Catskill Provisions Distillery!

Meet Claire Marin, owner and head distiller of Catskill Provisions Distillery. Claire is a bee keeper and makes honey. She is also a distiller and makes an amazing rye whiskey. What’s best? She combines the two and turns it into the best honey rye out there!

Meet Claire Marin …


Catskill Provisions Distillery …


And the iStill 2000 …


Honey rye whiskey …





Ferino Distillery!

Reno’s East Fourth Street renewal continues with opening of Ferino Distillery


At Ferino Distillery, just opened by Joe Cannella and family on East Fourth Street in Reno, it’s afternoon rush hour.

Michael Moberly, national brand ambassador and distillery manager, is fashioning me a pour-over cup of coffee using local Magpie Roasters, the blooming coffee grounds puffing like soufflé beneath a stream of hot water.

Moberly pairs the coffee with a pony of Fernet Cannella, the house version of the bitter Italian spirit showcasing a slew of botanicals.

There are sips of each, then a rush to judgment: The coffee? Nicely seamed with lime and stone. The Fernet? A bitter boozy herby menthol gust. Next, I sip the fernet and coffee mixed, and there’s another rush: a head rush.

Joe Cannella, owner of Ferino Distillery, and Michael Moberly, national brand ambassador and distillery manager, in the coffee bar of the new distillery on East Fourth Street in Reno.
Provided to RGJ Media
It’s only 3 p.m., I think, but 3 p.m. is nigh on 4 p.m., and 4 p.m. means happy hour. I continue sipping.

“I worked with every roaster to pair them together. I did multiple cuppings,” said Moberly, the chair of this afternoon rush, describing the union of local coffees with Ferino house spirits that will be an ongoing feature of the distillery’s coffee bar.

Sip, sip, sip. The rush is unfurling like a boozy bolt of silk, the drink embodying Ferino’s focus on artisan beverages, on knowledge married with care, on the possibilities of flavor.

In an age of curating (horrid word), this is the opposite. This is craft. And art.

Wild for Reno

Joe Cannella and his wife Annie Gastelum, a Gardnerville native, began distilling a cinnamon cordial under the Cannella Hand-Crafted Spirits label in San Francisco in 2014. (Cannella, wonderfully, is Italian for “cinnamon.”)

The couple moved their operation to Reno, in part to be closer to family, and last summer signed a lease for about 5,000 square feet that would become Ferino Distillery. The name enacts a double meaning: literally (ferino means “wild” in Italian) and homophonously (ferino sounds like “for Reno”).

The name “really evokes a Northern Nevada, wild-and-free ethos,” Cannella said last year of the branding.

A still that can do anything

A cutting edge iStill in the distillery room at the new Ferino Distillery on East Fourth Street in Reno.
Provided to RGJ Media


Cannella Cinnamon Cordial is still the family’s flagship spirit: bright, in a dry style, substantial but not thick or cloying, with four different cinnamons creating depth.

The cinnamon cordial, the Fernet Cannella and Amaro Cannella, another Italianate bitter liqueur rife with botanicals, are crafted in the distillery area at the back of the building.

A cutting-edge 2,000-liter iStill — “It can do anything,” Moberly said. “Joe can turn it on from his home” — is used to distill a base spirit (unlike many distillers, Ferino does not rely on pre-made base). Botanicals are macerated in the base as everything rests, the botanical mix and resting time varying by what’s being created.

The botanical formulas are proprietary, as they always are in distilling, but Cannella and Moberly did allow that one botanical is myrrh. Yes, that myrrh (a perfumed resin). The same myrrh the Wise Men gave to the infant Jesus.

Industrial and modern

A 48-foot birch bar commands the front room at the new Ferino Distillery on East Fourth Street in Reno.
Provided to RGJ Media


A 48-foot bar made from birch commands the front room of Ferino Distillery. Steel piping helps form shelves on the back bar. Above, four murals rendered in woodblock style by Reno artist Summer Orr tell the story of spirits: harvest, distilling, maceration and family.

