Buying a Still

Purchasing a distillation still is a significant investment for anyone entering the distilling industry or looking to expand their operations. As an accountant with experience in advising businesses in this sector, I offer insights into the financial and practical considerations of buying a still. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision.

 1. Understanding Your Distilling Needs
- Type of Spirits: Consider the type of spirits you plan to produce, as different spirits may require different types of stills.
- Production Volume: Assess your expected production volume. The size and capacity of the still should align with your production goals.

 2. Budgeting for the Purchase
- Initial Investment: Determine the budget for your still purchase. Prices vary widely based on sise, capacity, and technology.
- Additional Costs: Factor in additional costs such as installation, initial setup, and any necessary modifications to your premises.

 3. Evaluating Different Types of Stills
- Pot Still vs. Column Still: Understand the differences between pot stills and column stills. Pot stills are typically used for flavor-rich spirits like whiskey, while column stills are more suited for vodka and rum.
- New vs. Used Stills: Weigh the pros and cons of buying new versus used equipment. New stills come with warranties and the latest technology, while used stills can be more budget-friendly.

 4. Compliance and Licensing
- Regulatory Compliance: Ensure the still you purchase complies with Australian safety and manufacturing standards.
- Licensing Requirements: Be aware of licensing requirements for operating a still, which can vary depending on the size and use of the still.

 5. Return on Investment (ROI) Analysis
- Long-Term Value: Consider the long-term value and ROI of the still. A more expensive, high-quality still may offer better efficiency and longevity.
- Production Efficiency: Assess how the efficiency of the still will impact your production costs and profitability.

 6. Manufacturer Reputation and Support
- Research Manufacturers: Research the reputation of still manufacturers. Consider the quality of their products, customer reviews, and after-sales support.
- Warranty and Service: Check the warranty and service agreements. Reliable customer service and technical support are crucial.

 7. Installation and Operational Training
- Professional Installation: Plan for professional installation, which may require additional investment.
- Training Needs: Ensure you and your staff have the necessary training to operate the still safely and efficiently.

 8. Financing Options
- Exploring Financing: Explore financing options if needed. This could include loans, leasing, or equipment financing.
- Financial Planning: Work with an accountant to understand how the financing will affect your cash flow and financial planning.

 9. Seeking Professional Advice
- Consult an Accountant: Before making the purchase, consult with an accountant. They can provide financial insights and help you understand the impact of this investment on your business finances.

Buying a distillation still is a major decision that requires careful consideration of your production needs, budget, compliance, ROI, manufacturer reputation, and financing options. It’s an investment that has significant implications for the operational and financial aspects of your distillery. As an accountant, I am here to provide guidance and support in making a decision that aligns with your business goals and financial capacity.