This award will celebrate innovative drink businesses, brands or products, that are leading the way and pushing the boundaries of what being a ‘traditional’ British producer, supplier or retailer means. With a commitment to promoting ‘The Best of British’, using sustainable quality ingredients and skills based approaches to production as well as developing a commercially successful business, this award will highlight some of the innovative up and coming stars of the rural drink sector as well as those who continue to make traditional produce into sustainable business. The winning business will be able to clearly demonstrate the following:
• A well articulated business strategy
• Strong business ethics and financial competency
• The achievement of the aims and objectives
• A clear understanding of the market and customers to whom the business is selling
• That where possible they use local or sustainably sourced ingredients and/or produce
• Uniqueness in offering – what sets the business apart from the competition
• Availability for sale in the UK
• A platform for continued commercial success
• Customer and staff engagement
• Effective leadership, operation and management
Best Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project
The Sustainability and Environmental Impact Award
Best Rural Drink Business Winners
Wild Fox Distillery
Wild Fox Distillery is the brain child of Lancashire 4th generation dairy farmers, Rob & Lizzie Billington. With a wealth of food development knowledge under their belts and the fierce passion to develop a spirit that was true to their land and heritage using sustainable practices, the distillery business was born. They have so far crafted 5 premium Gins on their farm; each a celebration of the countryside, each unique, each filled with their own farm grown botanicals, pure water from their own bore hole and each proudly sporting a Backing British Farming accolade around their neck.
In the Welsh Wind Distillery
In the Welsh Wind Distillery is an award-winning, maverick distillery, crafting bespoke spirits on the western-most coast of the British Isles. Developers and distillers of premium spirits and deliverers of high-end gin experiences to the public, the team are respectful of the traditions of distillation, but not constrained by it. They tread their own path distilling and innovating in this fast-moving sector. Having focused initially on gin, the distillery is now moving into the production of authentic ‘grain to glass’ Welsh whisky as well as developing their premises as a year-round visitor attraction and research and education centre.
Best Rural Drink Business Finalists
Celtic Marches Beverages
For eight generations, Celtic Marches have farmed 200 acres of luscious lined orchards. Chosen for growth and taste profiles, eight cider apple varieties are grown, pressed and blended with precision to create international award-winning ciders. As one of the UK’s largest self-sustaining single estate cider producers they are proud of their heritage, provenance and sustainability. Awarded with PGI status, this assures that only Herefordshire cider apples are used. Recognised for their skills, passion for quality and consistent drive for a premium craft cider, the bold branding stands out from the norm, shaking off the traditional approach to cider.
Rinaldo's Speciality Coffee and Tea Ltd
Rinaldo’s Speciality Coffee and Tea is a truly independent business that was crowdfunded in 2015 to help its evolution in coffee roasting. From starting as a humble mobile barista, owner and founder Rinaldo was able to buy a 15kg coffee roaster with the funding and the manufacturing journey began. Now in new premises, Rinaldo’s roasts outstanding 100% Arabica coffee, sells fine teas, high-end equipment, provides popular barista courses in a bespoke training centre and incorporates an espresso bar and retail outlet. The company is extremely proud of its progress and that it has all been done ethically and with a positive, supportive attitude.
Shed 1 Distillery
Shed 1 Distillery produce award-winning, classically distilled gins, gin marmalade and traditional-strength Gin Elixirs. In true start up style, Shed 1 Distillery was first launched in owners Andy & Zoe’s garden shed in Ulverston, Cumbria. In October 2019 they moved to The Old Calf Shed on the Ulverston Auction Mart site and opened as a working distillery and visitor attraction offering Cumbria’s only Make Your Own Gin experiences, as well as Gin Tours and botanical-inspired Afternoon G&Teas. In 2020, both The Old Calf Shed Bar and the Distillery became licensed wedding venues.
Vicars of Oakhampton Estate
Vicars Gin was established in the early part of 2019 and is a small batched gin company utilising botanicals homegrown on the family estate. The business is named after the owner’s father, who has been a vicar in and around Worcestershire for over 50 years. Through establishing the business, owner Naomi has realised her dream of diversifying part of the estate away from traditional farming. Although currently working on being a complete one stop gin company, the eventual vision is to one day become a UK botanical supplier to other distillers in the UK, alongside a successful drinks business.