What did you do before creating your Wild Fox Distillery & Gins?
I, Lizzie was in New Product development in the dairy industry. Before this role I worked within the dairy industry in food technical science, which has given me a wealth of experience and knowledge for distilling our range now. Rob has always farmed full-time since leaving college where he trained as an agricultural mechanic. His thing is machinery - there isn’t something he can’t fix, so our Stills are in very good hands!
What made you decide to create your distillery and what's the inspiration behind your gins?
We’ve always loved a good G&T, cliché I know, but it really has always been the staple ‘after milking’ drink for my parents and we just followed suit from drinking age! The problem was that we found our staple Gin was becoming more and more mediocre and the flavours were decreasing over the years we were buying it. So, we went on a hunt for more artisanal Gins but were disappointed that most recommended a serve with a garnish or flavoured tonic, and we really just wanted a gin that spoke for itself and needed nothing adding. This initially sparked the idea of distillation. We were always going to diversify and wanted to create a product that represented the farm's heritage, and with the wealth of botanicals already growing in the farm orchard it really was a no-brainer.
Can you tell us more about the distillery and your distillation process?
Our distillery is situated on our family's working dairy farm in a small village called Inglewhite in Lancashire. We use two bespoke made copper pot column stills to craft our range of Gins, Ivy & Kin. Ivy, our first still has been the real hero of the business, the slow, continuous distillation she created makes for a spirit which is unparalleled in smoothness. Our maiden recipe, Ivy’s Signature Gin, is a gin we feel everyone needs on their gin shelf. She’s the gin you can pick up and any time and not be disappointed, simply just a belting G&T.
We use an abundance of freshly harvested botanicals in Ivy’s Signature, primarily golden raspberry leaves which gives the gin a unique herbal zest. We use grain spirit for all of our gin recipes, but we use a different process for each recipe, Blushing Vixen takes the longest to create as we steep for 48 hours prior to distillation with freshly stewed rhubarb to give that nostalgic flavour we all grew up with, without using any nasties!
What can people expect and experience if they visit the distillery?
We're delighted to finally be able to welcome visitors on to the farm as our newly built distillery and shop is now ready. Here we aim to give anyone who walks through the door our ‘farm-to-bottle’ experience. We will tell anyone who will listen about how we craft our spirits and of course, there’s always a sample to accompany the chat! The distillery is completely on show so you can have a G&T whilst watching the stills at work. We are also offering intimate master distiller days for 2 people to craft your own signature gin whilst the distillery is closed to all other public. The distillery is nestled on the family farm so the views around are beautiful, and within the distillery there are large viewing panes so you can take in the farm landscape as you sip!
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
On the 25th February we were absolutely delighted to find out we had won the Rural Business Awards for the Best Rural Drinks Business in the whole of the UK. The fact that we had been recognised in such a prestigious competition where the other Runners-up were of such a high calibre was just very overwhelming for us. The competition win has opened up a lot of new doors for our micro-distillery and we have gained some wonderful press releases from it, including being on the ITV evening news and on the Heart Breakfast radio show with Amanda Holden and Jamie Theakston.
How would you describe your Signature Gin in 3 words?
Unique, fresh, zesty.
What's your favourite way to drink your gins?
What's next for Wild Fox Distillery - any exciting plans?
Finally, being able to open the shop and welcome our customers to the farm is the first and foremost the most exciting next step in the Wild Fox Journey. This year we hope to create another seasonal release and maybe not just distil Gin…
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