Craft Distilling on the Big Island – final thoughts

Finally at last I managed to track down one of the Liquor Distributors here on the Big Island. Now, I can piece together some rough numbers. Let’s suppose that with freight costs factored in, a 1000 L tote of NGS could be landed in Hilo for $6.60 per Liter. Let’s suppose that such a tote will generate 3100 bottles (750 ml size) of 40% Gin. Botanicals will cost $0.25 per bottle. Bottles, labels, caps will be a landed cost of $4 per bottle. Federal excise tax in America will be $2.15 per bottle. Summing up we have NGS at $2 per bottle, Botanicals at $0.25 per bottle, Bottles etc… at $4 per bottle, Excise Tax at $2.15. This gives $8.40 per bottle. Now add in fixed costs of Utilities, Rent, Insurance and possible bank loan payments all together totaling $3 per bottle. Let’s suppose I want a profit per bottle of $5. Now we are at $16.50. The Liquor Distributor will take a 30% cut so he will place bottles into grocery stores etc at $21.45. The store owner will add his margin of 30% which makes a bottle worth $28 to the retail consumer. More expensive than a lot of big commercial products on the shelf – but not at all unreasonable.

So, if my goal is to keep myself occupied (and having fun) while in Hawaii for several months each year, I would certainly make an economic argument for producing several thousand bottles of unique Gin in Hilo.