Chris Wyles will head into retirement at the end of this season with his post-playing career already in place.
Wolfpack Lager – launched along with his former Saracens teammate Ali Hargreaves back in 2014 – is already sold in more than 50 pubs in London.
The product of a brain-storming session in a pub in Maida Vale back in 2011 – Wyles and Hargreaves have worked hard to make it a sustainable business since then.
The converted London bus serving their lager is a regular feature on matchdays at Allianz Park while a customised Land Rover defender with six taps in the back is a newer addition.
Wolfpack in Queen's Park.— Wolfpack Lager (@Wolfpack_Lager) December 6, 2017
18 months in the making.
Blood, sweat & beers
Opening 9th December, 2017 pic.twitter.com/zvWN38OPws
And while the season run-in remains priority number one for the American international – plans are already in place for growing the business when he finally hangs up his boots.
“I would have been a 35-year-old back next season and it certainly doesn’t get any easier!” he said.
“I have seen people leave this game in a really positive way and I have seen people leave in a really unfortunate way but personally I was in a position where I could be a bit proactive.
“I think that the hardest thing has been trying to balance the rugby with the business. So I am looking forward to giving that my full energy.
“We need a bit of time to just consolidate you know and to get everything working like we want it to but we’ve got some big plans ahead.
“We definitely have a potential plan of taking the beer overseas and continue to grow some of the experiences we have had so yeah, we have some really cool plans to expand.”
Born and raised in America, Wyles came across at the age of 12 and his early rugby career began at Nottingham and Northampton.
There was little indication back then of the silverware to come.
Wyles will retire as an Olympian at Rio 2016 in Sevens, a two-time European champion with Saracens and gunning for a fourth Premiership crown.
Pleasure to share my 50th with this sexy man! https://t.co/jKhCIAPkPv— ChrisWyles (@ChrisWyles) April 22, 2017
“If you had told me then what I would win, then I would have laughed in your face,” he added.
“It’s been an unbelievable time. Even to have been part of this young England group and with the academy players to be involved in that and to play with such amazing players and characters and the way Saracens have turned around as an organisation
“Being actually part of what Saracens have done and to constantly change as an organisation and its been such an amazing lesson, not just in sport but a life lesson really.”
Is it the trophies that he will miss the most though?
“When I made the decision in January it’s not just relative to Saracens it’s also about rugby in general,” he said.
“This sport is all I’ve known – you are not going to have your mates around you and the unique support group that they give.
“I’m in contact with a few people that have already retired from Saracens and they all think the same thing – they all miss the dressing room and the boys. Luckily I’m involved in a bar so I get my fair share of social time.”
With a home play-off semi-final now secure for Wyles and Saracens – there is a chance to dream of a Twickenham farewell.
But Wyles’ first battle is to get into the Saracens matchday 23, something that has proved his biggest challenge this season after years of being Mark McCall’s Mr Dependable.
Blown away by all the kind messages and support! Thank you. Still pinch myself that I’ve even been able to play for one year @Saracens let alone call it home for 10. Amazing club.— ChrisWyles (@ChrisWyles) January 25, 2018
“I have been very fortunate in my career to have made some memories at some of these massive stadiums,” he added.
“It has kind of become the norm that we are in playoffs and I just don’t want to take that for granted.
“To end a career at a stadium like Twickenham, somewhere that that every young rugby player would dream of playing, is just amazing.
“And what a cool place to finish your career and whether I’m involved in playing or not for the organisation and for us to be there and it would be sort of a dream finish.”