Building a Distillery… Part 1

Building a Distillery… Part 1

It is way harder than I ever thought possible. After purchasing the property in Clearview, I figured the back of the large garage would be perfect for a distillery. The land is zoned for it, the building is detached from the residence. Perfect, start there right? I thought so..

First, drilled a well to get that great water 220 feet down. Check!

Get the back of the garage cleaned up and ready, and engage some experts to help with the paperwork with the federal government.

Garage ready – Check!

Expert engaged – Check! Then – What? Can’t do it? The first roadblock… Why can’t we use the garage? It’s detached, isn’t that a requirement? Answer.. “It’s too close to the house” Oh, like a fire hazard? No, the feds need to be able to come unannounced anytime they feel like it without a warrant. Being close to the house would allow me to claim they invaded my personal right of privacy and then anything they find would be inadmissible in a court of law. Solution – deny!

OK, so I suppose we are going to have to build a brand new building. We were planning to do that, just not right away. But, in for a penny, in for a pound. Just didn’t know exactly how many pounds.

In coming blogs I plan to share how this all came to be. How I, a construction neophyte, played general contractor. You’ll learn about the great people who helped along the way. We’ll post pictures and links to time lapse video of excavation, concrete work and the erection of the building itself.

The journey was tough, exasperating, challenging, tried my patience at times but I learned so much and over all, had a pretty good time pulling it off. We got permits April 6, 2020, broke ground April 10, 2020 and received our occupancy permit December 31, 2020.

John Wohlfert, Distiller

If you would like to follow our journey as we built our distillery here is our story. Grab a glass your favorite Wohlfert spirit and come join us on the adventure…

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