More iStill Equipment on its Way to Customers!

As the world’s leading manufacturer of craft distilling equipment, we ship more and more of our equipment around the globe. Here are some more distilleries that can expect their iStills soon:

  • Various iStills Mini to customers on all continents
  • An iStill 200 for an Estonian distillery
  • Two iStills 500, one goes to Sweden, the other to Croatia
  • An iStill 2000 that’ll go to the USA

Do you want to educate yourself on advanced distilling solutions? Visit us via http://www.iStill.com!

There is a Difference between Value and Affordability!

Introduction

It sometimes happens to us. Like once or twice every quarter. Someone is starting a new distillery and needs equipment. Somewhere along the way they heard about iStill, so they decide to email us and ask for a quotation. We don’t do blind quotations, so we propose a video call for proper introductions, and to make sure we understand what the new distiller needs. It allows us to give sound advise and feedback on if and how we can best be of assistance.

But, as mentioned above, it sometimes happens that the start-up (or their “consultant”) just wants a quote. “We’ll compare the quotes and decide which one is most affordable!” Yeah, right, and that’s exactly the reason we do not quote blindly. Not because we do not think anyone is entitled to the most affordable solution, but quite simply because there is a huge difference between Value and Affordability.

Affordability

Affordability is about price. It is what the seller asks for his product. Who knows why? Probably to cover his costs and to make some profit along the way, but who really knows? Price is a given and one item can be priced higher or lower than another item.

Similarity of the items is important. Only similar items can be judged on affordability. If I need a gallon of milk, it may cost me 2 bucks in one shop and 3 in another. If the milk is of the same quality and freshness, well, then the cheaper one is clearly more affordable and should be considered.

But how about pasteurized milk vs. fresh milk? How do we go about comparing a gallon of pasteurized milk vs. a gallon of fresh milk? What if the first costs two dollars or Euro’s and the second one three? A comparison on affordability will make everyone choose for the pasteurized version. But is cheaper always better? Asking that question brings Value in play.

Value

Value does not equal price. Or at least it does not equal the price the seller wants for the product. Value is about what the product means to you. Let’s migrate from the dairy oriented example back to the craft distilling industry.

Say you think craft is about tradition and romance and doing everything by yourself manually. You are considering a beautiful copper still from Germany. Your business plan teaches you that you need a 2000 liter capacity still, so you ask for a quote. The quote comes in at 200k. You now ask iStill for a quote for their iStill 2000. That quote comes in at 100k. From an Affordability perspective, your choice is clear: the iStill is the more affordable option and should be purchased. But how much do you value the ideas of copper and tradition and intensive manual labor (cleaning not being the last). Maybe this has a value for you that’s bigger than 100k, in which case you’ll probably convince yourself to go for the traditional German still and spend the extra 100k.

What if you feel that craft distilling is a business, and you want to spend and manage your money intelligently. You do appreciate quality and understand that process control and being able to repeatedly produce consistent flavor profiles are essential. You ask iStill for a quote and it is 100k. You ask a traditional Chinese manufacturer for a quote and it is 60k. What do you choose? It all depends on how much you value the additional value the iStill brings you.

The way we work

We do not blindly quote you. We insist on talking to you so that we can establish what you want, what you “value”. Only if we understand what you need, can we inform you about what we offer.

We might think we offer great value (and we do), but does that equal “value” to you? Only if we can discuss how process control and automation save you time and money, while improving both yield and spirit quality, can you establish if we are the right value proposition for you. Only if we can learn what products you want to make, are we able to advise you on what options suit you. Only if we understand why you might have been attracted to traditional copper stills (is it the myths people told you or is it the look that appeals to you), can we inform you if our technology will serve you to your satisfaction.

Value goes beyond affordability. A company is more than an investment. A still is more than a price tag. If your values correspond with our values, we’ll probably both find our business relationship rewarding or even inspiring. If you reduce your decisions to a price tag, to “affordability”, you do yourself and the creator whom’s products you want to purchase a big injustice. An injustice that usually comes at a hefty price tag. Like you selecting the wrong supplier or us selecting the wrong customer to do business with.

