Judges go Wild for top Lancashire gin
Family-run independent gin company Wild Fox Distillery is raising a glass after gaining the title of Best Rural Drink Business at the Rural Business Awards .
Wild Fox Distillery, founded in 2019 by fourth-generation dairy farmers Lizzie and Rob Billington, was recognised for its innovative approach and sustainable efforts in producing its farm-to-glass spirits on the family farm in Inglewhite, near Preston.
The national final of the prestigious awards, which aim to recognise and celebrate the successes of businesses operating in the UK’s rural economy, took place online and were hosted by BBC Escape to the Country presenter Jules Hudson.
Celebrating the win, co-founder Lizzie said: “We are thrilled to receive this award which highlights the success of the business as well as our care for the environment and passion for British farming.
“With an inherited love for our surroundings, we strive to embody the heritage of our farm in each bottle of Wild Fox gin.
“We ensure sustainability with every element of production done by us here on the farm - from development, harvesting and distilling through to the bottling and labelling.”
The gin’s success means the couple plan to open a new distillery alongside a visitor centre and shop on their dairy farm in April, in line with government guidance.
Lizzie added: “The distillery will give us more room to expand and grow. We will also be able to welcome the public on-site to learn about our gin production process and to sample and purchase our spirits. Private ‘Farm-To-Bottle Distilling Experiences’ will be available too.”
The Rural Business Awards are backed by Amazon and judged by an independent panel drawn from the rural business sector, rural public sector agencies, and rural charitable organisations.
Jemma Clifford, director and co-founder of The Rural Business Awards, said: “The last year has been tough for all rural businesses, but we remain amazed at the high calibre of entries to the RBAs, and this has certainly continued in the 2020/21 year.
“The judges had a real challenge on their hands when picking the winners,.”
To learn more about Wild Fox Distillery visit www.wildfoxdistillery.co.uk