122 episodes

Distillery Nation is a podcast that takes you inside the story of starting a small craft distillery. Ilias Mastrogiannis talks about his own story on starting up a business. The struggles, regulations, cost and everything in between. In addition to real-world advice we interview some of your favorite craft distillers!

The Distillery Nation Podcast Ilias Mastrogiannis

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 87 Ratings

Distillery Nation is a podcast that takes you inside the story of starting a small craft distillery. Ilias Mastrogiannis talks about his own story on starting up a business. The struggles, regulations, cost and everything in between. In addition to real-world advice we interview some of your favorite craft distillers!

    No Shortcuts: Exploring Heirloom Grains with Al Laws

    No Shortcuts: Exploring Heirloom Grains with Al Laws

    Step into the world of whiskey craftsmanship with our latest episode of the Distillery Nation Podcast, where we had the privilege of chatting with Al Laws, the Founder and President of Laws Whiskey House. Our conversation delved deep into Al's journey into the art of distilling, offering listeners a firsthand glimpse into the passion and dedication that drive one of the industry's most respected figures.
    At the heart of our discussion was Al's unwavering commitment to quality and authenticity. From his humble beginnings to establishing Laws Whiskey House as a beacon of excellence in the spirits world, Al shared insights into the values that have guided his every endeavor. Central to his philosophy is the belief in expressing terroir through the use of heirloom grains, a principle that lies at the core of Laws Whiskey House's distinctive flavor profile.
    What sets Laws Whiskey House apart is not just their exceptional spirits, but also their steadfast adherence to tradition and craftsmanship. Al spoke passionately about taking no shortcuts in the distillation process, emphasizing the importance of patience and precision in creating spirits of unparalleled quality. It's this relentless pursuit of perfection that has earned Laws Whiskey House its well-deserved reputation as a purveyor of some of the finest whiskeys in the world.
    From discussing the intricacies of grain selection to exploring the art of barrel aging, our conversation with Al Laws offered listeners a behind-the-scenes look at the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into every bottle of Laws whiskey. Whether you're a seasoned whiskey aficionado or simply curious about the world of craft spirits, this episode is sure to captivate and inspire.

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Crafting Creativity: Inside 3BR Distillery's Innovative Spirits

    Crafting Creativity: Inside 3BR Distillery's Innovative Spirits

    This month on Distillery Nation, we had the privilege of delving into the world of craft distilling with Aleks Zhdanov, the mastermind behind 3BR Distillery nestled in the heart of New Jersey. Our conversation was a spirited exploration of innovation, collaboration, and passion for crafting exceptional spirits.
    At 3BR Distillery, creativity knows no bounds. Aleks shared insights into their signature spirits, notably their pioneering vodka distilled from peas. This unconventional approach not only yields a smooth and distinct flavor profile but also underscores their commitment to pushing the boundaries of traditional distillation.
    One of the highlights of our discussion was the emphasis on collaboration. Aleks emphasized the importance of working with local farmers and artisans, fostering a sense of community while sourcing high-quality ingredients. This collaborative ethos extends beyond the distillery walls, contributing to the vibrant tapestry of New Jersey's craft beverage scene.
    In true Distillery Nation fashion, we introduced a fun twist to our conversation, asking Aleks about his favorite piece of distillery equipment. His response shed light on the symbiotic relationship between craftsmanship and technology, highlighting the integral role of equipment in shaping the distillation process, sanitizing! 

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Bonus Episode: Puddles, Pond, Lakes, Oceans: how to master the basics: From Distilling to Selling Bottles

    Bonus Episode: Puddles, Pond, Lakes, Oceans: how to master the basics: From Distilling to Selling Bottles

    A special two-part bonus episode of the Distillery Nation Podcast of a recent interview I did with Chris Maffeo of the Maffeo Drinks Podcasts.
    In Episode 050 I had the pleasure of chatting with Ilias Mastrogiannis. He is the founder of the Distillery Nation Podcast and Mastrogiannis Winery and Distillery, based in Washington State, inspired by Greek tradition. I hope you will enjoy our chat.
    Time Stamps
    0:00 Intro
    0:51 Ilias' Podcast
    3:59 Building Demand
    5:30 Starting Product
    6:46 Traditional Vs Modern Occasions
    10:38 Ring Road of Messaging
    16:23 Event Driven Messaging
    20:26 Event Specialized Products
    24:25 Dusty Vs Vibrant Categories
    28:22 Primacy of Cocktail List?
    30:52 Outro
    In Episode 051, I continued the conversation with Ilias Mastrogiannis from Episode 050 so feel free to listen to that as well. I hope you will enjoy our chat
    Time Stamps
    0:00 Intro
    0:15 Winning Large Retailers
    5:28 Securing The Foundation
    8:34 Non-Scalable Tasks
    13:31 1% Better Everyday
    17:57 The Necessity of Obsession
    25:07 Wrap Up
    27:24 Outro
     
