Gnome sweet gnome
It all started on the farm with a batch of Mulberry wine so good we made it an annual thing. Friends came from as far as Georgia for their share of the yearly vintage. Soon this hobby became an obsession. Peaches, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, even plums became wine. Kiwis turned out to be a spectacular failure. With experimentation came experience and wisdom and the joy of providing a special cherry wine for a friend’s wedding reception.
But wine was just the warm-up. Rum is my passion, so distilling spirits was the obvious next step in my journey. I love to try new flavors, combinations, and procedures to see what makes an exceptional product. I've made Bourbons, whiskeys, and vodkas and am collaborating with a few enthusiastic friends to produce a couple of select whiskeys, but my heart always comes back to The Rum. And it’s Rum that will be the center of the Gnebrieted Gnome line of spirits.
Early Gnorm, the Gnome
Roll for initiative
I have wanted to start a business for a long time. Last year, after a lot of soul searching, and discussions with family and friends, I decided to go for it.
Right away, there were a few things I knew had to be part of the enterprise. I wanted to bring good products to the market that people would enjoy drinking as much as I enjoyed making them. I also wanted it to fit in with our fun and kooky personalities, our Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) adventures, and it had to stay light-hearted and not get all formal and stuffy. Who better to represent the idea than Gnorm the Gnome, my character in a long running D&D campaign, the Gnebriated Gnome himself? Crude, carefree, and an accomplished consumer of spirits, he embodies the sense of fun and relaxed enjoyment that I wanted to be the core of the company.
We had a lot of fun playing with the silent G, enjoying naming our products and coming up with label ideas in this spirit, fun and crazy with brigt colors and silly names. A lot of stars aligned all at once. I mastered reproducing some excellent varieties of Rum consistently, found a graphic artist to help with logo and labels, and worked out the details of the business with a buddy from the army. We would open our distillery as a pub. I would be the master brewer and he would be the chef, reigning over the restaurant side of the business. Even the paperwork was coming along nicely. The city I live in was excited by the business idea. We would be the first of our kind there and they wanted us to succeed.
But one bad dice-throw by the universe stopped things cold. It’s hard to start a restaurant when no one is dining out and social distancing is the rule of the day. Bars are meant for rubbing elbows, laughing with strangers, and getting to know the usual crowd.
Like many others in the world right now, my potential business partner and I found our plans disrupted, possibly destroyed by current circumstances. But I’ve never been the type to let adversity stop me. Instead of setting up a pub, I can still set up to distribute the products I make. This involves different paperwork, and different scale of production.
Our D&D Castle
But close your eyes for a moment and picture the most friendly roadside inn you’ve ever read in a story, with a mahogany bar, glistening glass bottles of tempting spirits behind the counter, and an amicable, pot-bellied barkeeper polishing tankards and welcoming guests.
Picture yourself sitting down at a table with your mates, taking a weight off after the day’s adventures. And taste, if you can, your soon to be favorite Rum as you visit the Gnebriated Gnome.
But for now, it might be your own back porch, front yard, or living room couch while we wait for the Gnebriated Gnome to get built. Still, when you sip this rum, or mix it, think of that clean mahogany bar and that friendly barkeeper who remembers you every time you come in.