By Max Clarke

William Chase, founder of Tyrrells Crisps has sold his remaining shares of the premium crisp brand to private equity firm Langholm Capital.

Mr Chase launched the business in 2002 and fondly raised Tyrrells into an award winning premium brand, in less than decade. With no knowledge of making or marketing crisps, William managed to set up & run a full functional factory and create a brand within 6 months.

In 2008, William sold a major stake of the business to Langholm to pursue a new challenge, conquering the world of artisan vodka. Despite having no background in producing spirits, William aimed for the premium end of the vodka market and used potatoes from his own farm instead of the uninteresting grains that are generally employed throughout the industry.

Mr Chase was also keen to create quality vodka which was entirely British and had provenance. So, William & his small team grow, mash, ferment, distil and finally bottle the artisan vodka from William’s farm in Herefordshire. To date, Chase Distillery is the only company in the UK which perform the whole process single-handedly.

Earlier this year, William’s ‘Chase Vodka’ received the accolade of ‘World’s Finest Vodka’ from The San Francisco World Spirit Awards. Chase Distillery’s innovative potato vodka beat 249 rivals from around the world, including the output of the finest Russian and Polish Distilleries.

Now, with the New Year upon us and with Chase Distillery flourishing, William thought it was time to say goodbye to his past with crisps and channel all his energy into his future in the premium drinks business.

“I am now divorced from Tyrrells and feel broken hearted saying goodbye to my baby, however it is time for me to move on and focus all my energies into developing Chase Distillery, which is now firmly established and has huge potential.”

Chase Distillery’s iconic potato vodka, gin and liqueurs are now being distributed all over the world. Despite demand from the US, China and Europe, the company will remain to hand make each batch of vodka.

Keen to maintain his reputation of producing original & inventive drinks, William will be launching a series of limited edition vodka in 2011.