size. This is now causing the gas company to do some internal engineering with an approval process. We were initially told that it would take 1 to 2 months to get us hooked up. I got word today that they hope to have the gas hook up in a couple of weeks. I still have a page long “to-do” list but it’s probably only about 30 hours of work. Dave has some final plant hook-up tasks and the tasting room is 85% done. We are getting close.
Now back to the question, “When are we opening?” If we can get the natural gas hooked up in two weeks and I get my labels, I am hoping to be open by Thanksgiving. However, this will be a soft opening. We haven’t been able to run any product yet because we don’t have the natural gas to fuel our boiler which will heat the stills. We will only have a couple of products available at the start. This wasn’t our plan, but as I have mentioned before our plan may not be His plan.
Thank you all for your support. We are working hard to get the doors open to welcome you in.
Dave, Shelly & Hank, aka “Bad Dog”
One would think that Dave and I are the people behind Bad Dog Distillery. That is far from the truth. There are many people behind Bad Dog Distillery. Without our friends’ and family’s help we would not be able to do it.
Dave’s good friend Mark Y. spent at least 2 solid weeks helping Dave build the tasting room. They even did the majority of the tasting room design. I think one of the conversations went, “the bigger the log beams the better”. And they are big for sure.
Dave’s other good friend Marc T. has spent quite a few of his Friday and Saturday days off helping. Allan has been the “offsite-gathering-equipment” guy. He found Dave the boiler and coordinated the pickup. I think he also played part in finding us some doors. Son-in-law, Daniel, and his buddy Dave are helping with figure out how to get the boiler hooked up. My daughter’s best friend’s husband and brother-in-law helped with our sprinkler system. Dave even had a client come in and help with some architectural design ideas.
I’ve had help too. My daughters, Taylor and cousin Jesi help find our brand essence’s three words, which are Simple, Neighborly, Tradition. Cousin Holly and I tackled the job of cleaning the disgusting bathrooms. Alyssa has been stopping by the distillery almost every night after work. She’s done be data input for me.
So you can see the people behind Bad Dog Distillery are all you. Without your help Bad Dog Distillery would be just a dream. Thank you every one!!
Oh….. stay tune….. work party for paint will be planned soon.
Thank you for all of your support,
Shelly & Dave
I have found that many people don’t know what a distillery is. Many get it confused with a brewery and they think we are going to brew beer. I like beer and have brewed beer, but I would rather drink it than make it.
A distillery makes hard alcohol like whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, etc. The process of making distilled spirits starts off much of the same as making beer. We start by combining some basic ingredients such as grains, yeast & water. Of course each product’s recipe varies. The grains breakdown and convert the starches to sugars. With the help of the yeast and enzymes the sugar is converted into alcohol. This is where the similarity ends between beer and distilled spirits. Once the yeast and sugar has done their jobs we drain off the spent grains. We take the remaining liquid and pour it into the still. Alcohol’s boiling point is lower than water so it vaporizes first. It is then condensing by cooling the vapor, and collecting the resulting liquid commonly known as alcohol.
I’m sure you can tell by now, I am not the expert distiller. This is so very true, but I’m learning from a great teacher. If you want to learn more, I encourage you to visit our tasting room and plant when we open in the fall of 2014. Dave is a great teacher.
I hope that helps clear up some confusing between a brewery—that makes beer and a distillery—that makes hard alcohol.
Have a wonderful evening,
Here’s the logo that Fresh Bread Design did for us. We really liked it but it’s the right decision to not use it. If you’re curious, Google Bad Dog Bitters. I think you will agree.
The rough out of the tasting room. Note the large beams, aka logs to me. Also to the left is me sitting at my desk in the upstairs office.
Great news! Bad Dog Distillery is approved to operate as a Distilled Spirit Plant. It’s amazing how fast this happened. According to the TTB website the average wait time for a DSP is 120 days. Ours was approved around 42 days. The next step is to get approved by Washington State.
Now that the paperwork is done, it’s crunch time to get the tasting room done. Dave, Mark and Marc along with other friends have been hard at it. The guys decided to use large beams instead of TGI joists (manufactured). So they headed up to our local Oso sawmill and got logs. Once the structure is up it will be us girls’ turn to finish the décor and painting. This will be the fun part.
Another exciting thing for me is Dave built stairs to what is now my office at the distillery. As I type I’m sitting in my office complete with internet!! Most don’t know that we haven’t been able to get DSL at our house. This is a real treat for me. No more having to cram stuff in on my lunch breaks.
We had one slight set back this week. We settled on a logo, but I found that Bad Dog Bitters has a very similar one. Alyssa and I both agreed we better change ours. So…back to the drawing board. It’s really not that big of a deal. We haven’t used it in any marketing yet.
Stay tune for our new logo…..
Cheers & blessing,
Shelly, Dave & Hank (aka Bad Dog)
Here’s a picture of the walls for the bathroom hallway. Not too exciting, but exciting for us. This is something we’ve been talking about for 9 months now.