John Koehler

Washington Distiller
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About John Koehler

  • Rank
    Eagle Cliffs Distillery
  • Birthday 11/29/1952

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Profile Information

  • Real Name
    John Koehler
  • Gender
  • Location
    Longview, WA
  • Distiller Status
    Licensed Distiller
  • DSP Number
  • Interests
    Potato Vodka

Recent Profile Visitors

4,303 profile views
  1. Screenprinted Bottles

    Late to reply, but I am lined up to have my bottles silk-screened in Portland. There are some technical issues with this format as there are with any other, but I had no problem setting up my label. Just got samples so far. I need to finish my recipe and get Federal approval before printing a batch. I am looking at printing a pallet worth at a time. If you still have any questions, feel free to call. If you have printed a batch or two, how did it go?
  2. I have fallen into poor health. I need someone to take over and run Eagle Cliffs Distillery. I am offering a generous share of founder equity in exchange for your time and labor. We have all permits. The facility is in place. We need to run in all equipment, develop a recipe, and get federal approval of our label; then we can begin sales. Developing the recipe may not be a minor issue. Eagle Cliffs Distillery aspires to be the best craft distillery in the U.S. To start, we are developing a potato vodka of the highest standard we can achieve. If our product quality meets intent, we will sell at around $15 per bottle, which would place the retail price at about $30 per bottle before retail taxes. That will give us a throughput of about $10 per bottle. (Throughput is a term first coined by Eliyahu Goldratt in his Theory of Constraints.) To achieve such quality will require substantial effort. I have developed two patentable improvements to the refracting column in order to enhance that process. I have about 25 years experience as a mechanical engineer developing proprietary production equipment and I have had some exceptional results, so I have the track record to believe that these improvements will be successful. We have a major national distributor who is extremely excited about our marketing plan and eager to taste our product. They have indicated that they will work with us to promote our product in alignment with our marketing plan and believe it will be extremely successful. The business is fully funded. It is set to run in the black from the first month forward. My career of 40 years has been spent starting up and running small businesses. I have spent the last 20 years developing a new business model for entrepreneurship, and I have spent the last 5 years investigating this industry, developing the business plan for this distillery, and getting the facility set up. With the right person in charge we should hit $200,000 in sales and begin paying salaries before the end of the first year. The distillery is located in Longview, WA and cannot be relocated for the first few months of operation. However, the new CEO will have primary discretion of siting the distillery and could plan to relocate it to his/her preferred location as soon as possible. I should have done this months ago, but held out hope that my health would improve and let me proceed. The facility is sitting idle. I will fill the position as quickly as possible. If you have been investigating this industry and trying to figure out how you could get your own distillery up and running. If you think you have the dedication, the work ethic, and the skills to lead a manufacturing business. If you have the ability to study and learn a new, unique and superior business model, and the drive to create the best craft distillery business in the U.S. this could be your opportunity. If you are interested, please contact me with your resume and cover letter explaining why you should become the CEO. Any familiarity with TOC should be mentioned, as that will help with the business model training, though this is business model is not TOC as taught by the Goldratt Institute. If you have investigated this industry carefully, you should know that well over 80% of all craft distillery start-ups fail. I know of several in Oregon that still have the doors open but can't generate enough sales to develop a well-financed marketing plan or pay decent salaries. They are not generating profits that compensate for the time, money, and effort put in by the founders. That is not success by my standards either. This distillery is poised to have a fully-financed marketing plan from day one. Growth should be steady, rapid and substantial. In addition, there are other fundamental issues that most business start-ups fail to successfully address. I have spent 20 years of research and study itemizing and resolving all of them. I have tested my solutions on real businesses, both my own and others. I believe I have a business plan that will make the Eagle Cliffs Distillery brand name, Exalt, the premier label for craft distilled liquor. Plans call for eventually producing and selling a complete liquor line nation-wide. Financial rewards should exceed any expectations you have been harboring. I will be glad to address any questions you may have. John Koehler, Chairman Koehler Enterprises, Inc. dba Eagle Cliffs Distillery 160 Whitewater Road Longview, WA 98632 360 261-0390
  3. Dear John,

    Glad you have overcome your troubles. My Best Congratulations to you!

    Your experience is impressive and discouraging at the same time, 3 years is too much...

    As I have understood from the Article, you have build your distilling equipment yourself. I am also an Engineer and want to build my still myself as well. This aspect is very important to me so could you kindl...

  4. Here in Canada we can use only a certified distilling equipment and if you want to make your equipment yourself you must have a license for that. Is the situation in the USA different and do you need to certify your self-made equipment?

    And my second question is what Authorities are controlling the quality of your alcohol being made at your Distillery?

    Best greetings,


  5. Dear John,

    Glad you have overcome your troubles. My Best Congratulations to you!

    Your experience is impressive and discouraging at the same time, 3 years is too much...

    As I have understood from the Article, you have build your distilling equipment yourself. I am also an Engineer and want to build my still myself as well. This aspect is very important to me so could you kindl...

