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Dented Brick Distillery

Distilling Craft spirits fermented with on-site artesian well water

Highlights

1
Case sales were 3014 in 2018 and grew 244% to 10,676 in 2019.
2
Case sales revenue of $392K in 2018 versus $1.16M in 2019.
3
Active distribution in 6 states with 4 new states coming online.
4
Awarded multiple Double Gold Medals, Gold Medals, and 90 plus ratings from prestigious publications and competitions.
5
New state-of-the-art facility built to scale to 78,000 cases.
6
Bottled in Bond 100% Rye Straight Whiskey coming summer 2020.
7
Local grains, U.S. sourced molasses and sugar, combined with artesian well water create a special taste unique to Dented Brick Distillery.

Our Team

Craft spirits have been growing year over year at an exponential rate. The large distilled spirits brands have been offering high multiples on case sales to buy competitive craft spirits brands. The founders see this as a better opportunity for return on investment than other investment opportunities.


Dented Brick Distillery

DBD began distilling operations April 1, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Its newly constructed state-of-the-art 17,000 square foot facility has capacity to produce up to 78,000 cases. Its on-site artesian well, custom Vendome copper stills, custom mash and fermentation tanks, oak barrels sourced from wineries in Idaho and capacity set us apart from other craft distilleries. We produce barrel-aged whiskey, barrel-aged rum, gin, and vodka.

The concept of Dented Brick Distillery began in 2011, when a group of Salt Lake City entrepreneurs gathered in CEO Marc Christensen’s former office at OTW Safety, LLC (OTW) for craft cocktail hour. Marc founded OTW safety in 1995, a safety barricade company. After the hard work and dedication Marc put into OTW, he was now interested in pursuing other ventures that were in line with his values and passions. At cocktail hour, Marc started brainstorming with the SLC entrepreneurs. What had their passions been as children? As young adults? What were their passions now? What could they do to influence their community in a positive way? How could they celebrate the great state Utah? What was the next venture? The next start -up?

Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit and passions were cultivated in Boise, Idaho. Growing up among Snake River winemakers, delivering them agricultural equipment at the age of 14, Marc learned the value of hard work, the art of winemaking, and the importance of community. His family was passionate about the outdoors. Summer vacations with his family were spent hunting, fishing and backpacking around the Northwest. Winter vacations were spent skiing in the Sawtooth mountains. Marc attended University of Utah, got a business degree, and planned to return to Idaho to work in the wine industry near his family and enjoy the great outdoors.

Marc’s first job in pursuit of his Idaho passions was marketing at Park City Ski Area in the early 1990’s. With the race department he marketed “The Americas Opening World Cup Ski Race.” After his first event, complaints from sponsors, attendees, and racers came in ……’not enough brand promotions’, ‘couldn’t find race’, and ‘safety: crowd too close to racers’. A natural problem solver and entrepreneur, Marc designs and patents a billboard barricade. It safely guided crowds to the venue, gave sponsors a place to advertise, and safely kept racers and crowds separated. Today, these original design barricades are still used in Park City. OTW is today a successful multimillion-dollar business with over 20 patents, providing barricades to major airports, government transportation agencies, and crowd-controlled events.

After the success with OTW and almost 50, Marc wanted to get back to his Idaho roots and explore the wine industry. The brainstorming conversation with fellow entrepreneurs turned Marc’s interest from wine to distilled spirits. Further conversations with owners and distillers at Idaho wineries, High West Distillery, and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Distilleries encouraged him to follow his winemaking passion into distilling spirits. Distilleries are much more lucrative than wineries. The OTW group supported his passions and pursuits; OTW agreed to act as a guarantor of the construction loan related to the distillery and five of the equity owners in OTW invested in the angel round of DBD. Marc set up an LLC and began fund raising for his new passion, distilled spirits.

Marc outsourced production to an existing distilled spirit plant to distill its first spirit, Mormon Tea Vodka. It was vodka infused with the Native Utah shrub Ephedra Viridis, a blend known as Mormon Tea. He wanted to make a Vodka honoring Utah’s pioneer history using a medicinal native Utah plant. At OTW, Marc had vast experience with US patents, FAA airport approvals, and GSA government contracts. It seemed natural that Marc would get FDA approval for his Mormon Tea. Unfortunately, the formula was conditionally denied by the FDA because it required an expensive clinical trial. Marc decided that outsourced production and a clinical trial was not worth the cost. He needed a production site with conventional spirits.

With the end of the Mormon Tea Vodka project, Marc went back to investors and revised the venture plan. The plan was to design a state-of-the-art plant. Before the roof raising could start, DBD needed to find a property. Due to federal law, the site could not be within 500 feet of a church or school. The liquor laws have changed a lot in Utah over the last 20 years, but the zoning laws have not. There are very few properties with zoning for a distilled spirits plant and even fewer properties more than 500 feet from a church or school in Utah.

In 2014, Marc found the property. It was a tiny old brick home owned by three generations of artesian well drillers. The patriarch was a water witch dowser using a forked cherry stick to locate water. The sons would drill deep artesian wells into the aquifer in the Salt Lake Valley found by their father, including an artesian well in their own backyard. That artesian well is the source of the water used today at Dented Brick Distillery.

The artesian well and its location made this property extremely special. A group of investors spent a Saturday mowing and weeding before the demolition and building began. Most of the investors hadn’t been to the property and were excited to explore the old brick home. As they explored the property, they saw the bricks on the front of the house were dented. The home was scattered with bullet holes. Research showed that one of the well drillers had a shootout and was killed on the front porch of the brick home. The well and artesian well drillers were becoming very important to DBD’s history and to the venture. The dented bricks were saved and used in building design, inspiring the name, Dented Brick Distillery.

In 2020, Utah’s Dented Brick Distillery is projecting profitability with its award-winning spirits, a state-of-the–art-distillery, and a successful product line consisting of vodka, gin, rum and whiskey. Its unique spirits are made with water from the Great Salt Lake aquifer sourced from the Wasatch Mountains which sets it apart from other distilleries. Its branding incorporates Utah’s rich history of distilled spirits. The initial investors’ vision of a craft distillery with values and passion that align with their Utah lifestyles is in full production.

Our process

What is most important in our process is our craft. To us, craft means control over the quality of raw materials such as the ideal grains and yeast. Control over the water used, which is the foundation of all distilled spirits. And finally, hands on control over the entire process from “grain to glass”.

We take advantage of local farmers we know and trust to grow the finest ingredients and the purest, most pristine water from our very own on-site artesian well.

Every step is done in house – by hand and under the discerning eye of our master distiller.

On track to sell 19,000 cases this year

We experienced 541% growth from 2017 - 2018 and sold 10,767 cases in 2019. Our projected 19,000 cases for 2020 will double again all cases sold in 2018.  

Multi-state distribution

Dented Brick products are available and distributed in more than 10 states, and are available for purchase in select Walmart, Total Wine, and Raley's Stores. 

States include: Utah, Washington, Alaska, California, Florida, New York, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Use of funds / Vision

We're building Dented Brick with the goal of acquisition, being acquired by a larger distillery, which similar companies in this industry have done recently when case sales reach 40 to 60 thousand cases. To reach this case sales level, we need to scale our production. Fortunately, our facility can nearly support this volume. We need additional financing in order to place inventory on the floor, source additional labor,  and purchase some smaller pieces of equipment. This crowdfunding capital raise will support growth to 31,000 cases in 2021, to 49,050 in 2022. In addition, to keep growing our distribution, we plan to expand our national programming by investing some of the proceeds from this raise to improve our incentive programs for sales personnel.


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Overview