Our First Bottle Delivery: Full of Surprises

Our First Bottle Delivery: Full of Surprises

We have had our first delivery of bottles.

This order included one-liter bottles and 375-ml bottles. There were approximately 3,000 bottles.

There were several surprises with this first delivery.

First, the bottles were delivered a day late.

Second, the bottles were taken to the wrong address. FedEx gave the driver an incorrect address, and the bottles were taken to the wrong place, about twenty miles down the road.

Third, the bottles were stacked high on two pallets in the back of the delivery truck, and could not be off-loaded with the pallet jack, as they had been packed in such a way that the pallet jack was useless.

Fourth, the bottles did not come in boxes. This was one of the biggest surprises. They arrived on a pallet, in stacks (about 8 feet tall) on floppy, light-weight cardboard.


Fifth, we had just about the nicest FedEx driver. (I do not know why this surprises me, but he went way out of his way to help us.) Luckily, both Chuck and our son, Iain, were at the distillery at the time of the delivery. It took the three of them over two hours to off-load the bottles. The FedEx driver never complained.

We managed to get the bottles into the distillery. They are in the center of our production room and definitely in the way. It is surprising how much space they take. Now, I need to move the 3,000 bottles to a better location. I plan to look at it as a long walk, going back and forth about 1,000 times.

This week I am expecting the delivery of the 750 ml bottles This is a large order, approximately 4,000 bottles. I really do not know what to expect.

Sophie Bell

We bought our home in Seattle from Sophie Bell in 1988. She had lived here since 1944. At that time, she had moved into the home with her husband and six children.

When we bought our home from her, she was living alone. She had congestive heart failure, and, against her will, she was moving into assisted living. We had made an arrangement with her that she could take her time moving out, and we would take our time moving in. However, there was a deadline for her to move out.

That deadline came and went. I was unpacking our pots and pans in the kitchen. Sophie was sitting at the kitchen table, writing letters. She told me, “Honey, you will never be happy if you put your pots and pans there. Put them over here.” She pointed to a different cupboard.

Sophie was right. I put my pots and pans where she told me, and I was always happy in our home.

Chuck and I are unpacking our new distilling equipment. We are uncertain of the best places to put some of it. We sure do wish Sophie was here to tell us how to do it, and where it’s best to put our pots and pans.

A Generous Welcome

Recently new oak barrels were delivered to the distillery. We had thought the delivery was not yet scheduled, but were mistaken. To make matters worse, no one was at our building to accept the delivery. On that day, Chuck and I were in Seattle.

The delivery-man called me, anxious to unload and make his next delivery. If someone could not let him in, he would return the barrels to a warehouse that is not open to the public.

I called our real estate agent, Pat. She has a key. But there was still the problem of unloading. On that particular day, the truck could not use its lift gate. Pat asked the distillery’s neighbor to help. He agreed, but a hand-cart would be necessary. Fortunately, his mother has a hand-cart. Hoodsport is a small town. He drove to her house to borrow it.

Hoodsport has been generous in its welcome. It feels like these oak barrels are now as much a part of the town of Hoodsport as our distillery.

Radio Show

Radio Show

Listen to Hardware Distillery founder Jan Morris describe the start-up of her distillery in Hoodsport, Washington.

Learn the in’s and out’s of starting a distillery from Hardware Distillery’s Jan Morris in this interview with Robbin Block on Minding Your Business.

Hear all the details about the paperwork, build out, financing and more.

A copper pot still from Spain

Purchasing a still for the distillery should not be difficult. But…somehow we are having difficulties.

After researching pot stills, The Hardware Distillery ordered a copper pot still from a company in Spain. The order was placed October 30, 2011, with the agreement that there would be an immediate payment in full, and that the pot still would be shipped by December 16, 2011. The payment was made as agreed upon.

We have heard nothing from the company regarding the shipment, despite the fact that they acknowledged receipt of the payment almost 2 months ago. Today is December 29, and we sent an inquiry regarding the status of the shipment. This was the response:


In accordance with Customer demand, our usual delivery date is 8 to 9 weeks, but indeed I promised on the invoice to ship on Dec. 16th or sooner. Unfortunately we did not preview religious holidays in December, as well as the severe weather and the closing of our Shipping Port for several days. I hope our broker can book space in container ship leaving before the 10th of January.

I wish you a Happy New Year.

It is unknown what is meant by the word “hope” for booking the space on the container ship before January 10. We hope it’s good news.