I hope you value our approach. Based on close to a decade of experience, interacting with very different customers and distillers from all over the world, I find our approach adds value to the point of it being priceless! 😉

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

Founder, owner, and CEO of iStill.

iStill Mini Automation!

We are designing an automation suite for the iStill Mini. The reasons? Improved training and recipe capabilities. We want to get the training experience as close to running the bigger automated production units as possible. And it will make recipe development easier. Start a run, decide on cuts, push the associated button, and the automation and robotization remembers your choices, and your automated run program is ready. At the push of a button? Yes, that easy.

We have been working on the automation suite for the better part of 6 months now and expect to release this option in the 3rd of 4th quarter of 2022. We are currently beta testing.

The automation is an option on new iStill Mini purchases. It can also be retrofitted to existing new gen iStills Mini. In 2023 we’ll make an upgrade kit to the automation suite, so that all of the older gens of iStills Mini can also be outfitted with it.

We expect huge demand for this option. Given current global component shortages, we also expect to be able to only deliver limited numbers of the automation suite. At least in the beginning. Maybe we can muster 10 upgrade packages per quarter in the end of 2022 and in the first half of 2023. When component shortages lift, indicatively towards the end of 2023, we could ramp up production to 20 upgrade packages per quarter.

We are therefore managing a registration list. First come, first served. If you want to order, please reach out and register via:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSee1_gSMSTIB4RpnPpNDlQC5_eWygION45jizbIFYfzwnjBbQ/viewform

More info on final specifications and pricing in like three months from now.

iStill Mini Automation Suite (prototype) …

http://www.iStill.com

Could the iStill Network Take You Global?

iStills are the most automated and robotized stills out there. They excel at creating and reproducing a recipe, any recipe, to perfection.

Distillers that use iStills have a higher degree of craft. They design, produce, and sell spirits that are made in-house. More than other groups of distillers. They also have lower costs, and – in general – a high business awareness of what it takes to become commercially successful.

iStillers are educated via the iStill University. They network via the iStill University Facebook group. There is a strong tendency for iStill customers to be supportive of other craft distillers, both iStillers and non-iStillers.

All of the above makes one wonder: “Why don’t you guys build this into a global network for distribution purposes? Why not use each other’s production capacity for a more global reach?”

http://www.iStill.com

Disruptive Technology and What It Means for Craft Distillers!

Introduction

In less than a decade, iStill disrupted the technology distillers had been using for a century and a half. This iStill Blog post summarizes how we disrupted the industry, and – more importantly – dives into the very nature of disruption and what it means for craft distillers around the globe.

How we disrupt the craft distilling industry

Via innovations like “Liquid Management”, the flush-square boiler design, insulation, automation and robotization and the resulting process control, and by translating Odin’s vast knowledge of distillation into software, iStill has created a new technology for craft distillers to use. Via our educational and networking platforms, we replaced the existing “everyone for himself” mentality with an “all for one and one for all”, more cooperative and supportive mindset. Finally, by building distillery equipment with a longevity of 20 years and more, we broke the industry’s commercial model of cheating customers out of money via de facto mandatory in-house replacement orders for failing and sub-par designed parts.

The above innovations are disruptive, because they allow the craft distiller to:

  1. Produce higher quality spirits repeatably;
  2. Save up to 75% in energy costs;
  3. Save at least 1.0 FTE on labor costs;
  4. Be sustainable, flexible, and scalable – in other words: future proof.

No more need for a masher, fermenter, a stripping still, and a finishing still. One iStill can do it all. No more need for a consultant or master distiller. With the iStill the owner/operator is in control. Disruptive? Does iStill introduce and deliver disruptive technology? You bet it does!

Disruptive technology: what is it?

