PINEVILLE, Mo. — With a beautiful piece of land in McDonald County and a family knowledge of “craft distilling,” Tara and Jody Cook decided to take a chance on opening a small distillery business in Pineville, Missouri that would come to be known as Tall Pines Distillery MO.
Opening in January of 2020, Tall Pines became the first legal distillery in McDonald County since the days of prohibition, distilling whiskey, brandy and moonshine.
To quickly start their revenue stream, Tall Pines Distillery MO would get an operating jump start from a distillery in Salisbury, Pennsylvania with a very similar name that was experiencing a lot of regional and national growth: Tall Pines Distillery.
The Cook family said they became interested several years ago in the quality and taste of the products distilled by Tall Pines, and asked if they could make the product at their newly opened Pineville location.
“Tall Pines agreed and so that allowed us to have product when we opened the door. It allowed us to get off the ground sooner because if we would have waited for some of our products that are aging, it could have been four or five years down the road before we would have had something to sell,” said Tara Cook.
And like their namesake, is wasn’t long before Tall Pines Distillery MO began to see growth of their own.
“We already realized we should have built the building bigger. When we can get to the point where we can start distributing, we will definitely have to add on, and then we’ll be bringing on employees,” said Tara Cook.
A recent report generated by Report Linker states that an increasing number of consumers globally are looking for new, more exciting spirit offerings, compared to their usual spirit options, therefor pushing the revenue generation in to the craft spirits market.
The craft spirits market is increasingly being benefitted by the growing number of craft spirit distilleries, such as Tall Pines Distillery MO.
According to the American Craft Spirit Association, in 2018, the number of active craft distilleries in the United States grew by 15.5% to 1,835 distilleries.
The report states that a mere 10-years ago, there were just 455 craft distilleries in the United States. In the fall of 2021, there were 2,290 craft distilleries in operation.
Although many of those distilleries were negatively affected by the COVID pandemic, most that are operating today were able to find ways to survive and continue making their products.
For several months, Tall Pines Distillery MO started making a product that became highly sought after.
“To keep our business going, we actually switched to making sanitizer for several regional hospitals, like Mercy in Joplin. That’s what helped us make it through the shutdown time,” said Tara Cook.
Despite a record 56 distillery closures in the U.S. in 2020, the craft segment saw the opening of 33 more distilleries than in 2019. One of those new distilleries to open their doors in 2020: Tall Pines Distillery MO.
In the next four years, the number of new craft distilleries is expected to significant ramp up, with a predicted 265 set to open in 2025 alone.
“Now that the pandemic is over, we’re seeing the business of distilling begin to grow steadily. We’re now doing a lot of marketing to get the word out,” said Cook.