Expanding iStill Contract Distilling!

We contract distill for customers around the world. Because demand is high, and we expect this part of our business to grow in 2020 and beyond, we are expanding our distillery with a Fermenter 5000 and an iStill 2000. This additional set-up will be used to enhance rum and rum low wines production, here at iStill HQ. The Fermenter 5000 will do a continuous molasses fermentation, and the iStill 2000 will be run on a daily basis.

For more information on continuous fermentation, see: https://istillblog.com/2019/10/15/continuous-fermentation/

For more information on our contract distilling services, please reach out to Sebastiaan@iStillmail.com.

Here are some pics of the new set-up:

Final assembly is about to start …


iStill Fermenter with double ball valve for easy draining …



The Best Distilling Education in the World!

As you probably know, we don’t just design, build, and sell amazing stills and fermenters and mashers. We also educate some 150 to 200 distillers on an annual basis. And we help dozens more with recipe development and contract distilling.

Today, I’d like to share with you how proud I feel about the educations we offer distillers via the iStill University Certified Program. Every few weeks, as more and more tests come in, I take a few hour to score how the students did and whether they passed the exam that is part of the 4-day course we offer. This morning, I had nine tests to score, and I am happy to inform you all students passed.

But, as I studied the tests, and focussed on student feedback and on how they rated the course, well, something amazing happened. We got a perfect score. Humbled and proud, I’d like to share with you how these nine students (from four different courses) rated the iStill University, and what they loved:




iStill at BrauBeviale 2019!

We just arrived at Nurnberg to participate at the 2019 BrauBeviale, the brewer’s world’s biggest exhibition. Why? Well, we think we have an amazing offering for brewers that want to expand their portfolio, without all the hassle of “distilling is magic” and “you need a traditional fruit brandy still to make … ehm .. whiskey?” Nope. We replace fiction by fact, and our distilleries show for it:

  • Effective: our automation takes the guessing our of distilling and frees up time;
  • Efficient: at around 10 to 20% of the costs of traditional set-ups;
  • Versatile: one still can make all spirit categories;
  • Scalable: units, from 100 liter to 5000 liter, perfectly scale up;
  • Integrated: we offer 4-day courses to teach you how to distill!

Are you a brewer, and do you want to learn how easy it actually is to start distilling as well? Check our booth out! We are in Hal 7, at stand 204.

Yes, we took the amazing iStill 2000 with us …



Contract Distilling by iStill!

Are you a craft distiller in need of extra production capacity? Do you want our help at distilling a new product before you invest in setting up your actual distillery? That’s where our contract distilling services come in handy. If you want to learn more, reach out to Sebastiaan Smits via Sebastiaan@iStillmail.com. We already help customers from Belgium, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and the UK. We are expanding our operation to facilitate more customers in more countries!

Bottling at iStill HQ for Craft Distillers around the world …


Job Offer: iStill Wizard Europe & Africa!


Because my tasks as CEO and innovation manager at iStill have become a fulltime job, we are looking for someone to take over my responsibilities as representative and sales person for Europe & Africa.

The new Wizard works from his own office in his country of location. He or she develops leads into sales for both iStill as well as the Low Wines Initiative. It is an independent function. The iStill Wizard is self-employed. He or she gets a fixed percentage over sales, that is settled on a quarterly basis.


  • You are passionate about craft distilling and state-of-the-art technology;
  • You love helping people out;
  • You are a good communicator;
  • You are fluent in English;
  • And preferably speak at least one other major European language;
  • You are hands on;
  • And deliver on your promises;
  • You are a self-starter with commercial experience;
  • You are a team-player with experience in consultative selling;
  • You are willing to travel.

Responsibilities and tasks

  • You follow up online leads and create new leads;
  • You communicate with craft distillers;
  • You help potential customers move through the sales funnel;
  • By creating mutually beneficial results for customers and iStill;
  • You realize sales for iStill;
  • You realize sales for the Low Wines Initiative;
  • You help fill and/or organize iStill University workshops.


