Our story as siblings began in 1993, but our story as Sibling Distillery started in 2014. Below is a timeline of images throughout our time growing up together, along with the story of how we set up our distillery! Also, we are not massive fans of talking about ourselves, so below is a profile of each sibling, written by our Mum!
Sibling launched to the market in June 2014, we are a team of two brothers and two sisters (Felix, Clarice, Cicely and Digby) and have always dreamt of running a business together!
We grew up with our parents running a microbrewery (Felix started working every weekend in the brewery when he was just 12 years old) and we had always admired our parents hard work and determination when it came to making real ales. However, having spent our weekends and bank holidays as teenagers helping out, it didn’t seem like the most exciting business to launch ourselves into post-school!
None of us had gone to university, so had no formal qualifications, but after making and selling Sloe Gin on a farmer’s market a year or two previously (unsurprisingly it sold well a week before Christmas!) we had a belief that with our youthful enthusiasm and creative ideas we really could make a bit of a splash in the distilling world.
An Australian designer had created a new type of still, made out of mainly glass and stainless steel with copper only where you need it. It was the first of its type in the world and it had only been made on a micro scale before. However, we were prepared to take a punt on it working full scale, so, at a bargain price, we had it shipped over and built it in what was the (rarely used) sales office in our parent’s brewery.
The early days of our business revolved around walking into bars and trying to convince bartenders it was worth having a premium gin behind the bar and going to farmers markets and giving out tasters to convince the public that premium gins did, in fact, taste different to the most famous, budget brands. It seems like a lifetime ago, now that most towns has its own craft gin brand! But gradually we built a customer base of amazing independent retailers and bars as well as growing our local customer base who would come to see us at our tiny distillery to buy a bottle, or even order a bottle through our website (which had been built by a school friend!).
Digby, my 6ft 2 inch baby. Tall dark and handsome and with a great sense of humour. Not a day passes when he doesn’t make me howl with laughter. Some people think outside the box, but Digby has never been near the box. Each parent’s evening started with the highlight of “Digby is very polite” and went down hill from there. Always cheeky, he has the classic youngest child traits, and knows that whatever happens we will all stick up for him…I pitied his teachers. He is always very kind and protective, he loves our dogs, the outdoor life, often sleeping in a hammock, rockclimbing, camping, and is a brilliant skier. At work he gets things done with little fuss, he is practical and just gets on with it. He is definitely my favourite child.
Cicely, “though she be but little, she is fierce” whilst she is the most thoughtful person you could ever meet, she is also the most assertive of my children. She likes to get things done (her way!) Cicely loves to entertain and cook for everyone she knows and adores and that is a lot of very lucky people. She is the hoste with the moste which is very handy as she organises our events here at the distillery. Always striving to expand her skills, Cicely is forever learning or enrolling on a new course and recently passed her sommelier exams. She loves the outdoors and is also a very good skier. At work she is driven, determined and amazing fun to be with. She is most certainly my favourite child.
Felix, known by the others as the “golden boy”, is a serial over achiever, (or so he says!) He is HIGHLY competitive and this shows in his many sporting hobbies. He frequently has a black eye from his MMA, which grates after all the years of wrapping him in cotton wool. He loves watching the Cherry and Whites, supports Arsenal and is a huge fan of horse racing, (Cheltenham born and bred). While he’s a massive softy at heart with bundles of love to give, Felix is never afraid of whipping the team into shape (much to his Siblings horror!) but he always brings them back around in the end with his salesman’s charm! He loves to train, ski and eat and drink his way around the world but is never happier than when walking one of the dogs in the Cotswold countryside. He is without a doubt my favourite child.
Clarice, my right-hand-woman, has been a mum-in-training since she could walk and talk. Always watching over the others and putting everyone else before herself. Now a real mum of two, she brought us eternal sunshine in the form of two gorgeous Grandchildren, whom the whole family adores.She takes on the part of the business that none of the others wanted, the finances! She is mathsy and meticulous, thank goodness someone is, and loves to read up on all the dos and don’ts that come with a distillery. Clarice has a wicked sense of humour and always lightens the room when she walks into it. She loves to shop and she’s also really good at shopping. In comparison to the others when it comes to skiing, you could say she has all the gear and no idea, but she’s more than happy to come along for the hot chocolate. She has always been my favourite child.