Archive for category Food and Drink

In honour of world Goth Day….

Posted by on Monday, 22 May, 2017

Originally posted to my Facebook page, here is the most goth cocktail you will find. Why is it so goth you ask? Well, by virtue of the fact that each separate ingredient is decidedly not goth, but yet combine to create such a glass full of darkness… plus the despair you’ll feel if you have too many.  

Death of the Cosmo(s):

  • 1 oz Blue Curaçao
  • 3 oz Vodka
  • A splash of lime juice
  • 1 cup Cranberry juice

Shake on ice, strain, and watch the void consume you

 

 

Another turning point… The closing of TVD

Posted by on Friday, 21 April, 2017

The Swan Song bottling was only available in March 2017

I’ve been quiet on this blog for a long time. I had thought my focus on blogging would be compatible with my day job and distillery work, but I soon came to find that time and energy were in short supply once the distillery got up and running. Sadly, I have time once again because the distillery is now shut down. Yesterday I submitted our termination of business addendum to the TTB marking the official end of Tualatin Valley Distilling, LLC. in the present term.

I know there are a lot of questions about why we shut down and what’s next, so let me try and address those from my personal perspective as best I can:

Q: So, what happened?
A: This really IS the big one, so I’ll start by saying that it all came down to timing. Our agreement with Big Bottom Distilling was such that we all hoped and expected our respective growth would occur in parallel and there would be a clear point when we’d make the move out of the space, or take over the space as they moved out and up. That didn’t happen as we’d planned for, in that Big Bottom grew at a faster rate than we did, needed their space. After 5 years for us, it was time to accept that our growth was far slower than anticipated and that our gentleman’s agreement with Big Bottom would be honored with our transition to appointment only tasting room hours while our production was shuttered into storage while we searched for a new facility. Unfortunately, we made a critical timing error which resulted in our OLCC permit expiring, thus removing our legal ability to sell or sample spirits. With that realization, we agreed to forego any reapplication process since we don’t yet have any good prospects for a new location. It made sense for us to shut down the business instead, while we continue to re-evaluate our business plan and future strategy.

Q: Can I still buy some of your old stock of spirits?
A: Yes! In the short term, you can still obtain our commercially available spirits (while supplies last) from our 3rd party retailer, Ezra’s at: http://ezras.com/brand/tualatin-valley-distilling

Q: Then Big Bottom didn’t kick you out?
A: No. We talked through a number of scenarios over the past few months and all agreed on the final strategic move for us all. I’ve heard a few rumours circulating already, so let me be very clear about this: there is no animosity, no hard feelings, and not bad blood between us. We’re still all very good friends and continue to speak often, both about business as well as life in general. The decision to leave the space was purely a business choice that made sense for us all. It really is as simple as that. We love Big Bottom Distilling, remaining fans and customers and eagerly look forward to what growth has in store for them!

Q: Ok, what now?
A: Both Corey and I continue to talk through possibilities and strategies for TVD moving forward. While we are currently shuttered and in storage, we have the opportunity to revamp our business plan with a focus on obtaining investment to reboot the brand in the right way. If that is what we choose to do. In the short-term, we’re enjoying our weekends and time back to spend with our families again, while contemplating the next steps. There are still big question marks in our way, but we’re talking through those… Lots of conversations are happening behind the scenes. 

Q: Why didn’t you see the growth you needed?
A: That is a huge and complex question. From my own perspective, at the core, I think that our day jobs kept us from being totally devoted and focused at the level we needed to be to ensure TVD was successful. There are only so many hours in the day and since our day jobs were funding the launch of TVD we both had to ensure we didn’t risk those. My lesson learned here is that to launch a brand like TVD takes much more focus and dedication, and can’t be a secondary focus to a day job. This lesson, of course, plays directly in to how we may revamp our business plan and investment model. Beyond that, our low volume put us in a bad position with distributors and a shoestring marketing budget (both time and money) restricted a lot of our potential from the get go as we relied upon word of mouth and social marketing to help build a following. All lessons that will be worked into a rebooted plan and model.

Q: Are you sad? Happy? How are you feeling about all of this?
A: I’ve had my time to mourn the closing privately ever since I saw the writing on the wall. So, having worked through a lot of the pain of closing my first business, I’m ok now. Which may seem quick for a lot of people just now learning about this, but it has been weighing heavily on my mind for quite some time already and I’ve reconciled it all now. I’m sure you all will process it far faster than I did. But, as they say, your first business will always fail.. yet I don’t let the closing deny what we were able to accomplish. I’m quite proud of our various awards and the quality of products we were able to distill and bottle for our customers (as well as ourselves). I think we definitely proved our concept for small craft products and showed the industry what could be done on a very micro scale while incorporating innovation and vision to some very traditional products like Whiskey and Absinthe, not to mention our Usquebaugh!

Well, there you have it. For now, I’m good. While I appreciate all the words of encouragement and condolences, I’m now looking forward to what the future will bring! As they say: “Onwards and upwards…”

Advertising gone wrong – sexism exemplified

Posted by on Wednesday, 11 December, 2013

Dewars-Baron-commercialI was going to post this week about how Dewar’s completely screwed up their latest ad with some appalling sexism. But it seems the larger whiskies community really beat me to the punch, and with far more effect! So, instead, I’ll just touch on the problem and highlight some of the better blog articles posted as well as the results:

Fred Minnick’s post went viral in our small community of whisky geeks on Twitter and Facebook, and was even picked up by some larger media houses while the Whiskylassie also had some very choice words. Quoted from her Facebook page post:

Whiskylassie:
Honestly I am not a feminist, when I saw this today I gasped!
Jumping the grenade, definition (urban dictionary) – to swoop in and remove the fat ugly chick.
Dewar’s latest campaign called Meet the Baron uses “the grenade” in this ad. A large blond is led away and in the end the Swedish bikini models are the reward.
When Dewar’s was questioned by someone on twitter their reply was: the blond is the villain…
THIS IS WRONG on every level.
Please sign, share this petition. The only way this type of horrible sexists advertisement will end is if we say so. Thanks  (link to petition redacted)

Yup, you read that right. The Dewar’s ad spot used the sexist trope of an overweight and homely looking woman to play the role of the undesirable from whom the Baron as wingman saves his drinking pal. For even better explanations and discussions on this I implore you to read Fred’s post above, as well as Media Bistro’s….

Media Bistro even picked up Fred’s post and then Business Insider reported the same…. all of which lent pressure against Dewar’s whom actually responded to Media Bistro and simultaneously pulled the ad spot. While Dewar’s response was quite tepid at best, pulling the ad was absolutely the right thing to do.

dewars_removed

I just hope all this kerfuffle sends them back to their drawing boards to re-imagine what a proper and respectful campaign should look like. If they need help remembering, I may just have to point them to the recent Chivas Regal spot that won my heart for doing it right: The measure of a man:
.