The bar lies in what once was an alley, later covered.

Across, a micro-gallery offers cycling images by local photographer Cesar Lopez. They’re a nod to the building’s previous tenant, the Reno Bike Project. To create flow from bar to gallery, a dividing wall was removed, then replaced by brawny steel support beams.

“It’s that industrial vibe with modern touches,” Cannella said of the look.

The gallery hanging will change every three months as the Ferino Distillery cocktail menu changes.

Cocktails help the Holland Project

The debut version of that menu resembles a ‘zine and features 11 drinks, each made with one of the distillery’s house spirits.

In the DIY section, where $1 from each drink goes to the Holland Project, look for the HP Twanky/Twanky, a union of gin, Amaro Cannella, white wine, lime and ginger that feels a bit like white sangria all dressed up to go out.

There’s a maple old-fashioned with Cannella Cinnamon Cordial and maple syrup among the Classics, and three Nu Wave confections, including Black Death (you’ll have to stop by to find out).

Cannella Cinnamon Cordial is the flagship spirit at the new Ferino Distillery, owned by the Cannella family, on East Fourth Street in Reno.
Provided to RGJ Media


And don’t think about plastic tubing.

“Glasses are sized so we can fill to the top, so you don’t have to dip too far into the drink, in an effort to combat the need for straws,” Moberly said.

There’s also a full bar, craft beer, red and white wines, bubbles and — heaven! — French rosé on draft.

‘Making things is important’

Pour man: Michael Moberly, national brand ambassador and distillery manager of the new Ferino Distillery in Reno, prepares one of the house pour-over coffees.
Provided to RGJ Media


Back at Ferino’s small coffee bar, I’m tempted to continue the afternoon rush.

The pour-over coffee program at the distillery currently joins the Hub with cinnamon cordial, Coffeebar roast with Amaro Cannella and, as I experienced, Magpie with fernet. A changing out-of-town guest supplier also will be among the selections.

Of course, separate cups and ponys can be ordered, too.

As I await another Magpie fernet, I’m reminded of how well Ferino Distillery fits into the history of fabrication, of shaping things into something else, that describes East Fourth Street.

“Making things is important to Fourth Street,” Moberly said. “We want to be in that tradition.”


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Johnathan L. Wright is the food and drink editor of RGJ Media, part of the USA Today Network. Join @RGJTaste on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 

Making Wheat Vodka (1)!

Here are pics of Mark Elia from Long Branch Distillery making wheat vodka together with iStill’s William Vermeulen. Mashing, as you know, is the first step. Mashing is where starches are converted to sugars using hot water as a medium. In this case, the masing (and fermenting and distilling) are done in the iStill 2000. Here are some pictures!

Bring water to strike temperature …


Add grains and enzymes …


Mixing …


Remote control …


List of iStill Countries!

Our customers can be found all over the world:

  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belgium
  • Benin
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Guatemala
  • Hungary
  • Hong-Kong
  • Ireland
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Cape Verde
  • Croatia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mexico
  • Mozambique
  • The Netherlands
  • Nicaragua
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Ukraine
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Reunion
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • St Martin
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • United Kingdom
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Leaner, Meaner, and Totally Focused!


The start of a new year is both a moment of contemplation, looking back at the year before, and an opportunity to look at the future. Introspection, conclusions, changes and adaptations: we have spent a lot of time on those topics during the month of January. The goal? To further improve the customer’s experience.

Via this iStill Blog post I want to inform you about what we learned and what we changed. Nothing dramatic, just dotting a few more i’s, but I feel it is important to share anyhow.

