Building the Still

Published by Broadslab Distillery

As Jeremy Norris set about to build Broadslab Distillery, he focused on absolute authenticity. From the corn he used to his secret recipe, developed through generations of his family, he cut no corners in doing exactly what he felt was necessary to deliver the subtle taste that would allow his patrons to enjoy the best authentic moonshine whiskey. Nowhere is this commitment more apparent than in the very heart of Broadslab Distillery - the still he built to produce Broadslab's distinctive product line.

While there are various designs of commercial distilling units available, in Jeremy's mind, nothing would render authentic hand-crafted results like a hand-crafted, solid copper pot still. A pot still is the iconic still traditionally seen in movies and photographs of moonshine lore. They were originally built compact to run small batches of moonshine and easily broken down to components for portability.

For Broadslab Distillery, Jeremy knew he had to re-invent the wheel - while keeping it essentially the same. He wanted the proven function of the pot still, but also the production capacity of a larger still, and construction that would hold up to the rigors and continuous use of a commercial application. This called for a custom design and custom fabrication. The design was his own, based on the models used by his ancestors, with a few custom modifications and updates he developed himself. For the fabrication he would need genuine craftsmen with specialized skills and equipment.

In keeping with his home grown approach to the entire process, Jeremy solicited the skills and innovation of a neighbor, Van Lee of Banner Machine & Welding. Van and his team of artisans worked with Jeremy over a period of several months, using state-of-the-art equipment and the latest in metal fabrication technology. They researched and perfected a little tried technique to directly weld copper into a solid unit, instead of using solder to hold pieces together. The result of months of labor and experimentation yielded perfection - a 500 gallon, solid copper, double thumper pot still that is itself an absolute work of art - and the perfect tool to perfect the art of whiskey making.

The efforts of Jeremy, Van, and his Banner team have paid off with results that you have to taste to believe. The beautifully unique, custom crafted, Broadslab still produces authentic products that are as distinctive as the still itself.