Distillery Capabilities Overview
Falls Church Distillers is a Veteran-owned Family-operated Award-winning distillery that has produced 3 major brands presently being sold in 5 States and DC. We also release limited-run seasonal offerings of Rum, special aged Whiskies, and Brandies.
At our Distillery, we employ a 4-stage water filtration system to use only the purest waters in both the initial production as well as the final stage of proofing. We have a 1K liter mash tun for pasteurizing ciders and cooking the beers, wines and washes. Our still (Frankenstein’s Googles) is comprised of a 1K liter pot still with a solid copper head (copper naturally removes those by-products which are responsible for biting tastes and headaches), copper whiskey head, 2x14’ vodka columns each configured with 7 copper bubbler plates, and an integrated gin basket for steam infusing flavors which both keeps the flavoring subtle and adds no calories, carbohydrates or other unhealthy attributes to the distillate.
But our most significant strength is our highly educated and immensely talented distillation team; multiple chemistry related degrees including a PhD (Head Chemist we affectionally call our Yeast Beast!) as well as engineering related degreed personnel.
There are years where wineries either over produce juice or are not pleased with the resulting wine for that vintage. They are then faced with a few alternatives: lose the crop and all the invested monies and/or potentially suffer reputation loss by bottling mediocre wines. FCD offers a third alternative that not only recaptures the wineries investments but also affords new expanded served available markets via product line expansion.
A tote of 280 gallons at 12% ABV yields between 40-60 proof gallons of distillate. That product could be used to fortify wines thereby yielding Port as the end product. As long as that Port is under 21% ABV, no additional licenses are required by the wineries. Another option is for the winery to barrel age that distillate and have a new market opportunity with a resulting Brandy. Brandy would require the winery to get an additional license to resell.
The process is that the winery transfers (in bond) and delivers a tote (up to 280 gallons) of their wines (red or white). They also may drop off 20 pounds of any fruit they would like to steam infuse the flavor(s) into the distillate. FCD will process the product within a week of delivery and then hold for free for a maximum of 1 week more for pickup. The standard cost is $1000 per tote. Proofing to a specific ABV might cost more. There would be storage fees, if we must hold it for more than 1 week.
The cost of building out a Distillery Spirits Plant is a barrier to many would be distilleries. A significantly lesser investment risk way to building a distillery is to contract out the distillation and focus on building a brand.
The Distillery would need to sign a contact with FCD and apply for their DSP licensing with the TTB. This process can take anywhere from 2-6 months. During this time, recipes can be developed and packaging (bottles, labels and corks) selected and designed.
There are a range of fee related offerings involved in relation to this program so defining the particular needs and the individual quotes would need to be discussed. FCD is able to connect suppliers and aggregate costs to lower CoGs for all parties. For instance, we have an available graphics designer to support the label development and already buy our bottles, caps and labels from reputable firms that offer quantity discounts. We also offer TTB consulting regarding recipe and label process support. It is expected that the Distillery would develop their own transport and storage capabilities.
High-volume restaurants (and chains) can quickly expand their brand recognition and increase their bar profits with a private label program. The Restaurant can pursue this program without need of a DSP license. However, they may want to eventually apply for one in support of potentially expanding their business portfolio as a Distillery offering their spirits (and branding) through their State’s established distribution system.
Spirits options include types of unaged distillate (i.e., vodka, gin, etc.), steam infused or immersed flavoring, color enhancement, bottle size, ABV, and packaging. FCD first collaborates with the Restaurant to develop the brand’s visual and taste profile & packaging and then handles all TTB related interactions including recipe and label approvals. Further, FCD is responsible for the entire process range from support in brand development to actual end product fulfillment. The Restaurant is responsible for transport coordination FOB Source.
There are some initial set-up fees and then all per-bottle costs are volume commitment and contract term length dependent. FCD can handle some distribution channel pricing and approvals in States where we are already doing business. These presently include, PA, IL, WV, MD, VA and DC.
*If the Restaurant wishes to brand an aged whiskey, the best program for that is our Barrel Program. Basically, the Restaurant buys a barrel of one of our whiskies (either young or fully matured), we co-develop the ABV specific target & packaging and pursue all Federal and States approvals including bottle pricing.