Opening a distillery: the requirements
aprire una distilleria

The distillation of alcoholic beverages is a very ancient practice, dating back to the 7th and 6th centuries BC. It has been handed down over the centuries by distillery masters. Nowadays, opening a distillery means focusing on craftsmanship and quality, it means having a product that makes a difference on the market compared to the big brands.

 

Alcohol distillation is, indeed, an artificial chemical process that produces fine spirits such as Grappa, Cognac, Whisky, Brandy, Rum, Tequila, but also Vodka and Gin.

 

The art of distillation can be learnt by anyone interested in becoming an excellent distillery master ready to open their own distillery.

 

Let’s see how to make this dream reality!

 

How to set up a distillery

 

What are the challenges and how to open a distillery nowadays?

 

In order to open a distillery, there are some bureaucratic requirements, as well as – of course – a workshop with specific equipment.

Open a distillery

The bureaucratic procedure to open a distillery follows a specific procedure:

  • Create a business plan, set up a business bank account, and register your business name at the companies house.
  • Apply for a distilling licence through the HRMC website, DLA1 form
  • Register either as a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company.
  • Permits: distillery licence issued by HRMC (DLA1 application form), register for self-assessment, business insurance and bank account, fill out form EX69 and form EX61
  • If you plan to sell your product to other businesses, register for the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme, (Excise Notice 2002)
  • Apply for verification under the Spirit Drink Verification scheme, paragraph 12

 

With regard to the equipment a distillery ought to have in its lab, here are the fundamental ones:

  • Distiller
  • Alembic
  • Boiler (with curcubit)
  • Thermometer
  • Heat source
  • Bottler
  • Corking machines
  • Filters

 

Distillation is, as a matter of fact, a process in which two or more substances are separated through evaporation and subsequently, thanks to condensation, are found in a liquid state at different concentrations. This is achieved through the distillation column with the fundamental elements mentioned above.

 

Opening a distillery: the costs

Starting out an activity such as distillation definitely requires an initial investment. In fact, one needs to consider the costs of opening a distillery. Usually, the costs can vary depending on many factors:

  • What kind of establishment one wants to buy or rent. If the premises are not up to standard for the positioning of the equipment for distillation, some restructuring works should be taken into account 
  • Purchase of the distillation column
  • Marketing investment

 

Therefore, the costs are many, and above all variable, and depend on the type of strategy you intend to pursue. In fact, if you decide to rely on experts rather than relying on the DIY approach, there are additional costs involved, but they will allow you to lighten the workload.

We are talking about the accountant, as well as advertising and marketing experts.

So it is absolutely worth getting a quote before getting down to business!

 

Requirements to open a distillery in the UK: what do you need to know

In the UK, the procedure to follow is similar to any other trading business.

Below you can find a summary of the requirements and what it is needed to open a distillery in the United Kingdom:

  • The right equipment and establishment. This means having a distillation column and a place to put the equipment for distillation. The premises must be up to standard and present all the necessary characteristics.
  • Registering either as a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company. Moreover, make sure to register your business name at the Companies house.
  • Permits: distillery licence issued by HRMC (DLA1 application form), register for self-assessment, business insurance and bank account, fill out form EX69 and form EX61