Sibling Distillery moves to new premises courtesy of crowdfunding
PUBLISHED: 16:54 28 March 2017
Gin-lovers, raise a glass. Sibling Distillery is planning to triple production this year. From a standing start in a corner of their dad’s brewery, the four siblings are toasting a bright future thanks to a successful £15,000 crowdfunding campaign
When four siblings from Cheltenham put their heads together to create a distinctive new gin, they could only have dreamed it would be stocked in some of the world’s most luxurious bars and shops just a few years later.
Sibling Gin was founded three years ago by Clarice, Cicely, Felix and Digby Elliott-Berry when they were all aged under 25.
Their tender age didn’t hold them back from knowing exactly how they wanted their sophisticated new gin to taste, however, insisting on only the best fresh ingredients, including vanilla from Madagascar, blueberries, oranges, lemons and coriander.
They are one of the few companies in the UK to distil their gin from start to finish and manufacture alcohol from scratch.
The enterprising foursome, who all went to Balcarras School in Cheltenham, set to work producing Sibling Gin from a makeshift corner of their dad’s brewery, Battledown Brewery, in Keynsham Road. Sales took off and within a year they knew they had to move.
From producing 400 bottles a month in its first year of operation, Sibling Gin now turns out 1,600 bottles per month from its new distillery in Dowdeswell Park, Charlton Kings. Last year turnover hit £300,000 and they plan to triple production this year.
With no cash reserves, the move to a new premises was only made possible following a successful Crowdfunding bid. Sibling Gin was invited to do a Dragons’ Den style pitch to five angel investors in front of an audience.
Director Clarice said: “It was pretty scary but we gave it our all and out of the five crowdfunder companies there, we won the Best Angel Pitch.
“We decided not to progress with the angels, but we did hit our £15,000 crowdfunding target.”
Clarice says the new premises open the door to expansion on many fronts.
“Our old place was tiny,” she laughs. “We’d reached the stage where we were always on top of each other. Not only were we tearing our hair out, we couldn’t match demand.
“We had two fermenting tanks which allowed us to make just one batch of gin every 10 days. We needed at least four tanks, a new boiler and an extra still.
“At Dowdeswell Park there’s loads of space. We already have two new fermenting tanks. Our office has moved from the kitchen table to a proper room with desks and chairs. We’ve got a tasting room, a kitchen and a little shop. We can host tastings and tours.”
As well as their new on-site shop, Sibling Gin is also sold at Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason in London, as well as Majestic Wine. It is also available at independent outlets and exports across Europe and South America.
Sibling Gin has won several awards including Family Business Place (Ones to Watch) 2016; Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards, Best Local Producer 2015; Great Taste Awards 2015.