Finance for the distilling industry

Setting up a distillery can be the basis of a rewarding business. We can help you find the funding you need.

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Funding options


Setting up your micro distillery

  • Unsecured loans up to £25,000
  • Secured loans - £250,000 or more
  • Commercial mortgages from 2% above base rate
  • Asset finance

Running Your micro distillery

  • Cashflow support
  • Invoice finance
  • Working capital loans
  • Tax loans

Growing your micro distillery

  • 'Jigsaw' funding designed around your needs
  • Export finance
  • Growth finance
  • Asset refinance

Talk to Rangewell – the business finance experts

Micro distilleries are a new kind of business. Most traditional lenders have no experience in the sector, and can't provide finance. We work across the entire market to find lenders who understand the challenges and potential, and can deliver the business funding you need.

At Rangewell we recognise your professional status, and we work harder to find you better solutions - which can include 100% finance for many of your needs.

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Gin and whiskey have long been the preserve of major distillers. However, demand for exclusive premium brands is picking up - providing exciting new opportunities for micro distilleries.

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While the global demand for gin and whiskey from major distillers remains flat, demand for small-batch gin is increasing fast and whiskey looks set to follow. Growth in some markets for super premium varieties hit double digits.

In recent years the UK has seen a revolutionary growth in the micro-distilling industry and with the increasing demand for boutique gin cocktails, the majority of the new distilleries are approaching the market with crafted small-scale gin. It looks as though distilling could follow the booming craft beer industry.

HMRC relaxing the law on still sizes is also helping the industry to prosper. With stills as small as 100-150L, the micro-distillers across the UK are able to produce a range of specialised and crafted products from organic spirit, rye-based spirits, and gin, using rare and exotic botanicals.

At Rangewell, we work with businesses of all kinds across the UK. Our financial expertise could help you set up, run and grow a distillery business of your own.

Your funding options

There are actually many types of funding that can be suitable for your distilling business. Getting the most appropriate finance solution will depend on your particular needs.

You may need to find the right type of funding option to allow you to:

  • Acquire premises
  • Bring in and update equipment and assets
  • Release cashflow by refinancing assets
  • Operating costs
  • Finance growth
  • Deal with tax
  • Buy in/Buy out

Your premises

Finding the right premises for your distillery is essential. It is possible to start production in a spare room or an outbuilding, but if you are serious about producing gin or whiskey as a business, you will need suitable premises. Remember, if your business is a success, you will need room to expand.

You will need running water, electricity and drainage, and floors capable of carrying substantial loads, together with good roof height. Hygiene is important too. Washable walls and seamless, impact-resistant, impervious and anti-slip flooring will be important, as will security.

The costs of business premises will vary substantially across the country, but wherever you want to operate, a Commercial Mortgage can help you buy business premises. A deposit of 20-35% will usually be required.

A lending manager will look at each application and will set the rate based on the risks and potential outlined in your business plan.

Commercial Property Finance is always arranged on an individual basis. Get our help finding the most competitive lender.


Commercial production is likely to start with a 50 litre still, although larger stills are available. Copper remains the preferred material and a 50 litre still will cost several thousand pounds.

You will also need:

  • Boiler and  Mash tun – Mash tank, with heat source and controls
  • Fermentation system – Fermentation tank, cooling pump
  • Filter system – Filter diameter tank, pump
  • Control system – Meter controlling board, refrigerator board, PLC control board
  • Cleaning system – sterilisation equipment, alkali liquor tank, washing pump
  • Filling system – bottling equipment

Costs for small-scale production may start below £10,000 but will rise as the size of vessels and your business grows.

Asset Finance can help make the equipment you need more affordable, by spreading the costs over time.

With Asset Finance, the funds you need are secured on the asset itself. This means that if you were unable to make the repayments the lender would simply repossess the asset. It can also reduce the cost of the finance, as lower risk to the lender usually means lower interest rates to you.

There are several different types of Asset Finance:

Hire Purchase

Hire Purchase lets you hire the equipment until you have paid for it.  Agreements last between 12 and 60 months and require a 10-20% deposit plus fixed monthly instalments, after which the equipment becomes yours. HP may be most suitable for equipment you will use for the long term.

Equipment vendors may offer finance arrangements to support their sales, but arranging your own finance from a specialist lender can frequently be more cost-effective and mean substantially reduced costs.


Leasing is much like a rental agreement. You pay a monthly charge to use the asset. With some arrangements maintenance, and repairs will be the owner’s responsibility. It means you can easily update your equipment, which may be an advantage if you need to increase your capacity or change your brewing process.

Contract Hire

Contract Hire may be the most appropriate form of asset finance for your business vehicles. With business contract hire, monthly charges are based on the purchase cost, less the value of the vehicle after the contract period, substantially reducing the costs of operating the vehicles you need.

New and used assets

Pre-owned equipment can mean major savings compared with new equipment. We can help you arrange various types of Asset Finance for used equipment, allowing you save twice - with both a reduced purchase price, and secondly by spreading the cost of finance.

Find out more about Used Asset Funding here.

Refinance existing assets

The equipment that your business already uses represents a considerable investment. Asset refinance lets you re-use that investment to fund any aspect of your business, while still having full use of your assets. The finance company will buy the asset from you, providing you with a cash sum. You then buy the asset back, with a new finance arrangement.

You can use asset refinance to release cash, or to replace existing finance deals to reduce your monthly outgoings. Find out more here.