    Cheers,
    -ilias

    • 59 min
    Adapting to Uncertainty: How Quartz Mountain Distillers Thrived

    Adapting to Uncertainty: How Quartz Mountain Distillers Thrived

    In this months episode I have the pleasure of sharing the story of Quartz Mountain Distillers, a family-owned venture led by Darin and Randy Kyle, exemplifies this truth. Amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, this father-son duo turned adversity into opportunity, leveraging their skills to navigate the uncertain landscape of entrepreneurship.
    When the pandemic struck, disrupting industries worldwide, Darin and Randy saw an opportunity to pivot. With their distillery background, they began experimenting with hand sanitizer production, a vital commodity during the crisis. This not only served their community but also provided a testing ground for their craft. It was during this time that they honed their recipes and techniques, laying the groundwork for their future success.
    What sets Quartz Mountain Distillers apart is their strategic approach to product development. Rather than narrowing their focus immediately, they opted to diversify their offerings, going wide with SKUs. This decision allowed them to explore various recipes and flavor profiles, gathering valuable feedback from customers along the way. As a result, they were able to fine-tune their offerings based on real-world preferences, leading to a lineup of award-winning spirits that resonate with consumers.
    The journey of Quartz Mountain Distillers underscores the importance of resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity. By embracing change and seizing opportunities, Darin and Randy not only survived but thrived in an uncertain market. Their story serves as inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, demonstrating that with passion, perseverance, and a willingness to innovate, success is attainable even in the most challenging times.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Potatoes, Wheat, and Craft Alchemy with Matt Howell of Chuckanut Bay Distillery

    Potatoes, Wheat, and Craft Alchemy with Matt Howell of Chuckanut Bay Distillery

    Dive into the world of distillation with our latest episode of the Distillery Nation Podcast, where I had the pleasure of chatting with the insightful Matt Howell, the mastermind behind Chuckanut Bay Distillery.
    In this captivating episode, we explored Matt's intriguing journey into the distilling realm, a path paved from his roots as a wine salesperson. Discover how this unique background shaped his perspective and contributed to Chuckanut Bay Distillery's distinct approach to crafting spirits.
    One of the highlights of our conversation was the discussion on their unconventional choice of ingredients – potatoes and local wheat. Matt delved into the intricacies of their distillation process, shedding light on the artistry involved in turning these humble elements into exceptional spirits. 🥔🌾
    Moreover, we uncovered the significance of forging strong connections with local farmers. Matt emphasized the cooperative relationship between Chuckanut Bay Distillery and farmers, underscoring the vital role they play in sourcing quality ingredients for their craft.
    The journey doesn't stop there! Matt shared insights into Chuckanut Bay Distillery's ambitious move into a sprawling 18,000 sqft facility. Learn about the challenges they faced, the innovations it brought to their production process, and the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.
    Whether you're a seasoned distiller, an aspiring enthusiast, or simply curious about the world of craft spirits, this episode offers a delightful blend of expertise, passion, and the untold stories behind the stills. 
    Tune in now to gain an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the craft distilling universe with Matt Howell – an episode that promises to leave your spirits lifted! 🎧🔥

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Distillery Nation's Top Insights from 2023: A Year in Review

