Ex-brewery owners switch to gin making with Wildjac brand

A couple who ran a brewing company with links to the Peaky Blinders have pivoted to distilling, with a number of new spirits on the market.

Eco-friendly distillery Wildjac, launched by husband-and-wife team Chris and Aster Sadler during the Covid-19 lockdown, has placed ethical ingredient sourcing and production at the heart of its operations.

Chris and Aster were in charge of Sadler’s Brewing Co – which was based in Lye in the West Midlands and had a range of beers dedicated to Birmingham gang the Peaky Blinders – until its sale to Halewood Wines & Spirits in 2019.

Chris said: “With many years’ experience of the drinks industry and 150 years of family brewing and distilling history, it felt like a natural progression into spirits. We saw an exciting opportunity to bring a range of spirit to the market which give back, not only to the community but also to the wild. We were inspired by the Wyre Forest, which the distillery sits right on the edge of and which used to be known as the ‘Wildwood’.”

The Wildjac spirits range

Wildjac’s range includes Natural Dry Gin, Fresh Citrus Vodka and Honey Spiced Rum, with a non-alcoholic botanical spirit in the pipeline. It uses Worcestershire honey and Douglas fir, as well as a number of other ingredients sourced locally. In-keeping with their aim to ‘give back’, Chris and Aster have signed up to the 1% For The Planet programme, to give 1 per cent of their turnover to chosen local and national charities including the Woodland Trust, Trees for Cities and the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. They have also used as many recycled and recyclable materials as possible in their products.

Each bottle also comes with a wildflower seed stick pack for customers to plant at home. Aster said: “This little touch is a way for everyone to play a part in making a difference. The impact we are having on the planet is very topical at the moment and we can all do our bit to slow this down.”

You can find out more on the Wildjac website.

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