Operating costs

Operating your business will also mean costs – for staff, utilities and other overheads, until you start to show a profit. There are a number of ways to provide for these costs.


Business loans may be Secured or Unsecured

Unsecured Loans are like personal loans, and don’t involve holding any assets as security. Loans are repaid in monthly or quarterly instalments over an agreed term, usually under 5 years. Modern lenders can provide fast unsecured lending, but you might need to provide a personal guarantee

You usually can’t borrow more than one month’s turnover without security, and most Unsecured loan providers will not lend more than £250,000. For a new business operation, many lenders might only be prepared to offer a secured loan.

Secured Loans are ‘secured’ because the lender will require security in case you cannot pay the loan back. This could be your home, or your business premises.

You can have longer to repay, and enjoy lower interest rates. This means that monthly repayments can be lower and easier to fit in with your cashflow, and it may be possible to borrow larger sums of money if you can provide suitable security.

Our lending teams can discuss your needs, and help you find the kind of loan to fit your business needs.

Cashflow funding

Cash flow is a major challenge for every business, especially if your trade is seasonal. Solutions include:

Revolving Credit Facilities

Revolving Credit Facilities bring a line of credit, with an agreed limit that you can call on when you need it. You only pay for the money you take out, so it can be a cost-effective way to raise funds if you need them.

Find out more about ways to smooth your cashflow with Revolving Credit Facilities.

Invoice Finance

Customers in the food industry, and especially large supermarkets, can often take months to pay. Invoice Finance can bring you cash as soon as you issue an invoice, providing a flow of cash that keeps pace with the amount of business you do.

Find out more about Invoice Finance.

Tax funding

Tax demands always seem to arrive at the most inconvenient moment. A Tax Loan can help you to spread the cost of VAT and annual tax demands into monthly payments, helping smooth your cashflow.

Our finance experts can help you deal with your tax bills, find out more here.

Working Capital Finance

Operating your business will mean a number of ongoing costs. As well as staff costs, you will have waste disposal needs, and overheads such as utilities. Working capital finance is designed to give you additional working capital, helping provide cash to pay staff and suppliers during the early weeks and months after opening or during a period of growth. It is designed to be repaid in the short term

Our finance experts can help solve your working capital needs.

Alternative business funding

Many businesses now consider alternative business funding, like crowdfunding and Venture Capital. However, costs can be high, raising the funds you need can mean long delays or even fail altogether, and you could even run the risk of losing control of your business. Fortunately, we can help you find better alternatives.

A new generation of business lender has sprung up, which can adopt a more flexible approach to lending.

Find out more about Crowdfunding alternatives and Venture Capital alternatives

Buying a distillery business

Buying an existing business with equipment and goodwill could offer immediate returns. Knowing the kinds of profit that can be generated will help convince potential lenders that your plans are viable. A Secured loan could help you to borrow the large sums required for a buy in our buy out of an existing business. You might also consider ‘jigsaw’ funding. This is a bespoke finance package, made up of a number of loan types, such as a Commercial Mortgage for the premises, with another loan to cover goodwill, and Asset Finance for the equipment.

Contact us to find out more about funding for buy-ins and buyouts.

Funding for growth

Once your business has started to establish itself, you may need to consider growth. Expanding production may take more plant and equipment and more staff, and you may ready to consider new markets further afield, or exporting.

Additional investment will be required. This can be challenging if your business does not have the long trading history and profit record that lenders usually require. However, there are lenders who take a more enlightened view and may be able to can help.

As well as solutions for working capital and cash flow as your business grows, there are a number of special solutions for exporting, designed to reduce the uncertainties as you explore the potential of new markets.

Our finance experts can help solve your growth, export and working capital needs.

How we help you capitalise your business

At Rangewell, our expertise works to bring you the financial solutions you need to capitalise your business, whether you want to fund capital expenses, working capital or growth.

Many lenders are not even aware that it is possible to set up a distillery. We know those that are, and who understand the challenges the business offers.

Whether you have a straightforward, small scale funding need, or require a complicated ‘Jigsaw’ funding plan made up of a combination of financial products, we can work with you to find the answers, streamline your application and help provide the funds you need.


  • Find the most competitive funding to allow a distiller to set up

  • Help a distiller acquire premises with room for cask conditioning

  • Source a lease arrangement to provide a 500 litre still and supporting equipment

  • Find the most competitive finance to support a distiller facing a challenging cashflow

  • Help set up funding to allow a whiskey distiller to lay down product for a year before sale

Discover our range of finances

Every type of finance for every type of business

Our goal is very simple - to help businesses find the right type of finance as quickly, transparently and painlessly as possible.

Helping you build your profits

  • Lending tailored to your needs
    At Rangewell we can help you find the most appropriate finance for any funding need.
  • Equipment funding scaled to your operation
    Funding solutions are available for your distillery from individual items or a complete production facility.
  • Supporting you in the early days
    We understand that your business will face challenges in the early days, and can help you find the funding you need until your customer base is established and your cashflow secured.
  • The equipment you need
    With asset funding your business was unable to make the payments the lender could simply repossess the equipment to cover their loss. No other assets are at risk.
  • Helping you build your business
    We can work with you to answer your changing finance needs as your business grows and develops.
  • Specialist lenders
    Some funding providers specialise in particular sectors. At Rangewell, we can help you find the most appropriate lenders for your distillery business.

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