Chris and Ashley, how did you end up being craft distillers?
In short, we turned a hobby in to an occupation. After more than two decades in military service (Chris) and public education (Ashley), we needed a change. We were young enough to take risks and seek out a new adventure, and old enough to have the wisdom to make smart decisions regarding equipment that gives us the ability to create craft spirits with precision control and replicability.
We wanted our customers to have visual access to our production floor so we built our building to highlight our process and our equipment and that enables us to speak in great detail about how we do things differently using iStill fermenters and stills.
There is still a great deal of mystery and misunderstanding surrounding the spirits world in the United States and we pride ourselves in embracing a strong educational component in our interactions with our customers. As Chris says, we are trying to create an army of “spirits geeks” one customer at a time.
Can you tell us a bit more about your distillery and what products you make?
Chris has been chasing tequila most of his life, and I have been a gin drinker since before I was even of legal age to consume alcohol. So we knew that both spirits would define our introduction into the craft distilling world. We worked on our gin R&D recipe for over a year and opened New World Distillery with Oomaw Gin as our launch product. To date, Oomaw is a multiple-award-winning gin, both internationally and domestically and is fast becoming the top selling craft gin in the state of Utah.
We are the only distillery in the state of Utah making Agave Spirits and we released our Rabbit and Grass Blanco on Earth Day of 2017 and our Reposado on the Summer Solstice in 2018. Our Ogden Valley VODKA is a popular item and is one of only two vodkas in the entire country distilled from agave. Vodka, is quite frankly, difficult to make well at a craft scale, and this is why we opened with two stills instead of one, with the iStill allowing us to make vodka that is simply better than others. This is a pure, 100% neutral vodka for martini drinkers.
We have a line of spirits designated as the Uncharted Series for smaller batch productions and limited releases. We have released a unique, single-barrel agave spirit aged in Hungarian oak on this line, as well as a barrel-rested gin and most recently, an Apple Eau de Vie in which we source apples from a local farm nearby. Another farm-to-glass product we make is our Wasatch Blossom Tart Cherry Liqueur. We site-distill the base spirit for this unique liqueur, source local Montmorency Tart Cherries and sweeten only with organic agave nectar. We put our first batches of Bourbon in casks in September.
How is it being located in Utah, a state not known for its liberal alcohol laws?
It sucks ass.
How did you find out about iStill and how is it to work with them?
We were pretty far down the copper brandy still path when we happened upon iStill. So glad we did! Now we have equipment that allows us to make our quite diverse array of products, and at a quality level we demand. It has been a great relationship, from training in the Netherlands to continued support of our new equipment.
What’s your current set-up? What equipment do you use?
Currently we have 2x 2000L Fermenters, and an older iStill 500 Pro and the newest of the new iStill 2000. We ordered our new iStill 2000 to replace the 1200L iStill One we have. The bigger size helps to keep up with demand. It also allows us to increase our fermentation capacity with another 2000L, since the new unit can distill as well as ferment.
Okay, so you have an iStill One for sale! Can you tell us what you ask for it?
Yes, with the new iStill 2000 now being operational, we have an iStill One for sale. She has a name, actually: Jane. And we are asking $12,500 USD. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashley and Chris on top of their iStill One …