Stillhouse was made for this moment
The premium spirits brand embodies the resilience we’ve had to muster to survive these unprecedented times.
2020 has tested our resolve in unexpected and life-defining ways. There’s obviously the once-in-a-generation pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 220,000 Americans to data and disrupted our domestic economy. We’re in the midst of a presidential election that’s already seen remarkable voter turnout — a sign of the high stakes facing our democracy. Wildfires have ravaged the west coast. Police violence and white supremacy have terrorized too many Black bodies. It feels like too much and we still have 71 days left in the year. And while we can definitely look to each other for strength, shouldn’t we be able to turn to the brands who profit from our attention and dollars for refuge too? Stillhouse — a premium range of spirits packaged in 100-percent stainless steel cans — thinks so. And they’ve built an entire brand around reflecting our resilience back to us.
Stillhouse was founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Brad Beckerman who set out to create a unique and differentiated platform in the spirits industry — from liquid to package — by defying industry norms and following his creative instincts. “People always think about pairing wine with food, but nobody really talks or thinks about pairing whiskey with food,” Beckerman said to Brian Freedman of Drink Me magazine. “Having been a bartender throughout college, I instantly recognized that eighty percent of the spirits sold behind the bar are clear spirits. Why? Because of mixability. And I thought, wow, this is a potentially huge category. Because when we’re talking about five years ago, brown spirits were still kind of humming along but they didn’t have the kind of growth that you’re seeing today.”
Beckerman, who is no longer with the company, attributed a lot of Stillhouse’s early success to the product’s quality — “ It’s a very clean spirit because it’s a clear spirit” — and the brand’s classic sensibilities. “Our big thing is we don’t make cocktails, we make punches. Because that’s what the old-school did,” he said to Freedman. “You create these punches with our products and get people to enjoy them in different varieties of flavors, or just drink our flavored moonshine over rocks; you don’t even need to mix it.” Then there’s that distinct can: “The Stillhouse stainless steel cans represent the industrial strength, utility and unbreakable spirit of America’s finest," Jennifer Pisciotta, vice president of global marketing at Bacardi, said in a statement to The Supercreator. (Bacardi acquired Stillhouse last year.)
This year will also be unforgettable due to a hurricane season of historic proportions. Get this: 10 of the 26 named storms made landfall in the contiguous United States, breaking the record of nine set in 1916. It’s the second-most active Atlantic hurricane season (behind only the 2005 season, which included Katrina). Before this year, 2005 was also the last season that featured the Greek letter storm naming system because the list of available storm names was exhausted in September.
The primary recovery period for major hurricanes is 14 months, with remodeling peaking three months after a hurricane makes landfall. And the cost is as high as you’d imagine: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at the Office for Coastal Management, the US spent an estimated $91 billion in 2019 and $45 billion in 2018 on associated losses. (In 2019 alone, the U.S. experienced 14 billion-dollar disasters.) But it’s important to not just rebuild these homes and businesses but also to make them durable against future extreme weather events.
So in September, Stillhouse announced a partnership with SBP, a national disaster resilience and recovery nonprofit, to donate over 400 metal shutter panels to help people in communities affected by Hurricane Michael. “We look at communities like the Florida Panhandle, part of our “Unbreakable” Shutters initiative, as examples of this unbreakable spirit,” Pisciotta said. “Through our partnership with SBP, we are providing and installing metal shutters for homes impacted by previous hurricanes to help prevent future damage.”
Stillhouse sent The Supercreator samples of the Black Bourbon and Apple Crisp flavors. I’m dry, but I did whip up a scrumptious maple-whiskey glaze and bourbon-barbecue sauce to kick up dinner on a couple of nights. I asked my roommate what he thought of the samples and he preferred each flavor straight rather than with mixers like Coke or club soda. (The Roomie also baked an aromatic bread pudding with the bourbon that I watched his dinner guests go bonkers for.)
And as we approach a holiday season unlike any in my lifetime, it’s the perfect time to experiment with a new cocktail or dish. “We know Supercreator readers are active and adventurous and look for a spirit of superior quality that is also versatile enough to fit into their exciting lifestyles,” Pisciotta said. “The delicious flavor and smooth finish allow Supercreator readers to be just as creative with their drinks as they are in the rest of their lives.”
Stillhouse is available in six flavors, including fall-perfect whiskies like Spiced Cherry, Peach Tea and the aforementioned Apple Crisp — along with classics including vodka and bourbon. Browse the Store Locator for a list of bars and stores where Stillhouse is sold near you or shop online.
