Herefordshire distillery snapped up by one of the world’s biggest spirits and beers producers

Chase Distillery

The Herefordshire-based Chase Distillery has been bought by Diageo, which also owns brands such as Johnny Walker, Smirnoff Vodka, Captain Morgan Rum and Tanqueray. The British multinational beverage alcohol company operates in more than 180 countries and produces in more than 140 sites around the world.

Founded in 2008 by entrepreneur William Chase, the Chase Distillery portfolio includes seven gins, four vodkas and an elderflower liqueur. In addition to Chase GB Gin, a smooth, full-bodied gin, Chase has created a number of flavoured gins including Pink Grapefruit & Pomelo, Seville Marmalade and Rhubarb & Bramley Apple Gin. The portfolio also includes Williams Elegant 48 Gin, made using 48 rare varieties of apple from 200-year old orchards.

Awarded ‘World’s Best Tasting Vodka’ at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Chase Original Potato Vodka is batch produced in a copper pot still to create a smooth creamy vodka, with 250 British potatoes going into every bottle.

Chase Distillery’s spirits portfolio is distilled from scratch using British-grown potatoes, apples and all-natural botanicals on the Chase Farm in Herefordshire. The steam energy used to run the distillery is produced on site from a biomass boiler powered by prunings from the apple orchard, with potato waste used as fertiliser to feed the Farm’s cattle.

This isn’t the first time the family have built and sold a major brand. William Chase, whose parents were farmers themselves, began his career in potato trading, launched the hugely successful Tyrrells Crisps in 2002, selling it in 2008 for £30 million to London-based investment company Langholm.

The UK is the largest gin market in Europe and between 2014 and 2019, grew at a compound annual growth rate of 17.4 per cent.

Dayalan Nayager, Managing Director, Diageo Great Britain, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing such a quintessentially British portfolio of high quality, crafted brands into our family. We are excited about the growth opportunity within the premium plus segment and are very much looking forward to working with the Chase team to build on the portfolio’s considerable potential.”

William Chase, Founder and Chairman, Chase Distillery, added: “It’s inspiring to have Diageo invest in Chase Distillery’s future. They believe in the potential of our field to bottle spirits and will build on our mission to develop our sustainable distillery in Herefordshire.”

The acquisition is expected to close in early 2021 subject to regulatory clearances.