Distillery Planning Series: To Buy GNS or Distill Inhouse

Distillery planning is a great way to keep you on track and focused, but it should also be a “living document” and allow you enough flexibility to pivot when you need to without losing your company’s identity in the process. In this installment of our distillery planning series, we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of distilling neutral spirit on your own versus buying neutral spirit from a third party. There are benefits to both approaches, so please keep an open mind while you’re reading and think about what the best fit for your operation will be as you read.

We’ve touched on making money with vodka, and you can read more about strategies to make neutral spirits in a wide range of ways in these articles about vodka columns and vodka stills. If you want to distill in-house, these are some wonderful articles to get you started, and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have about the process. The main benefit of making vodka yourself is that you retain control over the whole process, and you decide the quality and flavor profile of the final product.

If you buy it from someone else, you are beholden to their production standards and may need to redistill the neutral spirit to bring the flavor profile in line with what you’re looking for. If you do decide to redistill neutral spirit, you may not need to run it through a full vodka column to get the flavor profile you’re looking for. It depends on the quality of the material you source and what you want the final product to be.

Not all neutral spirits are the same, so make sure that you’re getting samples from reputable sources that you are comfortable with. Grain-neutral spirit is cheaper than water in a lot of cases, especially since those reverse osmosis systems don’t usually come cheap! As is so often the case, you generally get what you pay for, so if something sounds too good to be true, it just may be. If you do purchase spirits from someone else, you need to make sure that you’re comfortable with what they’re making since the bottle will have your branding on it and reflect on your company regardless of who made the juice. 

Another benefit of making neutral spirits yourself instead of buying them is the story that comes with the process. If your brand identity is grain to glass or some iteration of that, it may reflect poorly on your brand if you buy part of your portfolio. This goes back to the planning aspect and seeing what suits your distillery and brand the best. There’s not a single best solution that will fit everyone’s needs perfectly. We’d love to help you decide the best fit for you and delve deeper into the way you want your operation to run. Choosing whether to distill or buy spirits will affect the equipment, raw materials, and overall workflow of your operation, so please give us a call at 561-845-8009 to discuss the best fit for you!