Toby Beall is the founder and Master Distiller of Tailwinds Distilling Company. Tailwinds Distilling Company is a family-run business that handcrafts award winning Taildragger Rums and Tailwind’s 100% Blue Agave Spirits. They also have a tasting room located at the distillery in which they feature cocktails inspired by their travels.
Tailwinds Distilling Company
(Photo courtesy of Tailwinds Distilling Company)
Toby Beall, along with his wife Jillian, founded Tailwinds Distilling. He became interested in rum production during constant travel through the Caribbean, South and Central America as a pilot. While most of the distilling falls on Toby’s family, his main focus now is on building the brand to become nationally known.
What has been the biggest challenge you have had in your business?
The biggest challenge has been building a brand in an industry dominated by giants. We have fought to gain exposure and compete for shelf space against companies with unlimited budgets. When we started with a shoe string budget in the liquor industry, we knew we would be in for challenge.
What have you implemented to overcome that challenge?
We have built a strong grass roots connection with our customers which in turn has made them our biggest advertisers. With much focus being placed on trace-ability and integrity of foods by consumers, they are able to easily support our brands. Our focus is on producing unadulterated natural spirits. A majority of rums and tequilas today are given color and flavor by adding caramel coloring and sugar to the distilled spirit. We have stood out from the crowd by avoiding these practices with the flavor of our spirits coming only from the raw cane or agave. The only color comes from the char of the barrel in which the spirit was aged.
What are the results after you implemented your solution?
We have doubled our sales each year that we have been in business and have currently outgrown our production equipment. We have expanded distribution to three states (IL, IN, WI) with plans to add several more in the new year once we can make enough bottles. Our Spirits have brought home many medals in international competitions; our rums just returned with two bronze and one silver medal (the highest awarded rums in their class). Our passion has helped us overcome our small start and proved our place on the top shelf among the big guys.
This article was written by Michelle Guilbeau for Small Business Pulse