iStill Disruption: Retire your Master Distiller!

10 November 2021


Here's the first post in a short series of how iStill, with its amazing technology, is disrupting the craft distilling industry. Every post highlights one topic or field that we are disrupting. We'll explain what is different, how the change envisioned is empowering the industry, and what your specific benefits are.

Today? Today we discuss how iStill made it possible to shift the existing and traditional system of staff-oriented distillery set-ups towards an organization that focusses on owner-controlled distilling processes.

The old way

Traditionally, a business owner, that wants to start a craft distillery, needs to hire a master distiller. The master distiller takes care of distilling. First thing he or she normally do is hire an extra set of hands. Running a traditional craft distillery asks for about 1.2 FTE. And that's just for filling, emptying, and cleaning the still, as well as mashing, fermenting, and distilling. Bottling, labelling, and packaging isn't even included in that calculation.

Traditionally, the business owner has a plan. He is responsible for marketing and sales and general management. The master distiller decides on the standard operating procedures, mashing, fermenting, and distilling equipment, as well as the aforementioned staffing.

The traditional way of setting up a distillery comes with risks. The owner is at the mercy of the master distiller. It is often his way or the high way, resulting in the business owner not having access to the actual recipe and standard operating procedure. A second associated risk has to do with the additional costs of the distillery hall staffing. A master distiller is expensive. A third risk is that the master distiller makes himself indispensable, preventing progress and efficiency gains on the work floor, because that would threaten his position of authority

The new way

Now look at iStill entering the market. The iStill distillation units come fully automated and based on a new theoretical model on how distillation actually works. The new model as well as the functionality of the new technology are educated at the iStill University.

Given the automation, the business owner no longer needs to hire extra hands. The cost savings are about 1 FTE. Given iStill's educational facilities, the business owner is no longer dependent on a master distiller. The business owner is trained to own his distillery operation and standard operating procedures, limiting dependencies on hired staff and enhancing innovation and growth on the work floor.

What future do you choose?

As a craft distillery owner, you want to own your future. Maximizing growth opportunities while at the same time limiting risks, dependencies, and costs are essential in order to achieve that future that you envision.

Traditional set-ups hook you and set you up for failure. What if the master distiller leaves? What if you disagree with his approach? What if you want to develop your craft distillery in another direction than your master distiller is happy with? Who is in charge now? You? Not anymore, it seems.

And when the master distiller leaves, now what? Do you have the equipment to help move you forward? Do you have the expertise to take over and step in? And if not, do you really own your business and your future? Again, I am not sure you do.

The person that invested his money, that took all the risk, that hopefully understands the markets he or she needs to cater to ... is left dead in the water. We have seen it happen all too often. We have even seen master distillers oppose a business owner choosing iStill equipment. The thought of a still entering the distilling hall with all of our advanced distilling knowledge incorporated felt like too big a threat for the "master distiller" running the production end of things. Heck, we have even seen "master distillers" turn as much of our automation off as possible, so that the programs they run become (sort of) their programs, and - there you go - they are back in the saddle again, ruling the future of your company. Ruling your future as an investor and business owner.

iStill provides an alternative. You save at least 1 FTE to start with. You own your business, your distillery, and - hence - your future. You are no longer dependent on a "master distiller". You simply need a machine operator instead. You save a lot of money. You are back in charge of your distillery and your future.

What future do you choose?


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