Where we implemented changes? In our Sales Force, our Support Organization, in the iStill University Program, on the iStill Innovation Agenda, and in our focus.

iStill Innovation Agenda

The last 6 1/2 years have seen us implement the Mother of all Innovation Agendas, whereby iStill has single-handedly pushed the craft distilling industry forward from 1870’s technology (when the bubble cap and the Coffey still were invented – two technologies with severe draw-backs, btw) to the 21st Century.

With the 2019 introduction of ABV-Control and the Reflux Capacitor, we strongly feel innovation is about done. The iStills are basically a century and a half ahead of the competition and have reached what’s called “innovation maturity”, meaning that our new technology is both completely developed and completely rolled-out into our product-line and is available for customers to purchase. Product development and market availability in perfect harmony.

In other words? No major innovations coming up in 2020 and 2021! Instead, a focus on professionalization … and a slight change in focus on where we make a difference to the craft distilling industry.

Sales Force

When we started growing into international markets, we asked early customers to help us out. This initially informal representation grew into the Wizard Organization, that has supported our cause greatly over the last few years.

But as we grew, more and more the need was felt for a more professional Sales Force to guide new customers into the iStill Family. More professional and more centralized.

To achieve the above goals, we have hired Chris Anker as iStill’s new Sales Manager. If you want to find out how iStill can help you out, please know that Chris is available via

Since we value the huge support our existing customer base gives to wannabe iStill customers, we initiated a Referral Fee Program. It aims to make it even more worth your time to help support modern distilling. For more information, please see:

Support Organization

iStill is currently developing a log-in for customers. The log-in is a place where they can find customer information, manuals, FAQ’s, bulletins, and the Issue Management Protocol. It aims to improve self-sustainability via online support and is expected to be introduced in March.

If you have urgent iStill-related support questions, please reach out to Business as usual, there, and William and his team are ready to follow up.

iStill University

Most people hugely appreciate the 4-day courses we organize through the iStill University Program. Students rate them with a 9.8 on a 10-point scale. Up until now, we gave courses at iStill HQ in the Netherlands, in the USA, and in Australia.

What we have learned is that the courses in the Netherlands see students from all over the world … including North America and Australia. Most of the American and Australian students love to take the longer trip to see our facilities and meet the team, and that is hugely appreciated.

Given the fact that we have a complete hall, dedicated to educational purposes, in the Netherlands, we have decided to centralize the iStill University Courses at our Head Quarters. There, we do not have to make any compromises, we are supported by the whole team, to give you the best experience and the most profound distillers education possible. No more courses abroad for 2020 and 2021.

To help mitigate travel expenses, there is a regional discount code for you to benefit from. For more info, see:

Focus on Value Creation

iStill has seen huge growth over the past years. With sales numbers rising by 50 to 100% per year. In a mere 6 1/2 years we have become the world’s leading manufacturer of distillation equipment. Over the last years, we have branched out to related industries, like low wines production, contract distilling, and portfolio distilling.

Investigating where we make a difference, where we have the most impact, leads to the following conclusion: it is through our equipment, our technology, and our willingness to share our distillation knowledge that we serve you best. This conclusion helps us focus on where iStill creates the most value for you: in supplying you with advanced distillation equipment and in training you in how to translate the associated theories and technological advantages into benefits for your distillery.

This means that our focus will be on education, equipment, and recipes. In other words: the iStill University, iStill equipment, and our recipe development department. We’ll stop low wines production, contract distilling, and portfolio distilling.


As we shift our attention towards professionalizing sales and support, and implement a focus on value creation, something remarkable happens. It is as if iStill (and you?) upshifted a gear or two. The organization feels leaner and meaner. And that feeling is backed up by your appreciation.

January sees a 100% growth in orders, and a 116% rise in leads, supporting the conclusion that we made the right decisions. The year 2020 promises to be another amazing growth-spurt for modern day craft distilling. I am happy and proud that iStill is at the forefront of that development.

At your service,

Drs. H.E.J. (Odin) van Eijk, MScBA, etc.

CEO of iStill.

Odin on focus …