Saturday, September 12, 2015

Get whiskey quick

A few weeks ago, Chuck Cowdery blogged about yet another get whiskey quick scheme. He concludes:
Until you can make something that tastes better than Evan Williams and sells for less than $15 a bottle, you have nothing. You're just wasting your time and ours.
This sounds like a reasonable test, if you're selling a process for creating a spirit that competes directly with straight bourbon whiskey. If your process can't match the quality and price of Evan Williams Black, then your process doesn't do what you say it does.

Granted, two guys with a dream and some fancy equipment in a bay of a light manufacturing park may not themselves be able to scale costs per proof gallon to hit the $15 price point, but it would have to be possible at least in principle.

On the other hand, you may not be selling a process to investors. You could be selling a product to consumers. In which case, look! Patented techniques! Space! Oceans! Grandpaw's secret recipe!

A while back, I came up with my own test for buying a bottle of some craft whiskey:
Why am I buying this instead of Old Grand-Dad Bottled in Bond?
If I don't have a good answer, I'm not supposed to buy it.

Of course, some days, "Because I don't already have a bottle of this," counts as a good answer. "Because I'm standing in the distillery salesroom," will probably always be a good answer.

Increasingly, though, "Because I've never tried it and it's less than fifty dollars," doesn't cut it. And I think I'm past the days of, "Because I'm investing in these two guys with a dream, with my return being much better whiskey in a few years." (A corollary: I don't think I'll be buying many more $40+ bottles of craft vodka.) When a brand new distillery pre-sells out of their first MGP bourbon run at $92 a bottle... well, that market doesn't need me and I don't need it.
The OGD standard.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Time for a new hobby?

In the grocery store yesterday, I noticed an off-brand of pancake syrup. I checked the bottle. It said, "Produced in Cincinnati, Ohio."

"Ah," I thought, "but where was it made?"