When Dave Reavis saw an email from the Discovery Channel, he initially thought it was too good to be true.
“But they weren’t asking for any money, they were asking if I was interested and I was like, ‘Sure, I’m interested, tell me more.’” He said.
He figured if they started asking for money, he would just move on. But they didn’t.
It turns out the network was soliciting distilleries that were interested in being in a new series called “Whiskey Business.”
Inside the 1,400-square-foot distillery, Dave and his crew produce several kinds of amazing products. They produce Silk Jacket, a Naval strength compound gin, Kablam, unaged corn whiskey and George Straight Rye Whiskey.
“I replied that I was interested and did two casting calls and an interview with the showrunner. Once I got done with him it was just a matter of them selling it to Discovery.”
The show features Tim Smith, a moonshiner, and distillery business expert, as he gives makeovers to struggling distilleries.
“It was an exciting experience. It was eye-opening to how reality television is made,” Dave said. “There’s really no script. They’re not telling you what to say.”
Smith and his team decided to move the distillery’s old tasting room into a 19th-century shed that was originally used for the distillery’s storage.
“The question is ‘Do you tear it down or do something with it?’”
Ultimately, the crew decided that the building needed some TLC. Although it was wrapped in tin and had no windows, the actual structure was pretty solid. They stripped the building down, tore off the metal, cleaned up the timber and resided it.
The new décor resembles a 1920s speakeasy.
“People who have never been there before think it’s an amazing space. It just invites you in–You couldn’t ask for a better transformation and response,” Dave said.
The show offered to put together a second SteelMaster Quonset hut behind the distillery to provide storage for the materials they moved out of what is now the new tasting room.
Since the show wrapped, the distillery has been featured in the news. Dave says so far, he’s already seen an uptick in customers from the local publicity. Overall, he’s excited about the exposure the show will bring to the distillery.
“Without risk, there’s no reward, so sometimes you gotta step out of your comfort zone.”