Sarah and I have found that our distillery start-up is a great conversation piece. People seem to be very interested in the making of spirits and, of course, spirits themselves. Each of these conversations always includes one question from the other party: How did you get into this? The first couple of times Sarah or I was confronted with this simple question, we stammered a bit. There were many answers to the question, but we had not quite worked out a concise and coherent one. While we had devoted quite a bit of time and effort in developing a business plan, and spent hours talking our plans and dreams through, we really had never stopped and really thought about the why.
Having been faced with answering that ubiquitous question enough times, I decided to take some time and find a concise and coherent response. However, like most questions in life, even the seemingly simple ones, it turned out that there is not a single answer. From my perspective, we have started on this journey for five primary reasons.
First, Sarah and I are happiest when we are creative. This creative urge was awakened within me through my relationship with Sarah. Her creativity and openness to new experiences brought those latent attributes out of me. Beginning a craft distillery has fed our need to be creative and learn. From the name of the business, to the selection of the equipment, to the process engineering and naming of the spirits, this venture requires a great deal of creativity and thought. We are thriving on this.
Second, we actually enjoy working together. Since we have been a couple, Sarah and I have worked well together. Our talents and competencies are complimentary, making our teamwork extremely efficient and fruitful. We have recognized this for many years, and have been waiting for the opportunity to take our teamwork to a business level. Craft distilling is that opportunity.
Third, we enjoy fine food, wine and spirits. Luckily for our waistlines, overall health, and bank accounts, we tend to naturally enjoy all these things in moderation. We also enjoy food and beverages when they are locally produced and we can talk to those who made them. There is something special about speaking to the farmer, chef, vintner, brewer or distiller and hearing their stories and their whys. We find it fun and meaningful. Our craft distilling start-up allows us to become a part of this tradition.
Fourth, as we have grown older, the natural world has become more and more important to us. We love our farmhouse and surrounding lands in the Adirondacks. We love hiking and kayaking in the Adirondacks and in Maine. There is personal empowerment and restoration that comes from spending time in nature. These are two of the core principles that W.H.H. Murray sought to instill in American culture throughout his life. These principles have become important parts of Sarah’s and my life, and we want to impart that through our spirits. We want you to drink a bit of the fine, while experiencing Nature’s restorative powers.
Finally, the timing is right. The craft distilling industry is in its beginning stages, much like craft brewing was twenty or thirty years ago. The industry is humming and the people we meet are super interesting and inspirational. We feel it’s a great time to try something new and join the craft distillery movement.
So, is there an “elevator pitch” to sum all of this up? Maybe…
“Our craft distilling start-up allows us to feed our creative cravings and take advantage of complimentary talents, while indulging our passion for fine, local beverages and advocate for the restorative importance of nature.”
Oh, and the timing seems right.
Co-founder of Murray's Fools Distilling Co. | Altona. NY