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While sugar was a valued commodity in Europe, one had to sell a whole bunch of it to make enough money to survive, and the costs of shipping tons of the product to Europe ate up a large portion of the profit. Struggling to survive, desperate colonists were always on the lookout for ways to increase their income from crops. Enter the Distiller. A Distiller has an almost magical ability to turn a ton of raw sugar, worth a pittance after shipping costs, into a couple of barrels of really tasty rum, which are not only more valuable than the sugar they came from, but they're also much lighter and thus cheaper to ship to Europe. A top-quality distillery could easily increase the profitability of a sugar plantation exponentially.