Once upon a time, there were two brothers. These two brothers had a dream….to make high-quality cider, mead, vinegar and a few other things. One of them also dreams of making koumiss (the other not so much).
Phase I of the story: homebrew experimentation. We got a bunch of carboys and made a bunch of stuff. Some of it was really good, some of it was less good, some of it was not-at-all good. We learned a lot and started to move on to Phase II: defining the dream.
So, we wanted to make cider and mead and vinegar and shrubs and fruit wines and rice wines and craft sodas and … and….and… We soon realized that we needed to balance our desire to do everything with a focus on doing things well. The structure that we created was Rabbit Hole Brew Station. From the start, the idea was that this would serve as an umbrella/base for developing our projects one at a time. We would always have experiments going on in the background, but the main focus would be on developing one project as a sub-Brand, then developing the next, etc.
After defining our overall concept, we scaled up and launched our first project: Sour Sea Cow. Sour Sea Cow ciders are sour. By design, they are unlike other ciders.
We started going to craft beer festivals, selling to bars and restaurants (we had decided to forego a tasting room), growing our brand and then BAM! The Social Apocalypse. Our growing sales dropped to almost nothing.
Not being able to sell your product because your clients are suffering sucks. The silver lining is that it gives you time to work on other things. We accelerated the development of our vinegar line (dumping some unsold cider into barrels with vinegar mother), and focused on developing our mead (honey wine) line. We now have three sub-Brands: Sour Sea Cow, Vicious Vinegar, and Thirsty Dragon. More are on the way (eventually).