So Wednesday was a bad day. As you may have heard, the Manitoba government decided to cancel a program that would have provided low interest loans to breweries and distilleries in Manitoba. These loans were announced in January 2016 as part of a program to help develop and stimulate the production of craft beer and spirits in the province.
Opening a distillery was expensive. Hugely expensive. The low interest loan from the government was going to help us keep the lights on while we developed and marketed our product. It was going to be the cash that let us survive and say "Hey Manitoba! We're here, we're local, and we make the best darn vodka around!". Without those funds we have a much quieter voice and we need your help.
We need you to help spread the word about Tall Grass Vodka, and Capital K Distillery. We need you to spend your money on locally brewed and distilled products because we need your support to survive. Craft products like Tall Grass Vodka are good for Manitoba. We purchase grain from local farmers, employ local people, stimulate the economy through sales, and make the best cocktails you've ever tasted.
So please, help us. Buy Tall Grass Vodka and help us forget about the $250,000 loan that almost was. Help us keep the lights on and spread the word!
Below is a copy of a press release that we sent to media outlets across Manitoba today. If you see us in the news please retweet, share, snail mail, or carrier pigeon the message to your friends. We'd really appreciate it.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2016 - Winnipeg, MB - Capital K Distillery, Winnipeg’s first and only producer of grain to bottle craft spirits, faces an uncertain future after Wednesday’s cancellation of the $5 million Supporting Manitoba Craft Brewing Strategy, an economic incentive loan program launched January 18 of this year. Expecting to receive $250,000 in low interest loans through the loan, the newly opened distillery hopes to instead draw holiday shoppers toward local craft purchases, in an effort to bolster sales and make up capital lost through the cancellation.
Jason Kang, owner and master distiller at Capital K Distillery, says without the previously promised $250,000, his business wavers on bankruptcy. “My business plan was built around the loan,” says Kang. “Without the loan program, we're missing a vital piece of funding. It takes time to build sales and momentum of our first product, Tall Grass Vodka, and time is something we don’t have anymore. Bills need to be paid now, not later when funding is secured elsewhere.”
The economic incentive loan was announced earlier this year by the previous NDP government, and was expected for implementation this past spring. The subsequent majority election of Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government saw the Supporting Manitoba Craft Brewing Strategy put into review shortly following its creation, and Wednesday’s cancellation of the economic incentive loan has in turn devastated local craft brewers and distillers such as Capital K, who counted on it to get their business off the ground.
Kang is urging shoppers to spend locally when purchasing holiday spirits this year. “We need your help. There are several start-up breweries in our city in the same situation as Capital K Distillery. Please, invest your money in local products. You’ll be getting the highest quality product and helping us stay afloat in the wake of devastating government cutbacks.”
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About Capital K Distillery
Capital K Distillery is the first and only grain to bottle craft distillery in Manitoba, based in Winnipeg at 1680 Dublin Avenue and producing premium spirits. Founded in 2016, Capital K uses a 20-plate still to produce high quality grain-to-bottle spirits, which use all-natural ingredients sourced from Manitoba farms. Its first product, Tall Grass Vodka, launched in fall 2016 across Manitoba, with Tall Grass Gin and specialty vodkas expected for launch early 2017.