People perceive change as lineair and gradual. And most change is lineair and gradual. But not all change is created equal. Sometimes innovations come along that change the game, add such options that they outperform the existing technology by (at least) an order of magnitude (10x). Such technology is called “disruptive” and the change they bring along is far from lineair and gradual. It changes the industry quickly and with tremendous impact.

The biggest changes are exponential growth of the new technology and imminent replacement of the old technology. The exponential and disruptive character makes it difficult for people to perceive what’s going on. So the speed of adoption of the new technology and the speed by which older, more familiar technologies are replaced is perceived as mind-boggling. Or better said: it is not perceived at all until it is all over and the new tech replaced the old one. Here’s an example:

In 1900, on Broadway, there’s one car. In 1910 there are only cars …

Is there a problem, resulting from the mismatch between how most perceive change and what actually happens? Well, that depends on what you are, right? As a consumer, you have more options to choose from and maybe a better technology to take advantage of. But how about the carriage builder, the blacksmith, or the horse breeder? Get the point? If you are in business in a market that is being disrupted, you run big, very big risks. At the same time, early adopters can reap great opportunities and benefits …

Disruptive technologies result in ever faster adoption speeds …

The above chart shows how disruptive technologies quickly (and ever faster) take hold in our lives. Phones – invented in early 1900 – took the better part of 60 years to conquer the US market, but it took cell phones – introduced in the late 80’s – less than 15 years to replace wall-mounted telephones.

So, having established that disruptive technology knows an exponential adoption curve, it is clear to see that this comes with opportunities. As an early mover cell phone service provider, there is a lot of market to be conquered! Or imagine you are Henry Ford and see an opportunity to further scale the production process of cars.

But there’s a huge risk as well, for those working in an industry that’s being disrupted. Betting on the wrong horse will have devastating effects. Investing in carriage building or horse breeding in the early 1900’s? Good luck!

Disruptive tech QUICKLY replaces old tech …

Whether it is physical vs. digital cameras, non-GMO vs. GMO corn, or radial vs. non-radial tires, the new and disruptive technology replaces the existing technology quickly.

Opportunities for craft distillers

Having established that iStill introduced disruptive technology into the craft distilling industry, what are the opportunities and threats this creates for craft distillers? Let’s dive in deeper and explore further …

The opportunities are quite easy to spot. The new and disruptive iStill technology enables you to make better spirits in a more cost efficient way. Better quality and lower production costs? Sounds like a winning strategy!

As an early adopter of the iStill technology more chances come along. Since you are ahead of the curve, you can stop outsourcing and contract distilling your spirits. Instead, you yourself can offer contract distilling to other craft distillers in your region.

Those are just a few. There are many more opportunities. If you have any to share, please add them in the comments section.

Threats to craft distillers

Not investing in the new technology or investing in the old technology comes at a huge opportunity cost. Or better said: a huge “missed opportunity” cost.

A craft distiller that invests in the old technology of copper and manual plated stills and potstills, cannot compete with Big Alcohol on price and quality. Also, with more and more iStill customers setting-up distilleries around the globe (over 1,000 as we speak), those craft distillers that bet on the wrong horse can now no longer compete on price and quality with fellow craft distillers (that use iStills) either. That’s like being between a rock AND a hard place!

Summary

Investing in horses and carriages in the 1900’s? Not a good idea. Investing in manually operated copper plated stills and potstills in 2022? Not a good idea. With over 35% of market share in new still sales, we are not just the biggest supplier of craft distilling equipment. We are the new technology that is disrupting the industry. You now know what that means: iStill technology is well on its way to replace the old technologies.

Place your bets …

http://www.iStill.com

Ari and Damir are Happy Distillers!

Ari, Authors Distillery’s Master Distiller, is from Finland and he is very happy with his iStill 2000:

“Playing with the i2000 and making GNS from gin tails. What a machine🤓!”

Damir Radica, who owns a gin and grappa distillery and an iStill 500, situated in Croatia, adds to that:

“Tails are a source of gold when you use an Istill 👍!”

The iStill is the only still that can distill a gin and then redistill the gin tails back to GNS …

http://www.iStill.com