One small company had already begun to take such action, creating their own business opportunity out of one regional characteristic - copious rainfall! For the entrepreneurs behind the Reefton Distilling Co., those raindrops are heaven sent!
A small company with big dreamsReefton Distilling Co. is a local West Coast start-up with a big vision. A team of likeminded individuals who are passionate about creating high quality spirits, passionate about Reefton, and passionate about contributing to the revitalisation of the West Coast.
Located in the heart of Reefton, on the wild West Coast of New Zealand they take their inspiration from Reefton's rich history of adventure, innovation, and gold, they see it as the perfect place for making untamed spirits. Their market research has shown that there is an opportunity to create a true 'grain to glass' distillery in New Zealand, an offering which will truly set them apart.
A "grain to glass" distilleryThe ethos of a "grain to glass" distillery is to track the entire process from selecting the barley and other grains, harvesting the water, to brewing the wash (distillers' beer), to distilling their own spirit, before making the all-important decision about when to 'make the cut' maximising the flavour profile of the spirit. They believe that only by following this process can you truly create an authentic spirit.
The Company aims to begin production in mid-2018, in a purpose-built distillery right in the heart of Reefton.
The "Water of Life"The word Whisky comes from the Gaelic ""uisge beatha"" meaning the "Water of Life". Co-Founder and Head Distiller Sean Whitaker said, "The West Coast is blessed with plentiful supplies of both rain and groundwater from pristine sources, it seems fitting that this rainfall and quality of water will go into our stills, adding to a depth of flavour that we believe will be unmatched." He went on to add, "We've identified several local natural water sources, each with their own chemical characteristics that will contribute to the distinctiveness of the spirits we produce. We have also received written approval from the Regional Council that our water take is a permitted activity."
Alongside their whisky offering, Reefton Distilling Co. will also produce a premium range of gin, vodka and liqueurs. Their aim is to be a leading producer of premium spirits in Oceania and to produce the best quality distilled spirits in New Zealand, using locally sourced ingredients where possible (water, grains, botanicals, and aromatics) organic ingredients will also be used where available, with an aim of using only certified organic ingredients.
Sean advised how each batch of spirits will be individually labelled to enable customers to trace the provenance of every ingredient from the water, to the grain, to the aromatics, botanicals, and barrels. He went on to add that "This premium product will be complemented by a world class brand which draws on the purity and ruggedness of the West Coast region".
The West Coasters behind the brand namesCreating a modern tradition in an age-old industry, Reefton Distilling Co. is drawing on local characters of old to build their brands.
George Fairweather Moonlight - a legendary gold prospector is the inspiration behind "Moonlight Creek™" Whisky and Bourbon.
"Little Biddy™" premium Gin - pays homage to Bridget Goodwin, also known as "Little Biddy" or "Biddy of the Buller", 1813-1899. Bridget Goodwin, defined the word 'rebel', a well-known whisky drinking, smoking, 4ft tall, female gold prospector.
Raising the capitalOf course, although dreams are free, turning those dreams into reality requires thought, focus, planning, research, and significant funding. However, after 18 months of preparation and sheer hard work the team at Reefton Distilling Co. are now well on track to begin their story and add to the rich history of West Coast Pioneers. Reefton Distilling Co. is raising up to $1.5m for a shareholding of 42.9% at a pre-money valuation of $2m. The funds will be used for the fit out of the distillery, equipment, staff, and working capital. Director and Co-founder Patsy Bass noted that "we expect that we will need to raise additional capital to scale up operations further after the first 12-18 months of production".
They already have commitments from a number of large investors who will also be actively involved in supporting the business and a crowdfunding equity offer is currently underway. When asked the reason for raising funds by this method, Patsy said, "Because we want our community to own this business and share in its success." The plans have now been laid, learn more of their story at www.reeftondistillingco.com
2018In the first year of operation the company will employ up to 6 people, including the two directors and co-founders Patsy Bass and Sean Whitaker, with further job openings being made as the business scales up.
To support the development of the distillery, implement best practice and the preparation of the initial spirit runs the company have arranged to employ the services of a number of consultants who will support them during the setup, commissioning and initial production phase.
Bass concluded "We'll begin by selling directly to the New Zealand market through on site sales at our distillery and through our website www.reeftondistillingco.com, as well as selling wholesale to bars, restaurants, and liquor stores. We'll then turn our attention to Australia and beyond."
The Reefton Distilling Co. Crowdfunding Equity Offer The Reefton Distilling Co. Crowdfunding Equity Offer is being managed and facilitated by Snowball Effect.
Equity crowdfunding is a process which enables a company to raise funds by offering shares to the public. For companies, it provides access to a wide investor audience and it's a quick and efficient way to raise funds.
At the time of writing (30.1.18) the Reefton Distilling Co. Crowdfunding Offer has achieved 69% with 6 days to run. Offer closes 9pm Monday 5th February 2018.__________________________________________________________________________________ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONThe people behind the companyPatsy Bass - Co-founder, Director & General Manager. Member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (UK), Member of the Project Management Institute, and Member of the Sustainable Business Network.Patsy was born in Reefton, she is responsible for general management, including securing premises, interior design, branding, marketing, raising capital, human resources, and sustainability. She brings 35 years of people, general, and project management. Projects include new and rebranding of large companies, staff development and leadership programmes, corporate restructures, and commercial fit outs for organisations. These have included the Ngai Tahu Group of Companies, Farmlands, ANZCO and The Order of St John.
Sean Whitaker -Co-founder, Director & Head Distiller. BA, MSc, MBA, and PMP. Fellow of the Project Management Institute of NZ, Member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (UK), and Member of the Project Management Institute.Sean is responsible for distillery operations, compliance, ICT, health and safety, and assisting with product promotion. With a successful track record running a variety of businesses in different industry sectors both in New Zealand and Australia for over 20 years (including hospitality and business consulting services). Sean is an experienced craft distiller, having honed the relevant skills on a non-commercial basis for 8 years, he will now turn this experience into leading the production of the spirits. As part of the distillery start up, Sean has arranged to work at the Southern Wild Distillery in Tasmania and will also complete his Diploma in Brewing and Distilling through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.
Shane Thrower - Hospitality Manager. Member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (UK), NZQA Assessor (Hospitality Service Industry ITO), Professional Chef City and Guilds, Holds a Bar Manager's Certificate, and a Post Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning (Food Technology and Outdoor Education).Shane is responsible for front of house training, bar service and retail operations at the distillery. He has over 30 years' experience as a Chef and has owned and managed his own successful cafe/bar in Christchurch with former All Black, Greg Feek. As a Chef in Christchurch Prisons for 10 years, Shane introduced NZQA Food Standards into the New Zealand Prison Service. He went on to complete his Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning and worked at Linwood College in Christchurch for 12 years, teaching hospitality and food technology.
| A Reefton Brewing Co release || January 31, 2018 |||