  6. Well, I feel like a newbie, so I thought I would re-introduce myself. I have spent 3 years getting through the permitting process. Illness and county issues were the greatest problems. Anyway, as of now, I have all county, state and federal permits, licenses, etc. Horrah! My background is in engineering, specifically designing production machinery/manufacturing processes. I have designed my own equipment, especially the custom still that will have a couple of patents filed on its unique design. The next step is to work in all of the equipment, starting at the cooker and working through to the finished bottle. That will take some time, as I have no corporate still maker to hold my hand, and I have to develop the still concepts into working production machinery. I hope to be on the shelves in advance of this coming holiday season. My sole product will be top-shelf potato vodka. At least the hold-ups are now all in my hands and not that of beaurocrats.
  7. Dec 11, 2011 Guild Meeting

    Though there is mention of November 13th, I presume this is announcing the next meeting on December 11. Could the time be set any earlier? If I attend, I will be home well after 10 PM. I skipped the last meeting because of the late meeting time.
  8. SB 5942

    This is an effort to kill any potential for another Costco initiative to privatize the system and at the same time generate a one-time cash infusion into the state coffers through the sale of the distribution center.
  9. Forum Software Changes Complete

    I hope this updates correctly . . . I tried to update my profile per your request, but I am entering the phone number in the incorrect format, and I can't guess what the correct format is. Please provide that info. Also, when the phone number format is incorrect, some of the data on the form is deleted and has to be reentered. Very annoying. I hate to just bitch, so let me say, thank you for all your hard work. It is well appreciated. John Koehler
  10. WA Spirits Producers

    Despite the great delay, Eagle Cliffs Distillery is still in the process of obtaining all permits. :)
  11. WSLCB - Craft Distillers Forum

    I plan on attending. John Koehler
  12. Starting A Distillery

    The most critical aspect of starting up a new business is the investment required to make it a success. What that investment requirement is depends upon your business plan. I have a plan that is shooting for a start-up cost of $30,000. May end up being more like $45,000. Most craft distillers have a budget of between $500,000 and $1,000,000 -- and expenses that tend towards the million dollar end. But a large investment has its own set of challenges. You need a business plan that integrates your investment and expenses. To that end, your first two greatest costs may be your facilities expenses and your equipment costs. No one can give you a number. You need to answer that question for yourself. This may sound like gobledy-gook, but you can identify your investment expenses, and once identified you can brainstorm ways to cut them. That's up to you. John Koehler
  13. Initiatives 1100 and 1105 [merged privatization topics]

    Administration and fellow distillers: Since sshark has admitted to being the primary author of I-1100 and is on our forum to agitate in behalf of this legislation, can we limit his participation? His posts are not terribly constructive. I don't know about each of you, but he has been dishonest in his contacts and dealings with me. I also have to admit that I am displeased with the distortions presented by his postings and by the initiative spokesperson on the KUOW interview. While I will try to avoid any further submissions to this thread unless I feel I can offer new and constructive facts, having a political agitator who has been slow to admit his true agenda can not be useful for maintaining what I perceive to be the congenial constructive nature of this organization. This is after all an industry forum, not a public one. I would recommend his activities be limited to the same discussion area where vendors are to be found. It is great to have them around as a resource (including sshark), but we don't want their solicitations to adversely affect our forum. I fear the potential for disruption if this guy's lobbying isn't constrained. John
  14. Initiatives 1100 and 1105 [merged privatization topics]

    Sshark (great name for a stealth lobbyist!), are you Ashley Bach, the spokesperson in the KUOW interview for I-1100, or have anything thing to do with his statements? in my opinion, you do the initiative you have written no service by misrepresenting yourself or engaging in any campaign of lies. When you are caught out, people tend to start opposing the legislation based upon the slime factor regardless of any merits of the proposal. John
  15. Initiatives 1100 and 1105 [merged privatization topics]

    Mr. Shark: The only person I have caught in an outright lie is the spokesperson for I-1100 on that recorded interview. That doesn't include the numerous weasel-words he frequently used to substantially mislead. Do you deny that this initiative wouldn't make Washington the most unregulated state in the union? It only takes a cursory reading to confirm that fact. I don't mind openly discussing differences of opinion, but let's make sure we're arguing over the truth. I've previously stated my reasons why I think craft distillers will have a harder time finding shelf space if I-1100 passes. Feel free to counter my logic with your own. As for statements from the liquor board being false, they are prohibited by law from taking sides in this matter. They must be very careful in what they do say. You and I are not so constrained. I believe the latest from our supreme court makes it perfectly legal to blatantly lie about any political matter, including this initiative which you are actively promoting. (By the way, now that you have indentified yourself as the individual that spoke with me by phone some time back, I've caught you in a falsehood. You misrepresented yourself when we first spoke.) If you want to accuse someone of lying, better tackle me and leave the WSLCB alone. They are mostly, by necessity, well above reproach. By the way, who are you and why are you so agressively pursuing approval of this piece of legislation by this guild??? What do you gain? John