Give us a brief history about your brand and how you got started
As with most great ventures, ours started as a hobby while we lived in Jo’burg. Our mutual fascination with the process of distillation soon led us to not only relocating to the charming town of Paarl, but also officially establishing ourselves as Stillman Distillery in March of 2018.
How is your brand and product different to the vast competition out there?
We feel that our brand tends to challenge the norms, we create products that add a unique aspect to a competitive gin and spirit market.
What inspired your logo?
Our Logo services as a “Makers Mark”. While our products are all quite different the one constant is our SD which serves as our stamp of approval for every product that leaves the distillery.
What made you want to start distilling and was gin your initial focus?
Our main goal was and still is to be a Rum and Whisky Distillery. Gin provided us with a challenge in the medium term that we felt would be a good acid test of our ability to compete in a highly competitive market. We have grown fond of the diverse nature that gin has to offer and we look forward to adding unique products to our gin line in the near future!
What are 5 words that describe you?
Driven, Experimental, Progressive, Outlandish, Authentic.
Is this your main source of work or do you have another job as well and if so, what do you do?
Main source of work!
Which other distillers do you admire?
Corsaire Artisan Distillery particularly because of their highly experimental approach to distilling. They have taken the older/classic technology with a highly experimental approach. Particularly with grain selection and use of different wood smokes and unique wood selections for barrel ageing.
What kind of personality would you say you have (Rebel / Jester / Outdoorsie / Bold / Optimist / Peace-lover)?
What is one of the best stories you can share about your experience in this industry?
As a family we can agree there isn’t one specific event, but rather a series of interactions when clients say things such as “this is the best gin I have ever tasted” that makes all the hours of hard work feel like we are moving in the right direction.
What is one of the worst stories you can share about your experience in this industry?
Gin Distilling Course R2000
Distillery Set up R2 000 000
Excise per Bottle R68
Finding out the title of head Distiller means cleaning is 90% of your job. Priceless
If your company could drive, what would be its vehicle of choice?
Toyota Land Cruiser. COMPLETELY & UNDETERRABLE!!
How do you reach your customers and how do you interact with them?
We find that our best interactions come from distillery visits, allowing us to understand which parts of the process consumers are least familiar with while being able to walk them through a step by step story of how every single bottle gets made. Social Media has also been great for reaching spirit lovers a bit further afield creating interest from countries in multiple continents.
What is your definition of a Craft Spirit and how many brands do you feel achieves this?
At Stillman our batches are generally produced start to finish by one or two people. There are however so many great stories for different brands and how they accomplish their manufacturing that no single blanket definition would do all the amazing craft products in South Africa justice.
What is your vision for the Gin category in South Africa as well as your brand?
We would like for gin to be synonymous with South Africa. The way you think of Vodka and Russia, Whisky and Scotland. We would like for South Africa to be the new Gin Capital of the world.