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$1,893
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
23
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, September 23 2014 6:01 PM UTC +00:00
Tyler MorrisBy Tyler Morris
First created
Tyler MorrisBy Tyler Morris
First created
$1,893
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
23
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, September 23 2014 6:01 PM UTC +00:00

About

Origins of Top Hat Distillery

Hi, I'm Tyler Morris, Head Distiller and Co-Owner of Top Hat Distillery in San Francisco. Top Hat Distillery is owned by Lisa Lowitz, and myself.  Five years ago the idea to start a craft distillery came to me while having drinks with co-workers.  Someone was explaining the various ways gin is made.  I became fascinated with distilling.  Several years later, I was sharing the idea with family and they found it intriguing.

The next year was spent immersing ourselves in everything "distillery."  We visited micro-distilleries around the country, took some distilling workshops to help build on our existing knowledge as home brewers.  We researched distillery layout, equipment, laws, distribution, and old world techniques.  When Tennessee was born, we were even more motivated to open up shop.

Tennessee can't wait to drive the forklift.
Tennessee can't wait to drive the forklift.

Why San Francisco?

San Francisco boomed as a result of the gold rush until the Great Quake of 1906 which obliterated the city. Some felt that the destruction of the city that gave birth to the Barbary Coast, and coined the term Shanghaied, was an act of god against their drinking sins.  The distilleries didn't have a chance to rebuild before prohibition, and wouldn't return to San Francisco until the 1990's.

Amanda, a local bartenders talks about the importance of whiskey in S.F.

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Top Hat Distillery is more than just a business to us.  Its about the culture and spirit that comes with laughter, stories, and memories shared at bar stools, happy hour, family get together's, and semi sunny days in Dolores Park with quality crafted spirits.

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Daniel, a bartender at 15 Romolo shares his view on whiskey

We will start off with single grain whiskies (rye, barley, corn), a coffee liqueur, white rum, and brandy.  Other unique spirit releases are planned. 

Kickstarter and Beyond

In 2013 we found our distillery space in the Bayshore neighborhood of S.F. in a warehouse space built in 1946.  We began the long process of obtaining local permits to distill.  We moved equipment in, and began packaging design.  Our bottles, labels, and closures have been selected.

The next expense to tackle is the last of our plumbing/mechanical build out.  This is where Kickstarter comes in.  The money raised here will go to purchase our steam boiler, install our new steam and water pipes, and add 2 floor drains.  The plans and permits are finalized.  If we exceed our funding goal, the additional funding will go towards expanding our grain/fruit milling capabilities.

Lisa hugging our still after it's been unwrapped.  We named her Penny.
Lisa hugging our still after it's been unwrapped. We named her Penny.

Risks and challenges

On February 6th, 2014, San Francisco approved our local permits to distill. This was the longest, and most arduous hurdle we faced in opening. Next is our federal permits, which are processing, and will be approved within several months.

Financially, we have stayed true to what we can afford, and what we outlined in our business plan. In terms of equipment, our pot still, mash tun, fermenters, bottling equipment, and misc. equipment are in place.

The last item to finalize, though the most important, is distribution. We are talking to bars, restaurants, and specialty liquor markets to create a strong interest in showcasing and selling our products. The success and hype of this Kickstarter will help cement interest.

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Support

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    You will receive a message expressing our gratitude and thanks.

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    Because you are giving our project a shot, we will send you a set of 2 custom shot glasses. Please add $3 for U.S. shipping or you can pick-up for free at the distillery.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    DOLORES PARK FUN PACK!!
    Our "fun pack" includes a limited edition Top Hat Distillery frisbee, and bottle opener. Both are made here in the USA. Please add $3 for U.S. shipping or you can pick-up for free at the distillery.

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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    You and a guest will receive a hands on tour from our distiller and a shwag goody bag!

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    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    NEW RELEASE

    Wall Tile

    We've reserved a spot for your name to go on a tile in the distillery.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    You get an awesome limited edition Top Hat Distillery t-shirt, plus bottle opener. These shirts are made in the USA by American Apparel, and screen printed here in San Francisco. Shirts are available in men's and women's! Please add $3 for U.S. shipping or you can pick-up for free at the distillery.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Let's Party!!! Receive 2 tickets to our friends and family launch party. This will be a day full of cheers, and celebrating in style! You will also leave with a goody-bag.

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    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    You will receive a limited edition Top Hat Distillery hoodie (USA made by American Apparel and screen printed in San Francisco). Plus receive our custom bottle opener and a set of stickers. Please add $3 for U.S. shipping or you can pick-up for free at the distillery.

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    Pledge US$ 175 or more About US$ 175

    The ultimate shwag pack. You will receive our exclusive American Apparel t-shirt, hoodie, our limited edition frisbee, and bottle opener. Please add $3 for U.S. shipping or you can pick-up for free at the distillery.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Enjoy a unique 3 hour private distillery experience for 6. Complete with tour, hands on Q&A, libations and snacks.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Pull up a chair to one of our 2-day workshops. These workshops are an introduction to the world of craft distilling. All meals are provided. Exact workshop date to be determined later.

    Also receive our limited edition Top Hat Distillery t-shirt that's made in the USA by American Apparel and screen printed in San Francisco. Please add $3 for U.S. shipping or you can pick-up for free at the distillery.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    NEW RELEASE

    Reserve your very own used barrel from our first round of barrel aged whiskey. It will take a little time until this happens, but trust us, its something special.

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Funding period

- (35 days)