    Distillery Nation's Top Insights from 2023: A Year in Review

    A very special podcast to wrap up the end of the year. For the third year I decided to go back, listen and re-listen to all the great interviews that happened in the last year and pick some of my favorite pieces and add commentary on why that piece was important and how in most cases it helped with the direction for my business.
    1. Sean from Fox and Seeker - Navigating Resources for Small Distilleries
    In Episode [Timestamp: 32:16 - 34:05], Sean emphasizes the challenges faced by small distilleries in supporting on-premise operations. He advocates for a strategic focus on retail avenues as an initial step, recognizing the difficulties of resource allocation.
    2. Sonat from Koval Distillery - The Power of Adaptability and Branding
    Sonat's insights, shared between [Timestamp: 24:19 - 29:02], revolve around the significance of adaptability. She discusses the "aha moment," stressing the importance of shifting strategies when needed and harnessing the power of effective branding.
    3. Dan from Cotswolds Distillery - The Cash Cow: Gin's Role in Funding Business Growth
    In the segment [Timestamp: 35:10 - 38:06], Dan delves into the role of a flagship product, using gin as an example, in funding various aspects of a small distillery business. He explores the concept of a "cash cow" product and its potential impact on overall business sustainability.
    4. Dave from Starwards Distillery - Beyond a Good Product: Crafting a Unique Value Proposition
    Dave's discussion from [Timestamp: 36:45 - 39:26] emphasizes the importance of having more than just a good product. He highlights the need to articulate reasons why consumers should choose a particular bottle, emphasizing the creation of a compelling brand story.
    5. Grant from Chattanooga Whiskey - Crafting Tradition 2.0: Raw Material Focus
    Grant, between [Timestamp: 16:49 - 20:15], discusses the unconventional approach of prioritizing raw materials over traditional recipe development. This strategy helps build a brand identity beyond generic offerings, aligning with consumer expectations.
    6. Lee from Wood's High Mountain Distillery - Maturation in High Altitude: A Unique Approach
    Exploring the impact of maturation at high altitudes, Lee's insights from [Timestamp: 36:13 - 39:10] shed light on the diverse approaches distilleries take. The discussion prompts a deeper exploration of the topic and its implications for flavor profiles.
    7. Ian from Ohanafy - Leveraging Technology in Beverage Alcohol Production
    In the segment [Timestamp: 36:03 - 37:00], Ian underscores the importance of technology in beverage alcohol production. He discusses how technology enables small producers to achieve more with fewer resources while ensuring a unified and correct approach.
    8. Tom from Herrick Distillery - Unexpected Best Sellers: Listening to Consumer Feedback
    Tom's experience, shared from [Timestamp: 21:20 - 22:33], highlights the potential of unexpected products becoming best sellers. He emphasizes the importance of actively listening to consumer feedback, especially during tastings.
    9. Mathias from Purity Distillery - The Significance of Copper Surface in Distillation
    In Episode [Timestamp: 23:49 - 27:20], Mathias emphasizes the importance of copper surface during distillation. He discusses the critical role of selecting the right still for the desired product.
    10. Matt from Big Thirst - Co-promotion and Collaborations: Amplifying Brand Exposure
    Matt's insights, shared between [Timestamp: 39:35 - 40:32], focus on the importance of co-promotion and collaborations. He highlights how sharing audiences and exposure between brands can significantly amplify brand visibility.
    11. Nicolas from PM Spirits - Creating Your Own Box: Diversifying Revenue Streams
    Nicolas, in the segment [Timestamp: 22:14 - 23:27], discusses the concept of creating your own box. He explores the idea of diversifying revenue streams, whether through wholesaling, creating unique brands, or engaging in collaborations to su

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
87 Ratings

87 Ratings

double four ranch ,

Inspirational

I’ve been binging for a couple weeks now. Just wanted to say thank you. Great content!

KBS Chief Anitcipation Officer ,

Distillery + Business = Edutainment

Great podcast to not just learn about the Craft Spirits Industry, but the people behind it.

Fantastic resource for those in the industry.

Waynelectra ,

Just incredible!

There’s no better podcast out there if you’re passion about craft spirits and the people that make them. I learn a lot every time I listen.

Top Podcasts In Arts

Fresh Air
NPR
The Moth
The Moth
99% Invisible
Roman Mars
Glad We Had This Chat with Caroline Hirons
Wall to Wall Media
The Magnus Archives
Rusty Quill
Snap Judgment Presents: Spooked
Snap Judgment

You Might Also Like

Distillers Talk
Christi Atkinson and Alan Bishop
Craft Spirits Podcast
The Craft Spirits Podcast
Chase The Craft
Jesse Willson
Aussie Craft Distillers Shootin' the Shit
Aussie Craft Distillers Shootin' the Shit
Bourbon Pursuit
Bourbon Pursuit
How I Built This with Guy Raz
Guy Raz | Wondery