Distillery For Sale and craft spirit brands for sale

How to Buy or Sell a Distillery: Tips, Tricks, & FAQ

Have you ever had a bright business idea and wondered “how could I actually go about doing this?” Well, today we’re going to chat about one significant business venture you might be considering: buying a distillery for sale. There are many questions that surround this process, and we’re here to answer all of them in one spot for you. Let’s get started. Continue reading to find our list of current distilleries for sale.

Why Should I Invest in a Distillery?

If you’ve already started thinking about this business venture, you’re probably already pretty invested in the idea. Any new business idea is exciting, but getting from idea to realization is a multi-step process.

But… why should you invest in a distillery? Distilleries are a lot of work to own and operate, but if you’re interested in producing spirits, it might be right up your alley. Make sure to do as much research as possible before you get started, but this industry can be highly lucrative if you know what you’re doing.

Plus, craft spirits are incredibly popular right now. If you market your brand effectively, you could stand to make a good chunk of money. The only problem is the startup cost.

Is It Profitable to Own a Distillery?

Like any business, proper management and crafting products people love can be extremely profitable. However, if you don’t have much business management experience, it might be a bit overwhelming trying to navigate owning a distillery yourself.

Another factor to consider is that starting a brand new distillery is a long-term investment. You won’t start seeing profits right away unless you’re selling unaged spirits. The aging process takes years – at least two or more for most spirits. This is one of the benefits of purchasing a distillery with spirits already in the aging process – you can hit the ground running, so to speak.

Can I Start a Spirit Brand Without a Distillery?

If you don’t necessarily want to invest in the entire package (buying a distillery and starting from ground zero), there are other options. Private label is a great example; this process allows you to get your feet wet with spirit production without committing to an entire distillery.

Learn More About Private Label Distilling →

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Distillery?

Distillery costs vary based on several factors. You could spend as little as $200,000 for a microdistillery or as much as $5,000,000 for a well-known, established brand. Here are some factors that affect the final price. Make sure you have the business appraised and audited so that you know it’s value before settling on a purchase price.


In any type of real estate, location is a huge factor. For example, a distillery in the heart of LA is going to cost you much more than one in rural Minnesota. 

Furthermore, the distillery’s location in regards to getting a fresh, clean water supply and local grains may also impact the final price. Many local distilleries have arranged agreements with local farms and have their own wells on-site. All of these factors play into how valuable the location is.

Brand Value

This factor also goes without saying. It would cost you a lot more to purchase the “Maker’s Mark” distillery than it would to buy a local craft distillery that hasn’t made a name for itself yet. You aren’t just buying the facility, you’re also buying the brand – regardless of whether you’re going to re-brand the products or not.

Included Equipment

Not all “distilleries for sale” are going to include all the equipment you need. Take this into consideration when you land on a price. Most sellers are open and transparent from the beginning about what equipment is included, but, if you have to, fight to get all the information you need to make a well-informed decision.


Another factor that will affect the final value and price of the distillery you’re looking at is the condition of the facility and the equipment within it. Even the public opinion of the brand might factor into the final price you pay.

Make sure you test any water sources on the property, too. Water is incredibly important to making spirits, and many people forget about this factor.

Staff Included

Many times, a brand will sell their facility but promise that any staff can stay. You might pay more for this, since it will save you time. Not having to hire a full staff for a distillery can be very beneficial – especially if the staff already knows how the brand and its production system work. Choosing staff for your distillery is also incredibly important for compliance purposes – take this into consideration, too.

How Much Capital Do I Need to Start a Distillery?

This will largely depend on how much equipment you need to purchase before the distillery can start operating. If you’re purchasing a distillery with little to no equipment, you’re potentially looking at a much higher capital investment. In a fully-functional distillery for sale, what you see is what you get, and that can just be financed. 

Depending on how you plan to pay for your business, your capital needs are going to vary. There’s no hard and fast rule here, but expect to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars up to several million.

Buying a Distillery vs Building a Distillery: Which Route Should I Choose?

Depending on what’s out there when you’re looking to start your venture, you may not find exactly what you’re looking for. In that case, building from scratch may be your best option. Keep in mind that you can also convert an industrial or commercial space into a distillery – with the right permits and zoning.

Price out different options and choose what works best for you (and everyone else involved in the business venture).

Where to Buy a Distillery:

This is a pretty niche type of business purchase, so finding listings may be a bit difficult. We recommend you keep an ear out for local closures – you could even send a private inquiry to see if the local distillery in your area that’s closing has found a buyer yet.

Another option is to use a site like Distillery Nearby*. We are building a one-stop shop for all things distilling – including distilleries for sale!

Check out the listings* today →

*Distillery Nearby is not a buying or selling agent and will not assist you in the purchase or selling of your distillery.

Can You Invest in a Distillery Without Buying It?

You can absolutely invest in distilleries without buying them, thanks to the stock market. Other distilleries may have other private options if they aren’t a publicly traded company, but stocks are a great way to invest small amounts without being in charge of the business yourself.

Issues to Consider When Buying or Selling a Distillery

When you’re looking to buy a distillery, understanding the type of transaction (stock sale vs. asset sale) and the implications for both buyer and seller is crucial. 

A stock sale involves taking over the business entirely, including liabilities, while an asset sale allows for negotiation over what is bought and what liabilities remain with the seller. Both options have different tax implications.

Additionally, due diligence on regulations, permits, and licenses at both federal and state levels is vital, as these will impact your ability to operate the distillery post-purchase. Here at Distillery Nearby, we are not certified business real estate or business lawyers; we recommend you do your own due diligence in learning what you need to learn about the sale process so you don’t get caught in a bind.

It’s also important for both buyers and sellers to review contracts for clauses that could delay or complicate the sale. Engaging with professionals who understand the complexities of distillery transactions can provide invaluable support throughout the process.

You can read more about these issues in “Issues to Consider When Buying or Selling a Craft Distillery.” American Spirit, Winter 2016. Pages 23-25.

How Do I Buy a Distillery?

Buying a distillery isn’t like buying a home. There are two different types of transactions that you may use (stock sale & asset sale), and choosing which route to take can be difficult. We recommend you work with a business agent who has dealt with these kinds of sales before. Otherwise, you will be left with all of the research and will end up taking point on your own.

Distillery Nearby: Learn More & Get in the Business of Distilling Today!

Here at Distillery Nearby, we love all things distilling. From the craft spirit industry to the big brands, we have a unique appreciation for how these types of businesses are run. Plus, they’re a great boost to local economies across the United States. You can read more about rules, regulations, and find distilleries for sale, all on our website. Check out the following links to learn more today!

Browse Distilleries for Sale Listings →

Distilling State Laws & Regulations →

Disclaimer: Distillery Nearby does not represent buyers or sellers in any transactions for distilleries for sale nor do we offer legal or tax advice. We recommend the use of attorneys, accountants, and business brokers for your sale and purchase of a distillery for sale.

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