Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais has become co-owner of Ellers Farm Distillery, taking an undisclosed stake in the North Yorkshire spirits business.
Gervais would take on “creative leadership” for the Dutch Barn Orchard Vodka distiller and “lead global brand awareness and marketing efforts”, Ellers Farm said.
Founded in 2021, Ellers Farm produces its flagship vodka from British apples. Its portfolio also includes the Y Gin brand, as well as a range of fruit and espresso liqueurs and an English single malt whisky made in collaboration with Theakston Brewery.
Its distillery is carbon neutral and the business is a certified B Corp, having gained accreditation in September of this year.
Gervais said he had “been looking to invest in eco-friendly businesses for a while”.
The Afterlife star described Ellers Farm’s flagship vodka as “a quality product”, adding he had been “promised that I can try to make it a global brand in my own way”.
The decision to hand him creative control of the brand was “something I can’t help but think they will regret”, Gervais joked.
Ellers Farm founder Chris Fraser said Gervais would be “help shape how Dutch Barn is seen around the world” and be “an integral part of the business”.
Unlike “so many hollow celebrity cash-for-face brand endorsement deals”, the tie-up with Gervais was “an authentic partnership… involving both investment and creative leadership”, Fraser added.