It's been awhile since we've updated this page, but it hasn't been for lack of activity - on the contrary, things have been busier than ever. In the last two weeks, we've had several substantial leaps forward with the preparations and wanted to catch you up.
The biggest news is that we have now cleared all hurdles in terms of zoning, permits, and inspections - which means we can officially begin production at the end of the week! We started the first part of this paperwork in January 2016, so we are thrilled to be at this point in the journey. Over the last month, we have had two different audiences with the Town of Burke to work out the terms of our Conditional Use Permit and a final public hearing at the Dane County Zoning & Land Regulations on April 25th. A special thanks to Brenda Ayers and the Planning Commission in Burke for being so supportive of our efforts and for their help in thinking through solutions that would be beneficial to both the township and our business.
What does the Conditional Use Permit approval mean for you? More to come on the specifics, but in general, it means we will be able to have certain times where you will be welcome to visit us, try the products and learn about the process of distilling. These will be limited to a few hours on specific days and they won't be every week, but we would love to show you what we've been up to over here. Keep an eye out for more information in a few weeks.
Before you come visit, of course, we need to have something for you to drink and buy. The second and larger still was delivered this week, along with bottles and other supplies. A reverse osmosis (RO) system has been installed so we can control the water quality going into your products and a closed-loop cooling system will be coming together very soon. The major benefit of the closed-loop system is that it will massively reduce the water waste that many breweries and distilleries have as part of the post-distillation chilling process. We are running on a well system in our location and also want to be good environmental stewards, so we saw this an investment that would be worth the upfront cost. In addition to the equipment, we've been spending a lot more time studying the science of distilling. Dave did an intensive training in Amsterdam a few weeks ago with other craft distillery owners from around with world and has been itching to turn on the equipment ever since. [Another blog post highlighting his travels there will be coming next week.]
The space has also had another round of more aesthetic improvements. Nick and crew installed beams, additional lighting and hung up the fantastic, custom art panels that you see in the picture posted with this post. The panels are a series meant to capture the distilling process and were created by Kristin Hanson, a cousin of Nick and Amy's. We know that many of you will be interested in purchasing prints of these designs and are working on a process to make that happen.
Amy has been hard at work on setting up all the financial systems that will allow you to purchase spirits and other Two Tall gear and we'll be rolling that out in the next month or so. The complicated tax laws in the alcohol space make this work much more intensive than it likely sounds and we are very grateful for Amy's persistence in making sure all of those financial structures are in place.
Finally, the t-shirts we previewed a few weeks ago are getting much closer to production and we'll let you know when the online and in-person purchasing systems are ready. Shirts that can be ordered in wholesale and also come in Tall are hard to find (shocker!) so it's taken some extended investigative work to get the right mix of products. And don't worry -there will still be great options for those of you that are tall in spirit but more petite in stature.
That's all for now from TTD - continued thanks to all of you for your on-going interest and support.