The iStill Blog Statistics 2021!

The iStill Blog is the word’s biggest free library of distilling information. How big? VERY BIG! In 2021 we published 218 articles. 118,374 people consulted the iStill Blog. That’s a huge 214% increase from 2020, when already 55,409 people visited the iStill Blog.

The number of post reads increased from 118,033 to a staggering 195,822. Advanced distillation knowledge is definitely en vogue!

The best read post? “Today Eight Years ago, we started iStill: https://istillblog.com/2021/04/17/we-started-istill-eight-years-ago/

http://www.iStill.com

iStill Customer Satisfaction Rating!

Matchory, the smart supplier database, after researching 23 customers and 48 purchases, ranked iStill with the maximum 5 out of 5 stars! They also established that 52.1% of the customers had already placed previous reorders. As founder and CEO of this amazing company, I want to congratulate my teams on doing an amazing job, each and every day!

Best stills, support, and education result in highest customer satisfaction …

http://www.iStill.com

100th Edition of “Distillers Weekly”!

We are proud to inform you that our eNewsletter “Distillers Weekly” has been published 100 times. Wow, that’s almost two years of weekly newsletters by iStill on the distilling world at large, and advanced and automated distilling specifically.

Around 2,750 people from the craft distilling industry signed-up for “Distillers Weekly”. Do you want to help us share our newsletter to more people? You can now subscribe via a link on our homepage. Help spread the word: with iStill technology craft distilling becomes fun as well as profitable!

http://www.iStill.com

iStill Internship!

Introduction

When Aris from Aristides Distilling calls us, we know we are in for a treat. New ideas, great feedback, an initiative he thought about and that we – as a community – should maybe embrace. Here’s the digest of his latest idea.

Not all that want to distill want to own an iStill distillery. Not all that own an iStill want to do the day-to-day distilling. Why do we only focus on owners-operators from countries that can afford to open a craft distillery? Why don’t we also focus – as iStillers – on people from countries that offer less opportunities for distillery ownership, but for sure are interested in distilling and want to learn the trade?

And – if we can find and train people in the noble art of (i)distilling – wouldn’t there be a market out there, among the iStill community primarily, of craft distillers looking for a trained and motivated distiller? A job offer? A win-win-win situation, where people get a chance at education and a job, where iStillers get access to well-trained staffers, and where iStill and iStill customers can do a good deed in the process?

We thought this would be an amazing idea to execute on. We are not yet sure on the approach, but underneath are some guidelines, stepping-stones, or maybe just concept baby steps. Please look at the proposal and give us your feedback. If we are to do this, we need to do this together. If we are to do this successfully, it takes more eyes than just ours!

Step 1: Distillery Selection

For one iStill Internship, we’d ask for two distilleries from one and the same continent. Say that we take Europe as an example. Maybe Aristides Distillery would participate. They are based out of Cyprus. Maybe Kapela Distillery fro Croatia would be another participating distillery. Okay, great, now let the games begin!

Step 2: Candidate Selection

Via an application form an initial selection of three candidates is performed. These candidates are interviewed by each of the participating distilleries as well as someone at iStill HQ. Based on the interviews a candidate is invited to join the program. Priority is given to countries that are relatively close by and do not offer distilling opportunities. Lebanon could be a great example for European distillers.

Step 3: Training at iStill HQ

The intern is trained at iStill HQ in the theories of mashing, fermenting, and distilling. He (or she) makes whiskey, rum, gin, brandy and vodka, under the guidance of the iStill University Team. This training lasts one month.

iStill buys the plane ticket and takes care of visa, housing, food, and drinks. When the student has successfully finished his training, it is time for the next step. If he qualifies according to his mentors, that is.

Step 4: Training at Aristides Distillery

The intern is trained on Cyprus on the products Aristides Distillery makes. This part of the internship takes two months.

The distillery buys the plane ticket and takes care of visa, housing, food, and drinks. When the intern has successfully finished his training, it is time for the next step. If he qualifies according to his mentors, that is.

Stap 5: Training at Kapela Distillery

The intern is trained in Croatia on the products Kapela Distillery makes. This part of the internship takes two months.

The distillery buys the plane ticket and takes care of visa, housing, food, and drinks. When the intern has successfully finished his training, it is time for the next step. If he qualifies according to his mentors, that is.

