Here’s an interview with our newly appointed distributer to the Baltics, Raivo Tilners from Latvia. Raivo, already a succesful enterpreneur in the brewing industry, will be promoting iStill In Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.
Raivo, how did you start out in the brewing business?
Everything started almost 5 years ago. I had a passion for brewing and dreamed of opening my own nano brewery.
How did that work out?
While investigating how to bring my dream to life, I found out that ingredients, like malts, hops and yeasts, where almost not available. as at that time we did not have any craft breweries operational. Nowadays it is hard to imagine, but back then even local homebrewshop did not have really such products in stock.
So on the one hand I had an aim to brew premium quality craft beers, and on the other hand Latvian homebrewers “pushed” me to create a local warehouse, where we could stock up all brewing ingredients for small and bigger breweries.
How about your dream of starting up a nano brewery yourself?
I had no other choice, I put my dream for brewery aside, and jumped into this new, great, and fantastic challenge of bringing brewing ingredients and equipment to the Baltics!
During the last 5 years, we have built one of the biggest homebrew shops in Baltics (www.bruvepats.lv ), and we are proud that our team supplies around 80% of Latvian breweries with all necessary ingredients/equipment. Always with quality in mind.
Raivo, can you give us an example of the products and ingredients you distribute?
We have become distributors of such a quality malsters like Best Malz from Germany, Thomas Fawcett from UK, and for some other quality ingredient manufacturers. We are the main sponsor of annual homebrewers festival, and we also help to educate newcomers.
What made you reach out to iStill?
Last year, my gut feeling told me that within a few years demand for quality equipment for craft distilleries over here, in the Baltics, will be booming the coming years. I have spent almost a year to find a manufacturer who meets my quality standards. I visited several manufacturers, many of which made nice and shiny equipment, but the quality did not really convince me that they were what I was looking.
What qualities were you looking for, Raivo?
I needed not only high quality equipment, but I was also looking for a person behind it: a still manufacturer with the soul of distiller. And guess what? I found it. Even more, I am absolutely confident that I am on the same wavelength of understanding what quality means, as a mindset, as him. Not to mention the quality, versatility and service standards this company provides. You understand, off course, that I talk about iStill and Odin!
So … what’s next?
I am proud to say that my company (www.rudzurati.lv ) has become sales partner of iStill in Baltics (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) our team is looking forward, as this is great and exciting new step into the distilling world. And … we just sold our first iStill to the Baltics. To the first new craft distillery to open up over here in a long, long time! So keep an eye out for Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian whisky, gin, and vodka in the near future! Cheers, and have a great distilling day!
Raivo Tilners, our distributer to the Baltics …