Johno

Newbs: learn from my mistake!

8 posts in this topic

I'm sure the following is obvious to most people, but my brain apparently works in a "special" way, so just to reiterate:

BEFORE you lease the space you want for a distillery, contact the Washington State Liquor Control Board and ask them if the space will work for a distillery!

I thought I was as careful as I could be in the order of setup.

I thought I had all my ducks in a row: got a land use permit for the chosen space from the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, organized my LLC, got a business license, started the inquiry process for my insurance policy, and started the application process with the TTB.

Business Licensing contacted the WSLCB and they set up an interview with me to go over my details. I had my business plan and financials. I was prepared.

Good times.

Turns out that since my space is in a mixed use building and my residence is above - and attached to - the commercial space to be used for the business, I can NOT distill there.I can not bottle there. I can not STORE there.

Now I'm stuck in a place that's more than I can afford, looking for another space to put the still.

The worst of times, eh?

Live and learn! First step - contact WSLCB!!!

Also - anybody who has any tips on where I can lease cheap industrial space that's NOT attached to anything residential, please feel free to shoot me an email: bleach909@yahoo.com

My operation is microscopic - I need no more than 500 SF right now.

Good luck to everyone - hope to see all your products behind the bar!

-j

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Not that it will make a difference to the WSLCB, because they do a lot of "interpretation" of statutes, but I'm pretty sure there's nothing in any laws that prohibit your particular set up. I've been told this directly by a local TTB field agent when I first started looking at spaces back in 2006. I asked his input on a building that would have been mixed-use with condos above the street-level distillery. He said that as long as the DSP can be completely and independently secured from the domestic premises and can be accessed independently from the outside, you're compliant.

If I were you, I'd ask them to cite the specific rules that prohibit your intended use.

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Thanks Gwydion, I have discussed this with the WSLCB rep and a TTB agent, both of whom have given me the same "no". However, I haven't asked them to cite the specific rules pertaining to it.. I will totally do that and post the outcome here.

-j

Not that it will make a difference to the WSLCB, because they do a lot of "interpretation" of statutes, but I'm pretty sure there's nothing in any laws that prohibit your particular set up. I've been told this directly by a local TTB field agent when I first started looking at spaces back in 2006. I asked his input on a building that would have been mixed-use with condos above the street-level distillery. He said that as long as the DSP can be completely and independently secured from the domestic premises and can be accessed independently from the outside, you're compliant.

If I were you, I'd ask them to cite the specific rules that prohibit your intended use.

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It's the "attached to" thats killing you. I believe the federal law states it can't even be attached to a residence via a fence. It worried me a bit when I got our space, as I live next door in the apartments. Thankfully someone along time ago divided our property up into three lots probably because it used to be a lounge.

I'm sure the following is obvious to most people, but my brain apparently works in a "special" way, so just to reiterate:

BEFORE you lease the space you want for a distillery, contact the Washington State Liquor Control Board and ask them if the space will work for a distillery!

I thought I was as careful as I could be in the order of setup.

I thought I had all my ducks in a row: got a land use permit for the chosen space from the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, organized my LLC, got a business license, started the inquiry process for my insurance policy, and started the application process with the TTB.

Business Licensing contacted the WSLCB and they set up an interview with me to go over my details. I had my business plan and financials. I was prepared.

Good times.

Turns out that since my space is in a mixed use building and my residence is above - and attached to - the commercial space to be used for the business, I can NOT distill there.I can not bottle there. I can not STORE there.

Now I'm stuck in a place that's more than I can afford, looking for another space to put the still.

The worst of times, eh?

Live and learn! First step - contact WSLCB!!!

Also - anybody who has any tips on where I can lease cheap industrial space that's NOT attached to anything residential, please feel free to shoot me an email: bleach909@yahoo.com

My operation is microscopic - I need no more than 500 SF right now.

Good luck to everyone - hope to see all your products behind the bar!

-j

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Ha - "killing" seems quite appropriate. Everything's on hold until I can get this figured out. No reply yet from my TTB contact, but the WSCLB rep did send a list of requirements which indicate that if the space is attached in any way to a residence you can forget distilling there. Woah is me...

-j

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Ah and don't forget to be in close contact with the fire marshal. There might be an IFC or IBC that covers this situation. I started with the fire marshal

And it helped me avoid several potholes along the way. Steve Dalbey can help with those rules as well.

Good luck !

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Thanks John !

-j

Ah and don't forget to be in close contact with the fire marshal. There might be an IFC or IBC that covers this situation. I started with the fire marshal

And it helped me avoid several potholes along the way. Steve Dalbey can help with those rules as well.

Good luck !

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