Diageo buys Chase gin and vodka distillery

Diageo has swooped on the Herefordshire gin and vodka distillery founded by the entrepreneur behind Tyrrells crisps.

The FTSE 100 drinks multinational has agreed to buy Chase Distillery, which was founded in 2008 by William Chase for an undisclosed sum.

It is the latest in a series of acquisitions that Diageo has made to strengthen its gin portfolio. This summer it agreed to buy Aviation American Gin in a deal worth up to $610 million.

William Chase’s son James, director of the distillery, insisted that it would be “business as usual” for the producer of seven gins, four vodkas and an elderflower liqueur. “It seems like only yesterday that we set out to tell our story at the local farmers’ markets and city cocktail bars,” he said.

The distillery uses British potatoes, apples and natural botanicals to create the spirits. Mr Chase Sr, who remains chairman of the distillery, said that Diageo had backed its “field-to-bottle” spirits “and will build on our mission to develop our sustainable distillery in Herefordshire”.

Dayalan Nayager, Diageo’s managing director in Britain, described Chase Distillery as a quintessentially British brand. “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,” he said.