Are you interested in becoming our new iStill Wizard for Europe and Africa? Then send your resume, with a short email explaining why you are qualified, to Veronika@iStillmail.com

Regards, Odin …






Put your drinks on the iStill Bar!

Proud of your product? Put it on the iStill Bar!

Many of you, who have visited iStill HQ in The Netherlands, have seen our bar at the University. We always get asked: “Are all those spirits made on an iStill?” And of course the answer is always a proud “Yes!”

We love entertaining our students and guests and open up the bar after a hard day of training. 

So why not let potential colleagues and customers from all over the world taste your drink? Send us a bottle of your gin, whisk(e)y, rum, liqueur or whatever you are producing to iStill HQ in The Netherlands. We will give it a prominent place at the bar and tell everybody about it.

Is your drink already on the picture? Chances are we are running out of stock! So keep sharing!

For more info, please reach out to Sebastiaan@iStillmail.com.



iStill Innovation Philosophy!


Here is an iStill Blog post on how we innovate and what strategies and philosophy we apply to help move the distilling industry progress. We’ll start with a definition and work our way forward to how innovation is part of our DNA, what the guiding principles are, and how we make sure everyone benefits.


Innovation is often used as an empty filler word, without meaningful intent. If we must use the word, here is how we  define it, load it with meaning: innovation is significant positive change. It’s a result. It’s an outcome. It’s something you work towards achieving on a project. And most importantly: it entails a positive change by benefiting our existing customer base first and foremost.

Ingrained in our DNA

Innovation is ingrained in the iStill DNA. Whether it is stainless steel to replace rusty copper, catalysts to treat sulfur problems, liquid management to solve dephlagmator control issues, packing to replace the inefficient, ineffective, and expensive 18th century plate “technology”, or automation, robotization, and process control … it is all iStill innovations.

A month does not go buy or we invent new solutions to existing problems. The status-quo is there to be bashed. We feel you are worth our continuous efforts to make things better. This continuous drive has labeled us as “change initiators” and “industry disruptors”, and we are proud for that. Not because we innovate and change and disrupt for change’s sake, no, because we bring new, refreshing solutions to actual and real problems craft distillers struggle with. Why? Because we feel it is the only way forward if we craft distilling to move forward, to grow into an adult industry, that stands a fair fighting chance against Big Alcohol.

Distilling made easy

To help us apply our energy, our innovative powers best, we have a guiding principle, that is also our tagline: Distilling made easy. Distilling is a very complex process. Becoming a successful craft distiller is even more complex. We innovate with the goal of making things easier. More under your control.

Instead of you being a slave to your (old-tech) still, we want your still to be a tool-kit, helping you out at creating profitable spirits in a reproducible manner. Romantic musings over the noble art of distilling have a place in your dreams maybe, but not in your day-to-day business operation.

In that day-to-day business operation the reality is simply this: making a bottle of booze costs money, selling a bottle of booze makes money. So talk where your money is, and we’ll help you sort out the spirits production part, okay?

Retrofit-ability vs. new sales-ability

The reason why “innovation” so often is an empty filler word, is because it sells. You want to have the latest and newest, right? You know what I am talking about: you just bought a new TV, and now they introduce widescreen TV. You upgrade to widescreen, only to learn that there’s HD now. And by the time you replaced your TV with a HD-version, guess what? OLED comes out …

Companies often use innovation strategies to drive new sales. As a customer of such a company, you won’t end up any happier, but you will end up quite a bit poorer. If you don’t see what’s going on and how this can bait you, “innovation” applied like this can actually hurt you.

We feel that if innovation is about positive change, it should first and foremost be a change for the better for our existing customers. Using innovation as a way to prioritize new customer acquisition would be like leaving the people behind that have bought into our philosophies and technologies earliest. We feel that wouldn’t be fair nor just.

That’s why every innovation we release is retrofittable. Remember the amazing Extractor technology we brought to the market place almost two years ago? Anyone that had purchased a NextGen iStill – say – three years ago, could still order and use one. The same holds true for glass columns, the new Robot 3.0, and new software releases and functionalities like fast aging.

