How Dreams & Money Didn’t Mix at a Texas Distillery. Wow! What a Story!

on 28/12/14 at 4:51 pm

Booze News

Baby Blue-new labelIt was February 2013, and Chip Tate, the 39-year-old founder and president of Balcones, one of the country’s most successful artisanal distilleries, was desperate for money.

From almost the day Mr. Tate opened the distillery — in Waco, Tex., in 2008 — Balcones grew like a weed, with sales of its corn and malt whiskey doubling each year. But making whiskey is a capital-intensive business, and expanding to meet skyrocketing demand takes significant money — money that Mr. Tate and his two investors did not have.

Mr. Tate found what seemed like a perfect solution: Gregory S. Allen, a businessman from Virginia with money to burn. Over a series of phone calls and meetings that spring, the two came up with a plan for Mr. Allen to take a majority share in Balcones in exchange for $8.5 million for a larger distillery, debt repayment and working capital.

In a statement announcing the deal, Mr. Tate said: “We’ve held out for partners that share our commitment to quality over quick return and who are interested in growing a business that we can pass on to our children. Many investors see that approach as old-fashioned, but we’ve taken time to find a group we’re proud to call partners.”

READ MORE via NY TIMES