William Chase, the founder of Tyrell’s crisps and Chase Distillery confirmed that he is selling the drinks business to the world’s biggest spirits firm, Diageo, joining the firm’s gin brands like Gordon's, Tanqueray, and Gilbey's.
Mr. Chase founded the Chase Distillery in 2008 and makes 7 gins, 4 vodkas, and an elderflower liqueur.
In August, Diageo’s owner, Guinness and Johnnie Walker had announced their plans to buy Aviation Gin, a US drinks brand supported by Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds, in a $610m deal.
Last year, the retail gin market of the UK was valued at £1.6bn, as per the drinks data provider, IWSR.
Gin accounts for nearly 4pc of Diageo’s collection, with sales rising to 22pc in 2019. Diageo’s biggest gin brands, Gordon’s and Tanqueray, accounted for a double-digit growth during the same period.
Diageo’s managing director of Great Britain, Dayalan Nayager expressed his excitement about bringing such an important British portfolio of high-quality, crafted brands into the Diageo family.
The sale will signify a big payday for William Chase, who also founded the crisp brand Tyrell's prior to selling a major stake in the snack business for over £30m in the same year he established the distillery.
Mr. Chase bought the family farm from his father at the age of 20 with a £200,000 loan but struggled to run it and was then declared bankrupt. Following this event, he founded Tyrrell's in 2002. He used the profits from Tyrrell's sales to start the distillery that originally focused on vodka and then expanded into gin.
The variety of spirits is extracted from scratch using British-grown apples, potatoes, and botanicals on Chase Farm in Herefordshire. The steam energy used to operate the distillery is produced in the farm using a biomass boiler fueled by prunings from the apple orchard and potato waste is used as a fertilizer to feed the farm’s cattle.
William Chase expressed his happiness about Diageo's interest in Chase Distillery's future. He stated that the company believes in the potential of its field-to-bottle spirits and will build on to its mission to build their sustainable distillery in Herefordshire.