In case you missed it: I’ll be on Fall Break Oct 26–30 so instead of new posts, you’ll receive The Supercreator Rewind, a weeklong series of stories, conversations and essays from the archive that you may have missed (or won’t mind reading again!).
Read All About It
Sarah Perez at TechCrunch on Gen Z smartphone users, who spend an average of more than 4.1 hours per month in non-gaming apps — 10 percent longer than older demographics:
This app engagement data is only a view into Gen Z trends but is an incomplete analysis as it only focuses on select markets, including the U.S., U.K., Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Turkey. It also included only data collected from Android devices, which doesn’t provide as full a picture.
App Annie found that Gen Z is more likely to use games than older users, but they don’t access them as often or use them as long. Those ages 25 and older actually spent nearly 20% longer in their most-used games and accessed them 10% more frequently. Both demographics spent more total time gaming than using non-game apps, on a monthly basis.
Gianluca Russo at The Zoe Report on how influencers are using their platforms to educate and inform:
While influencers may have once been concerned that brands may be less likely to work with them if they’re public about their political and social stances, [brand consultant and self-love advocate Nicholette] Mason believes the power dynamic is changing. As brands quickly rework their diversity initiatives, influencers have the power to hold potential partners to a higher standard. Brand sponsorships can be a major source of income, but influencers should carefully consider the organization they’re aligning themselves with to ensure their morals and beliefs do not contradict one another.
Rob Walker at Marker on Nick Quah, the go-to expert in podcasting:
As podcasting’s profile has risen, so has Quah’s. Within a couple years of starting his newsletter, this random guy was able to quit his day job and become, for lack of a better word, a full-time expert, his pod-related opinions and observations quoted in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. His newsletter Hot Pod now has between 20,000 and 25,000 subscribers (a combination of paid and free) and earns six figures, he says — a substantial figure for what amounts to a trade journal written almost like a personal zine, mixing the latest pod news with commentary and asides. (That audience is comparable to, for example, The Interface, the tech-oriented Verge newsletter created by journalist Casey Newton.) Select Hot Pod material is syndicated in New York’s Vulture, where Quah also writes a separate podcast-recommendation column. He has organized podcasting events and talks. And most recently and perhaps inevitably, he now has his own podcast about podcasting called Servant of Pod, produced by LAist Studios and attracting media- and podcast-star guests like Kara Swisher, Gretchen Rubin, and Roman Mars.
Priya Elan at The Guardian on how pink emerged as 2020’s color of political protest:
Political pink lies in direct contrast to the apolitical “Millennial pink”, which came to define the beginnings of the Instagram age around five years ago. It was known as “Tumblr Pink” and Pantone named the shade, also known as “rose quartz” their colour of the year in 2016. It became popular as the Rose Gold iPhone in 2015, but also with fashion labels such as Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga and with the director Wes Anderson.
Fabiola Cineas at Vox on how Donald Trump’s first-term has impacted Black people:
While Trump may be confident in his claim of having done the most for Black Americans, his record begs to differ. He has repeatedly cited his efforts on criminal justice reform and the economy as the reasons he’s been the best president for Black America since Lincoln — who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing enslaved people in the Confederacy, and clearing the way for the ratification of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery across the US — but rarely does Trump put his supposed “wins” in context. For example, Trump often tries to take credit for a decline in violent crime, though the downward trend predates him by many years.
Lauren Feiner at CNBC on the breakdown of Big Tech lobbying spend in the third quarter, according to company filings:
Each company lobbied on a variety of issues. Public lobbying filings only show the topics they pursued, not which side they fall on them.
All five companies lobbied on a variety of competition issue and issues related to consumer privacy or federal privacy legislation. Most of the companies besides Google lobbied on issues related to the Covid-19 response.
Most of the companies except for Amazon lobbied on the EARN IT Act, a bipartisan bill seeking to tie tech’s legal shield (Section 230) to certain standards to prevent child sexual exploitation. Tech industry groups have criticized the bill as a way to undermine encryption standards, though its most controversial aspects have been watered down through amendments.
Amazon, Facebook and Google lobbied on encryption-related issues.
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Rabbit Freezable Whiskey Glasses: These eight-ounce glasses feature a double-wall design that chills beverages for up to two hours with no dilution and a black silicone base, which doubles as a built-in coaster to protect your tabletops and keep your hands from freezing — you know, just in case you need new glasses for your Stillhouse whiskey. (Also: This recommendation, or the Stillhouse endorsement, is not sponsored.)