Brooklyn Park’s Skaalvenn Distillery Expands, Credits New Tax Law
Brooklyn Park’s Skaalvenn Distillery is expanding, and it’s crediting the new federal tax law with the chance to make an upgrade.
Tyson Schnitker and his wife, Mary, opened Skaalvenn several years ago, and the operation has become their lifeblood.
“Minnesota has been really receptive to us, and our product flies off the shelves,” said Schnitker. “We’re one of the most popular spirits in Minnesota.”
The Skaalvenn line of spirits first hit shelves in 2015.
“‘Skaal’ means cheers in Norwegian, and ‘venn’ means friend. So our company is about honoring friends over anything else,” Schnitker said.
While the product line has grown over the last three years, the work isn’t easy.
“I work about a hundred hours a week,” Schnitker said. “Some weeks, if it’s a light week, about 80 hours a week.”
In addition to the long hours, the space they’re leasing has its challenges due to its smaller size.
“Right now it’s pretty difficult,” Schnitker said. “If we need to move anything around here, it’s just really tightly packed.”
Now thanks to the controversial new tax law that went into effect this year, some of their immediate difficulties will be short-lived.
“I almost cried because the savings was that large,” Schnitker said. “And talking to a lot of other distillers both in the state and around the country, none of us ever thought it would actually happen.”
He says that savings will add up to thousands of dollars a month, which means he’ll finally get to add another employee.
But that’s not all.
Just this week, Schnitker signed a lease for a new space in the same building that will more than double his square footage.
It’s a big step for a business with goals of expanding the product line and opening a tasting room.
“Our hope is that they make the tax cut permanent, but right now we can’t afford to get too excited, and we’ve got to make sure we make the wise business choices to make sure we’ve got an awesome business for years to come,” Schnitker said.
Skaalvenn Distillery hopes to move into its new space in about two months.