A Chance Meeting
In the summer of 2011, Ron Gomes, Jr. and Mike Rasmussen were introduced by a mutual friend, though it turns out they had crossed paths years prior at a party or two… Independently, we were both working on plans to open a craft distillery in Delaware but approaching the idea from different directions. Ron was focused on crafting a solid business plan, doing the market research, and talking with the right people. Mike’s attention centered on history, products, production techniques, and equipment.
A Shared Vision
We both knew we needed a partner to bring their idea to life. Our first meeting quickly went from an introductory conversation into an hours-long session as we realized our ideas were scarily aligned. We both knew that we wanted to open a distillery in Delaware that was fanatical about creating the finest craft spirits with local agricultural products. We both knew we had to have both a solid production and marketing plan if we wanted to keep the doors open. And we both knew that we would need the help of good-hearted folks to get it done. Over the fall of 2011, Painted Stave Distilling was formed (originally known as Legacy Distilling but changed in the winter of 2013), and we began working to launch the first stand alone craft distillery in Delaware.
A New Law
In the winter of 2012, we met with the state to identify what we would need to open. As expected, the current laws didn’t fit our needs, and there would have to be new legislation to allow us to launch a stand-alone distillery that offered tours, tastings and sales. At the same time, the state was contacted by Dogfish Head brewery about a craft distillery law that would allow them to expand their current distilling operations in their brewpub. Painted Stave Distilling and Dogfish Head worked together to craft legislation that incorporated the best of laws from around the nation, and with a little help from family and friends were able to move it through the Delaware General Assembly by April of 2012. In the end, Delaware has one of the most accommodating Craft Distilling laws in the nation, providing us the flexibility we need to build a successful business.
A Lot of Help
Since that first meeting we have had a great deal of support bringing Painted Stave Distilling to life. We could not have come this far without advisers that helped light our path, a supportive town that helped open the doors to our building, public servants who made sure we were on the right road. And going forward will not be possible without the continued support of our growing community. We look forward to meeting and working with all of you. See you at the distillery…