AMA Chad Wiltz (Garagiste Meadery)

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Jun 2, 2014
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wiltznucs What is your anticipated timeline for things? Getting a license, selling mead, opening a spot, etc. Just curious if you had goals in mind that you would be willing to share.
We've accomplished a few things already including applying for an LLC, filing trademarks on the name, developing our brand logo and marketing material, locking up social media/domain names and we have a basic business plan in place. By basic, we mean it's hard to be concrete when you don't have a finite figure for operating capital (hence the Indiegogo campaign).

Next steps will be identifying a site. We've actually been working on this for a few months now. The biggest challenge we've faced has been that much of the retail space in our area is anchored by a grocery store of some sort. These grocers have placed non-compete agreements on all the retail space in the shopping centers. That's a non-starter for us. So we will end up in Industrial Space likely in the Tampa/Brandon/Riverview area.

After we identity a site we will deal with county/city permits plus TTB. Architects, lawyers and whatnot enter the picture here.

I've done my best to be as transparent as possible and to not mislead people. I honestly hope to be permitted and brewing before the end of the calendar year. That is an ambitious goal. I think we'll have a much more clear picture once we get a site leased and that variable is out of the equation.
 
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Buffalo, NY
We've accomplished a few things already including applying for an LLC, filing trademarks on the name, developing our brand logo and marketing material, locking up social media/domain names and we have a basic business plan in place. By basic, we mean it's hard to be concrete when you don't have a finite figure for operating capital (hence the Indiegogo campaign).

Next steps will be identifying a site. We've actually been working on this for a few months now. The biggest challenge we've faced has been that much of the retail space in our area is anchored by a grocery store of some sort. These grocers have placed non-compete agreements on all the retail space in the shopping centers. That's a non-starter for us. So we will end up in Industrial Space likley in the Tampa/Brandon/Riverview area.

After we identity a site we will deal with county/city permits plus TTB. Architects, lawyers and whatnot enter the picture here.

I've done my best to be as transparent as possible and to not mislead people. I honestly hope to be permitted and brewing before the end of the calendar year. That is an ambitious goal. I think we'll have a much more clear picture once we get a site leased and that variable is out of the equation.
Best of luck on the process. Looking forward to some meads in 2017 then!!!
 
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I have to say that despite my relative indifference to mead, the communication by wiltznucs on TB has me leaning towards sending some $ to a local upstart.


The goober thingys do have me intrigued tho too and I look forward to sample or 2 at Cycle BA day.
We are determined to do it right. This means more than delivering a quality product. It means delivering the service aspect too. Our goal is pretty simple, we want Garagiste to be synonymous with mead in Florida and to be considered among the countries best. What we may lack in commercial meadmaking experience we hope to make up for with passion and commitment.

We want to attract people who wish to be a part of our story. They'll have unparalleled access to our products and enjoy in both our successes and our failures. It's a family business and the way I look at it we're taking applications to be an extended part of the family.
 
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Chicagoland
Do you have a projected timeline for the following?

A) membership duration
i) is this a one time cost for lifetime membership?
ii) is this a yearly cost?
iii) is this a one time payment for the 6 bottles?

B) when membership meads will start to be made available?
i) Have any member meads been produced and are fermenting yet?
ii) Can you legally produce mead yet (permits, etc)?
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2014
Messages
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Do you have a projected timeline for the following?

A) membership duration
i) is this a one time cost for lifetime membership?
ii) is this a yearly cost?
iii) is this a one time payment for the 6 bottles?

B) when membership meads will start to be made available?
i) Have any member meads been produced and are fermenting yet?
ii) Can you legally produce mead yet (permits, etc)?
I've run through this a time or two on some other threads here and elsewhere. It's probably good to carry them over here.

A) The membership runs one year or until all six meads are delivered. Whichever is longer.
This campaign is intended to get us off the ground. I cannot see asking $300 annually. I see a Mazer Club like model beginning in year two. You pay a small membership fee and then buy what you want. In this way your money stays in your pocket instead of mine plus our goals are aligned. You want amazing meads and if I want your money we have to deliver them.

Membership renewal will be available after the first edition is complete. Existing members will have first right of refusal. As previously mentioned we reserve the right to change the format after year one. We'll certainly listen to the membership before making changes.

B) Member meads will be available when they are ready. I'm not going to fall into the trap of handing off something I'm not entirely satisfied with just to see the membership over. All killer and no filler, we won't have it any other way.

No member meads are in the tanks as we are not legally permitted to market mead commercially at this time. Meads made before TTB licensure is illegal to sell. Between now and when we are official we will continue to make a few hundred gallons of mead from home. This is mutually beneficial as I see it. I continue to hone my craft and you ultimately get a better result when the day finally comes.

Hope this is clear, cheers!
 
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Joined
May 3, 2013
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Florence, SC
Barring an unexpected rush at the eleventh hour I suspect we'll get another dozen or two members total. The campaign is scheduled to end on April 2nd although we have the option of closing it anytime. Afterward, I don't see us adding much if any additional members. Those who bought in paid a premium for the exclusivity and our intent is to honor that.
Right on, I'm certainly not looking to drag my feet if I decide to get in, more just waiting for the April 1st pay stub. :)
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2014
Messages
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Goal reached! $50K committed! For those who've contributed... Thank You! You are amazing! Garagiste is going to happen. The craft beer and mead community is outstanding. We are so grateful! Great things lie ahead, thanks for being a part of it.

Time still remains and memberships are available.

From the Garagiste Family to yours, thank you!
 
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Tried more Garagiste these past few days than I had tried previously, and it only reaffirmed my thoughts to invest in what wiltznucs has going on (Lady in Red was one of the best things I tried all weekend).

I know it was a rollercoaster weekend but really enjoyed sharing beers / meads / conversation and can't wait to see what the future brings.

Cheers!
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2014
Messages
130
It's been a big week for Garagiste. Most importantly we've partnered with a law firm to represent us and get the ball rolling. They've worked with two local upstart breweries and I feel really good about them.

We've submitted for our LLC and are establishing a Federal Tax ID. So within the next week or so Garagiste will exist as a company. We're also in the finishing steps of our Trademarks so things are progressing nicely.

We've also began looking at potential sites for the Meadery. We've found a few that will make good candidates so I'm optimistic that we'll find a good home in due time.

As of today our Indiegogo campaign is at $53,000 with some two weeks left. We cannot thank you enough! You are amazing!

Have a great weekend!
 
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