When your business motto is, “bite off as much as you can, and chew like hell”, a second expansion before even releasing your headline product should be taken in your stride.
Business partners Adam Saunders and Adam Pinkard are getting ready to break ground on the expanded Adams Distillery at Glen Ireh Estate, Perth, later this month.
And they are still celebrating after their dry gin won gold at the Berlin International Spirit Competition and Adams was named Australia Gin Distillery of the Year.
Mr Pinkard said the awards meant a lot to the growing business.
“It’s given us a lot of validation. Until you test what you’re doing against others, you don’t have a measure,” he said.
This $250,000 upgrade will see their operations grow five-fold and enable them to increase their product line from whisky, gin and rum to include cider and beer.
The pair plan to hold a grand opening event for their new bond store, visitor centre and cafe to coincide with the release of their first batch of whisky, Mr Saunders said.
“We’re planning a big Christmas party here in December when we’ll open Adams 2.0 and release the first 200 bottles of our whisky,” he said.
But before they can move into new premises, they need to clear out the old equipment first.
“We’re selling our stills and washing and fermenting equipment and then we’ll get a new 9500-litre still to replace the 1500-litre one and two 3100-litre stills – the first for whisky and rum and the second for gin,” Mr Saunders said.
“We don’t want to cross over the flavours, because copper absorbs flavour.
“We’ll have four 7000-litre fermenters, upping the ante by five times,” he said.
Adams produces around 120 litres of whisky for barrelling per day, and the expanded distillery will bring this up to 600 litres.
“It will increase our efficiency and productivity and decrease the days we have to do that,” Mr Sauders said.
Both still work at day jobs – as a self-employed builder for Mr Saunders and a part-time paramedic for Mr Pinkard – so they hope to draw a wage from their “hobby” soon.
“The plan is to find funds to pay us to be here,” he said.
That plan includes adding a third partner – Mr Saunders’ father-in-law and their landlord Professor Bernie Einoder – and looking beyond spirits.
“We’d like to do cider eventually and we’ve been talking to a brewer about a beer,” Mr Saunders said.
“We’ll be planting 20 hectares of our own barley so we can make an estate whisky and want to set up apple, pear and, maybe, cherry orchards.”