In whatever we do, we have our existing customer base at heart. That leads to something we are truly happy about: when you buy an iStill you buy a system that is basically future proof. Any invention we make will fit on your current iStill! By making our innovations retrofit, we make your stills future-proof. By making your stills future-proof, we help make your business future-proof.

Continuous innovation creates new opportunities constantly …






iStill Quality Philosophy!


iStill designs, makes, and sells high-quality distilling equipment. How quality is achieved and maintained? What our philosophy on quality is? Let’s dive in deeper via these three simple yet vital pillars:

  1. Quality innovations;
  2. Design and manufacturing quality;
  3. Staff quality.

Quality innovations

Innovation quality starts and ends with the question “What qualities do our distilling solutions bring to the market place?”. And since iStill is an innovation driven company, we ask ourselves that question a lot. It is what helps us invent and introduce disruptive technologies to the very traditional distilling industry.

But how do we measure an innovation? How do we know where to invest our money and to what innovations we need to give our attention and energy? It is our tagline “Distilling made easy” that serves as our north star, iStill’s guiding principle. Whenever a new quality can be introduced that will actually make distilling easier, we’ll pursue it. If an innovation doesn’t make distilling easier, we’ll drop it. In order to help you make quality spirits, we need to offer very specific qualities. And since distilling is pretty darn complex, making it easier results in more control and better spirits.

An example on a quality innovation? Here we go. Boiler and column integrity are very important. For you to run a distillery, you need a functional boiler and column. These are the major parts and the parts that take longest to replace, were they to be damaged. If you drive your forklift into your still and rupture a column or boiler, you will be out of business for a prolonged period of time. A simple design solution we have incorporated to maintain boiler and column integrity is that we do not weld anything directly to either boiler or column. No weak spots and nothing sticks out, making the risk of actually damaging your boiler or column with your forklift infinitely smaller.

Design and manufacturing quality

In our designs, form always follows function. Remember, iStill is about making distilling easier, not prettier or fancier! Fancy and pretty stills are, in our perception, not a goal, but a result. The form follows function philosophy, as a consequence, results in a minimalistic, almost Scandinavian design.

Execution, how design is laid-out in material, follows another simple rule at iStill: double the norm. Put simply, most designs are made according to certain specifications. For instance: how strong does the boiler need to be and what metal sheet thickness will get us there? Thicker sheeting, an above the norm execution, leads to higher costs, and that is something most manufacturers try to avoid, since it would eat away at their cost price and margins.

At iStill, we use a very different approach. Our equipment is build by doubling the norm. Here is an example: let’s say that 2 mm thick Stainless Steel is needed for a certain size boiler. The implication of our “double the norm” philosophy is that we’ll build it out of 4 mm thick steel sheeting instead. Or lets look at the agitator engine. If we calculate that one horsepower is what we need for mixing a certain batch size, we’ll put in a two horsepower agitator.

Even though this approach to execution is more expensive, we feel it is well worth the money. Your still is going to be your money maker. You rely on it to work for decades to come. So wherever we can increase longevity, we feel we should. The double the norm philosophy pays off tremendously.

Most equipment is designed with “value for money” in mind. The designer and producer of a given tool wants to make conscious decisions on what quality he brings to the market, given a certain pricing. In doing so, he accepts that he may not be the best, but that’s allowed, since his products aren’t the most expensive either.

At iStill we replaced “value for money” by “quality over money”. If we can use a better part, if we can design something of better quality, we’ll do so. We always want the best quality, because it helps us limit your downtime. And since you depend on your distillery equipment to make a living, we feel that this is the only way to approach still building: we build according to the highest quality levels, whatever it costs.

Staff quality

Since quality is dependent on so many tasks and functions being done right, it takes a team of specialists to realize high-quality products. A team of individuals that are passionate about what they are doing, whether it is welding, designing, testing or assembling an iStill. It is passion, and the willingness to learn from mistakes, that drives us forward. It is passion that changes the world. Therefore, passion is basically the only job requirement, if you want to be an iStill employee. Passion and the willingness to learn and innovate. To help make distilling top shelf product a little bit easier each and every day.

iStill Quality Philosophy …