It's hard to put a date on when this crazy adventure actually began. I don't really need to but it's kind of nice to have a starting point. Like a birthday or something.
I began brewing beer before I was allowed to drink it; disallowed by my mum, if not by the authorities. I served my first home made cider alongside the champagne at my wedding. And various other concoctions have punctuated the years.
But although all those years of hobbying feel like part of the journey, I definitely wasn't on a deliberate trajectory to being a distiller.
Or when I returned to Uni to study Brewing & Distilling more formally? But again, the distillery was still a dream out of step with reality. Better, when after a two year search for a suitable venue I bought an old Coach House, deep in the countryside with enough space and potential (if you squint your eyes just right) to build the perfect microdistillery.
But even then it wasn't a given. For me, the official starting pistol required one more part of the jigsaw to fall into place.
It wasn't a given that i'd get planning permission. There's been plenty of people set up paint spraying businesses in rural properties over the years to make a change of use to light industrial a bit of a leap of faith.
I don't know what i'd have done had it not been granted. All those years of planning. All that money invested. Best not to think about it maybe. But thankfully the planners are a decent bunch really. They got the vision.
So that's it. 7th October 2015. The day a nebulous set of interests, skills, hopes and experiences kind of wound themselves around a purpose and refused to get off.