Curiosity may have killed the cat, but on occasion, it can result in the production of great whisky. Such is the case with the father and son team, David and David Woods from Wiggly Bridge Distillery in York, Maine. One evening in 2010 during a family dinner, it was lightly suggested that the family should try their hand at making their own spirits. David Jr. further mentioned that he was going to find or build a still and see what happens. While this may be a far-fetched proposition for many, the two Davids shared a love for good whisky and an even greater fascination with discovering how things were made. The seed had been planted and the game was on! David and David Woods began their research on how to build a still and process alcohol. The Wiggly Bridge website explains, “Being fortunate enough to travel to the Caribbean, they decided to build and operate a small hand-made copper still on the island of Montserrat to put their research to the test. Turns out they were quite good at it and grew even more intrigued by the craft of small batch distilling. What they made rivaled some of their favorite brands, with a bit of a twist.” Spotlight on Business Magazine spoke with David Woods Sr. about that “twist,”, as well as the distillery’s beginnings, their products, the craft distilling scene in Maine and their future.
By John Allaire T he story of their beginning continues with David Sr. convening a meeting with his son to sort out this whole whisky-making idea. “I told him that I have never pre- vented him from doing anything in his whole life, but this time there was no way he was going to get a still. We live in a small community, and we have nine separate companies in the same town. We have a fair amount of exposure here. And I also went to school with our police chief. So in my mind, all the scenarios ended up with him (the police chief) knocking on my door saying ‘we have to talk.’. So that idea was scrapped.” During one of their many trips down to Montserrat in the Caribbean, David Sr. resurrected the idea of distilling once again. This time with the Island’s Prime Minister. “I asked the Prime Minister what their distilling laws were and he said they really didn’t have any. So I asked if I could operate a pot still down there and he said ‘Sure! As long as I get some!’. So we brought down some copper and made a little 15-gallon still down there and got started.” Over the next couple of years, the Woods family played with recipes and learned all they could about the produc- tion of spirits down in the safe, unregulated environment of their Caribbean home. But the time had come to move this operation States-side. Having vast experience in develop- ing business plans, both as a multiple business owner and as a lecturer, David Sr. threw one together for a distillery in Maine. Scrapped. But not forgotten.
“Everyone needs to know what an 80-hour work week looks like.
“I did a quick back-of- a-napkin business plan for the dis-
MARCH 2018 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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