Contributed by Regina Due
As a distiller, your distillation process is going to make or break you. Most people who live in the world of artisan distillation will guard their distillation processes with their lives, even though they may offer regular tours to customers. If you want to open up your own distillery or brewery, make sure to keep your industry secrets protected with these ten tips.
- Look up local intellectual property laws. Australia is great when it comes to helping business owners protect their intellectual property, and in some cases, certain processes may actually be protected under IP law. If you can do so, you may want to consider getting an innovation patent on your recipe.
- Keep your ingredient sources secret. Many distillers and breweries are proud and open about using Aussie ingredients in their processes. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll tell you the exact purveyor of their items. This can help you keep your flavor unique in some cases.
- Keep your mouth shut about spice blends when doing tours. Major distillers like Archie Rose regularly offer tours. People will ask about ingredients when they make those tours happen. A good way to skirt this question is to discuss the main ingredients, such as corn or wheat, then just keep spices or added flavors under an umbrella term like “our secret spice mix.”
- Don’t let anyone wander the plant unsupervised. Allowing guests, or even untrained workers, to wander the premises isn’t only an easy way to get your process stolen. It’s also very dangerous. Don’t let it happen.
- Keep the full recipe known only to you and one other trusted person. Writing down the recipe and storing it in an off-premise area is a good way to ensure others won’t be able to steal it too easily.
- Realize that some of your brew’s flavor may also come from the barrels that you age the brew in. Some things just aren’t too easy to replace. High quality barrels for aging purposes will fit into that category at times, and to a point, it can actually be a very reassuring thing to remember.
- Never sacrifice safety for individuality. There have been cases in which distillers may have tried to do something against code in order to bring out a flavor or have an extremely unusual process to boast about. Don’t do it. It can get your distillery shut down.
- Consider consulting with an attorney about the subject. If you can’t file for an innovation patent, there may be other ways to ensure that the recipes you use in your new brewery will remain a secret. Usually, talking about it with an attorney can help you figure out what those methods are.
- Use unique equipment. Most distillation work can be done with a basic still. However, if you have unusual or custom-made stills, there’s a good chance that those stills will be able to prevent others from replicating your recipe. If you have the money to invest in custom stills, it’s an investment that can widen the range of liquors you can make, and also an investment in process protection.
- Know your competitors. Overall, the world of distillation is pretty friendly, but that doesn’t mean that you should let your guard down completely. If you know who your competition is, then you should know to stay quiet around them when it comes to techniques.
Having your own distillery is a dream come true for many, but in order to keep that dream alive, you’re going to have to protect the things that got you there. More often than not, what got you there was the processes and recipes you created. Stay vigilant, and you can enjoy living the dream for years to come.
Author Bio: Regina is a young entrepreneur and a lifestyle aficionado. She loves to empower men and women through her business and lifestyle tips. If she’s not writing, you can catch her surfing the web for what’s new at Archie Rose (https://archierose.com.au/).