Step 6: Off you go!

After completing the three-stage internship successfully, the intern either goes home or (preferably) gets a job offer from one of the participating distilleries or another craft distillery. If it is a new job, the terms and conditions will be negotiated between the (former) intern and his new employer. If he flies home, iStill will purchase him the return airplane ticket.

Your feedback, please

This is the concept. We are sure we are still missing some points. Please, give us your feedback. What is missing? What would make this program work or what would make it stronger? Would you be a participating distillery? Why yes or why not?

Please email your feedback directly to Odin@iStillmail.com

http://www.iStill.com

Playing the Long Game!

I remember visiting the London Craft Distilling Exhibition some 5 or 6 years ago. It was our first visit and we were the odd man out of that show. Most people didn’t know what we were or did. Some were told: “Here’s the future of craft distilling walking in”. Many still manufacturers had heard about us already. Via their sales forces, that were loosing more and more deals to a sorta new company from the Netherlands. New tech. Looks like a rocket to the moon. Darn, they are winning market share at a relentless pace! Maybe go over there, meet ‘m, and figure out what they are all about?

The owner of a German still manufacturer came by our booth to check us out, that year. He stated that he’d had heard of us and that we were supposed to be the future. He told us he didn’t get it and could we please explain where all the iStill fuss was about?

We could and I did.

Among other things, I informed him that we were building stills out of stainless steel, since that lasts for decades. Our visitor stayed silent for at least a minute, consuming what he had just heard. And after that minute, he started laughing out loud. So much so, that tears started running down his cheeks. It took him quite a while to compose himself.

“You guys,” he said, “you will never, NEVER be competitors of ours!”

Surprised by his answer, I asked him why.

He answered: “If you build stills that last forever, you’ll never sell a new one! Heck, you won’t even get orders for replacement parts!”

I asked him why we’d want orders for replacement parts, when we could build those parts so well that they would basically never need to be replaced.

And he answered: “Because that is how you make money! And as I now see that you will never make money, for sure, you will never be our competitor!”

He was pretty convinced he was right. I was pretty convinced he was wrong. We always play the long game. We sell a roadmap to success instead of an antiquated tool. We don’t take quick wins, since they usually come at the expense of long-term goals. We were there to offer the craft distilling industry an alternative, a toolkit to take market share from Big Alcohol. We are here to stay and continuously support our customer, so that they grow … and order new iStills.

Today, just some 5 or 6 years later, we have become the biggest supplier of craft distilling equipment in the world. What our “competitor” forgot in his analysis, that day he visited our booth in London, is that we were already living in an open economy, where people talk to each other. A still that lasts forever vs. a still that needs replacement parts on an almost continuous basis? What do you think the customer wants! Who do you think benefits most from what model? What do you think would suit your best interests?

Last year, our turnover was twice as big as their turnover. Last year, given our hyper-efficient, batch-oriented production lines, we delivered four times more stills than they did. Total net boiler volume provided by iStill? We outpace them 10 to 1! Total LPA (liters per annum at 100% ABV) produced in-house (vs. outsourced)? I am estimating that our customers produce 20 to 30 times more actual craft distilled product.

Their prices are coming down on a continuous basis. And not because they want to. Did a 500 liter traditional still once sell for 200k (yeah, like 6 years ago), it now goes for 100k. Margins of traditional equipment manufacturers are falling from a cliff, yet they are still twice as expensive to buy and three times as expensive to run. Did I already mention the exploding material costs they are facing?

We are playing the long game and loving it. Open price policy vs. a closed price policy. Training and education vs. “good luck, and now go figure it out yourselves!” A focus on long-term relationships vs. a sales-driven push model. A focus on the craft distilling industry and how we can serve it to the best of our abilities vs. a desire to maximize short-term profits.

Oh, and – as material and labor costs rise – we keep our prices level, since our growth gives us more economies of scale, allowing us to put even more pressure on the manufacturers of traditional equipment. Relentless. Always innovating. Never stopping. Next year, our numbers will be higher again. And theirs will be lower again. It’s what’s called a disruption. Or a paradigm shift. Or the renaissance of craft distilling.

Why do they loose ground so quickly? They play the short game. Why does iStill take over the market at such a fast speed? We always play the long game. And we are loving every minute of it …

http://www.iStill.com