I guess taking things slow is generally the best approach. Well, at least, that is our approach for setting up Gallows Hill Brewing Co.
Taking it slow is not only due to the desire to ensure that we do it once only and correct, but also due to the fact that we are juggling day jobs while going through the motions and red tape to set up a small business. Furthermore, we are taking it slow because it is the way we want to do it.
Setting up a small business, especially a liquor manufacturer & seller, is no easy task. Obtaining liquor licenses for the manufacture and sale is a seriously dragged out and painful process. More detail on this will follow in an upcoming post. In the mean time let's just say the authorities are not going out of their way to assist & promote the creation of small businesses. We are dealing with a case of a lot of talking at the top and very little actually happening on the ground.
Once licensing is in place you have to deal with the South African Revenue Service. If you find the correct person to help you, the whole process is not too painful. There are some issues SARS can work on. Firstly they promote the use of brokers and their entire setup is structured in such a way that you need to pay a third party to help you. Why? My only guess is that they are lazy and like to create unwarranted jobs for their friends and ex colleagues. The second issue they need to work on is "registration packages".... Let me explain: Instead of simply walking in and saying: "Hey. We are starting a brewery / winery / distillery and would like to set up all our tax issues, can you help?" and getting a reply: "Certainly, please fill in forms A, C, D & Z" you have to go through an iterative process. You complete the one step only to find out you should have registered for something else first upon completion... Is it so bloody difficult to set up a more structured approach?
They can certainly learn a lot from our major retail banks.
I am glad to say that all these issues should be concluded by the end of today...
Our bottles are being printed towards the end of the week and if all goes well some of our labels will also be done. All that we are left with then is brewing, experimenting, testing, more brewing and slowly getting bottled beer on the liquor store shelves.
As soon as production, sales and our processes become more stable and refined we will get going on the design and procurement of our proper big-boy brewhouse...
When I get my day job under control again we will tackle construction in the taproom. Personally I am looking forward to have it up and running. Talking & selling beer directly to customers over weekends is always enjoyable.
PS. Our brewery truck went in for restoration yesterday... If all goes to plan it will be the most bad-ass brewery truck in Cape Town !! Watch this space for build updates...