Sunday, March 3, 2024

Ricky Gervais Joins Certified B Corp Distillery As Co-Owner: ‘I Love the Planet and I Love a Drink’

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British comedian Ricky Gervais is now co-owner of the Certified B Corp spirits label, Ellers Farm Distillery, which produces Dutch Barn Vodka made from British apples.

Ricky Gervais announced the new partnership in a post shared to social media. “I am thrilled to announce that I am now the proud co-owner of Ellers Farm Distillery,” he said, calling out the Dutch Barn Vodka, made from British apples. “It tastes great,” he said, adding “we’re committed to sustainability and the protection of the ecosystem.” This venture marks a significant shift for Gervais, who will leverage his global influence to promote the products.

The comedian humorously acknowledged the potential risks associated with alcohol consumption. He quipped, “Sure, like all strong liquor, it may damage your liver and your well-being but think how happy it’ll make me.” Additionally, he highlighted the lucrative aspect of his investment, saying, “could literally make me hundreds of millions — so please buy it.”

Dutch Barn Vodka
Dutch Barn Vodka | Courtesy Ellers Farm Distillery

In a press release announcing the deal, Gervais expressed excitement about his unique approach to marketing the vodka, saying, “The exciting part for me is that I’ve been promised that I can try to make it a global brand in my own way. Something I can’t help but think they will regret.”

Dutch Barn Orchard Vodka, produced by Ellers Farm Distillery, stands out as it is made from apples instead of the traditional grain or potatoes. The North Yorkshire-based company is committed to ethical practices. It boasts a carbon-neutral status, uses largely recycled bottles, and supports reforestation projects worldwide. In September, it received B-Corp status for being an ethical employer.

The distillery, which also produces gins, liqueurs, and English single malt whisky, recently expanded its reach by securing a deal with Tesco to stock its spirits in 48 stores across Yorkshire.

Gervais, who has been seeking to invest in eco-friendly businesses, found Dutch Barn Orchard Vodka to be the perfect match. He commented, “I’d been looking to invest in eco-friendly businesses for a while and as soon as I found Dutch Barn — I wanted in! I love the planet and I love a drink so it was the perfect combination. On a serious note, Dutch Barn really is a quality product. I love the fact that it’s done differently and I can’t wait to let everyone know about it.”

Chris Fraser, founder of the distillery in 2021, expressed his enthusiasm about Gervais joining the team. “We are so excited to have Ricky join the team. With so many hollow celebrity cash-for-face brand endorsement deals out there, we are really pleased to have forged an authentic partnership with Ricky involving both investment and creative leadership. Ricky will be an integral part of the business going forward and will help shape how Dutch Barn is seen around the world and helping us make Dutch Barn a global success.”

Gervais, known for his candid humor, has openly discussed the downsides of alcohol in the past. In a previous interview, he reflected on his own drinking habits, stating, “I have a glass of wine at six o’clock. I mean, I’m looking at the clock at five to six. I just think I enjoy doing it. I think that if it started ruining your life, or affecting your life, or you can’t get up the next day, then it’s probably not a great idea. In fact, it’s probably not a great idea to drink — full stop.”

dos hombres
Aaron Paul (l) and Bryan Cranston (r) | Courtesy Dos Hombres, Max Barsness

In 2022, the comedian put to bed longtime rumors about his diet, confirming to Jimmy Fallon during an appearance on The Tonight Show that he is vegan. Gervais, 62, has long used his platform to speak up for animal rights issues including calls to end the fur trade, huting bull fighting, pupply mills, and animal testing.

The Office creator and star joins a booming celebrity-backed spirits category; George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Eva Longoria, Cameron Diaz, and Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, have all lent their star power to wines and spirits. Clooney, who co-founded the tequila brand Casamigos with Cindy Crawford’s husband Rande Gerber, sold the label to spirits giant Diageo for $1 billion in 2017.

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