February 23, 2011 in Business

Dry Fly adds extra shift, equipment to meet demand for its whiskey

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Spokane-based Dry Fly Distilling is adding a second shift to produce more whiskey to meet a growing demand for aged alcohol products, company co-founder Don Poffenroth said.

Poffenroth said the company will add three fermenters to boost production by 40 percent at its downtown site. He said the second shift will likely start within 90 days.

“It became apparent we need to put additional whiskey in the barrel. We can’t come close to meeting the whiskey demand we’re seeing,” he said.

Started in 2007, Dry Fly produces gin, vodka and all-wheat whiskey. It will release a bourbon whiskey this year. It has another whiskey under wraps due to be released later this year, Poffenroth said.

“We call it Project X, and it’s made from a grain never used for whiskey before,” he said.

Strong demand for its products is forcing the company to decide whether it will lease a warehouse for storing products, or relocate to a new, larger space. Its currently leases a 3,000-square-foot building that will be full once the three fermenters are up and running.

The added production will allow Dry Fly to expand its sales pipeline, Poffenroth said. It sells gin and vodka in 30 states, but just four states carry Dry Fly whiskey.

“We could sell whiskey to all of our 30 states if we had it. We hope to add four or five more (states) this year,” he said.

The capital costs for the new equipment come to roughly $30,000. Labor costs for the swing shift will total another $40,000 to $50,000, the company estimates.

The company produced roughly 20,000 gallons last year of gin, vodka and whiskey. Adding the swing shift will ramp production this year to 30,000 to 32,000 gallons, Poffenroth said.


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