The Oxford Artisan Distillery, the English Whisky producer leading the way on sustainable farming in spirits production, has appointed Marcin Miller as Chairman.
This is excellent news for the Company which recently announced investment from Diageo accelerator Distill Ventures. Marcin is one of the original investors in the distillery and brings heavyweight spirits industry experience and a track record of building highly successful super premium brands.
With a background in drinks publishing and PR, Marcin co-founded Number One Drinks company in 2006 to import and distribute Japan’s finest whiskies throughout Europe. Alice Lascelles commented in The Financial Times that “the distributor helped kick-start the trade in Japanese whisky.” He has also co-founded two other distilleries: The Kyoto Distillery in Japan (which entered a strategic partnership with Pernod Ricard in March 2020) and Oslo Håndverksdestilleri in Norway.
Miller comments: “I’m now focusing my time on purpose-led brands and projects so I’m thrilled to take up the Chairmanship of The Oxford Artisan Distillery. Working with heritage grains, the team at Oxford is leading the revolution in tackling sustainable farming whilst producing exquisite whiskies. With Distill Ventures as partners, we have ambitious and exciting growth plans in place.”
The Oxford Artisan Distillery is seeking to improve farming practices in the category. It produces spirit using biodiverse populations of heritage grain, cultivated exclusively for the distillery using a technique known as Restorative Continuous Grain Cropping (R-CGC). This means the distillery’s farmers don’t use chemicals and grow the grain with just an understory of clover. This approach has a multitude of benefits: sequestering carbon; improving soil and river health; creating life-rafts for biodiversity and restoring eco-systems within arable fields. Furthermore, these types of grains were originally bred for their flavour in the production of beer and bread, meaning they lend themselves to producing spirit of exceptional taste and quality.David Smith, CEO, comments: “I’m delighted Marcin Miller has agreed to become our Chairman as we enter the exciting next phase of our journey. His experience and counsel will be invaluable as we introduce our proposition to a growing audience in the UK and abroad.” Marcin Miller is a Master of the Quaich; a Rectifier of the Gin Guild; a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Distillers; and a Kentucky Colonel.