Building a Distillery Part 3

Building a Distillery Part 3

You know, something I forgot to mention.  If you are going to launch a brand you need marketing, a strategy, a message, a plan.  In 2018 we engaged a very create team of folks from a company called In-House Media + Marketing (  Nice folks, multiple award winners.  Much behind the scenes work constructing a brand etc.  Not a lot going on yet but a pile of ground work being done.  Ton’s of decisions discussion, direction, forecasts etc.  Great folks to work with.  By early 2019 much of the basics are all worked out.  We’ve printed T-Shirts and hats, made them available for sale.  It’s real and we are moving forward.












Back to the building.  Paid a deposit.

Well, it’s time to get serious.  The building company I had selected decided they no longer wanted to work Idaho and Washington.  Although we had a contract and would live up to the agreement, they offered to return my deposit.  The way I figured it, making someone do something they don’t want to do isn’t going to turn out well.  Their former sales rep was going to play general contractor.  Coordinating all the things that don’t come with a building you buy is a pile of work.  I didn’t know how big a pile yet.

Building companies sell buildings.  They don’t sell erected buildings.  That means, all the permits, dirt work, concrete, electrical etc.  That’s all up to you to figure out.  So, the search for a building was back on.  I wanted to buy local, I really did.  Sadly, most of the “pole barn” suppliers just didn’t seem interested, they were simply too busy, follow-up was iffy at best.  In the end I selected a building from Rigid Global and I have to say I’m very happy with my choice.

Now that we know the building.  Oh..  You have to commit to buy it with a deposit to get the drawings😊.. You kind of need the drawings for the permits!  OK, Done.  Believe it or not, the building is just about the cheapest thing for this whole project.  Well except for the insulation which cost almost as much as the building!

What do I need to get the ball rolling?

The next 7 months are filled with research and attempts to figure out who is going to do what.  I really didn’t want to play general contractor.  I have a full-time job.  I contacted all sorts of folks.  I knew we needed..

  • Concrete
  • Excavation
  • Erection
  • Plumbing
  • Septic
  • Electrical
  • Civil Engineering
  • Environmental Survey
  • Architect

I can handle that, especially after I started comparing quotes from “General Contractors”.  General Contractors – Don’t get me wrong, I know there is a bunch of work involved.  I know way more now, how much is involved now that I have done the job.  Yet, some of these “GCs” must think we are complete idiots. Here’s an example.  I had a GC quote me 45K for the dirt work and 35K for concrete on top of that he wanted a 10% fee.  Yep, 88K for dirt and concrete.  I got a fantastic job done by Pioneer Concrete and Excavating for both for 30K total!  WTH is going on?  When I put those numbers together plus some similarly crazy estimates from other “GCs” I knew I was going to have to DIY the GC role or I would go broke in the process. So, I am now “General Contractor” with zero experience but a desire to save what could amount to over 100 thousand dollars.


Time Marches on….

October 2019

Building Files and documents

  • County paperwork is in.
  • Project narrative
  • Application
  • Supplements
  • Traffic Study
  • SEPA checklist
  • Drainage Report
  • Drainage Plan
  • Critical Area Study
  • Vicinity Map
  • Structural and Lateral Calculations
  • Site Plan
  • Project Narrative
  • Pre-Submittal Conference Review Form
  • Architectural Plan

Land Disturbance Abatement

  • Project narrative
  • Site Plan
  • Critical Are Study
  • Drainage Plan
  • Drainage Report
  • SEPA Checklist
  • Storm Water Pollution Presentation Plan
  • Application Instructions
  • Supplements
  • Application
  • Project Narrative
  • Public Notice Agreement

Holy Moses!  As I write this, I can’t believe I did all this stuff!

The office notice of application was 11/18/2019


December 2019

The local water company.  After I had the well drilled, I contacted the water company and wanted to disconnect.  Why would I pay for water when I get it almost for free?   I’m told they can’t disconnect me!  I tell the person on the phone that we live in America and the only thing at the time I am forced to purchase whether I want to or not is Obama Care.  I’m forwarded to a supervisor who says, sure we can disconnect you, no problem.  It’ll cost several hundred bucks however, if you want to get reconnected it’ll cost you $15,000!  What?  Are you kidding me?  Nope, those are the rules.  I’m starting to get tired of playing by the rules.  So, let me get this straight.  They come, cut a pipe for several hundred bucks but to patch the pipe back up they want 15K?  Yep!  Well just what my normal monthly fee would be up to that point I had them reconnect me.  Whatever, I stayed hooked up and that turned out to be a good call.

Part 4 will cover.  The craziest year I could have ever imagined!  Yup, it gets crazier!

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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