Chapel Down completes payment for 1.6 acre Curious Brewery site

English wine producer Chapel Down has announced the completion of its payment for a 1.6 acre site in Ashford to house the new Curious Drinks brewery, the company’s beer and cider arm.

Plans for the new brewery in Ashford. 

In a statement released this week, the English winery announced the payment completion, having acquired planning permission from Ashford Borough Council back in October 2016.

From 2015 to 2016, it raised over £1.7 million to fund the project, which will reportedly cost £1.25 million. Having originally planned to raise only £1 million, Chapel Down actually ended up with £1,710,700 provided by a total of 895 investors.

Curious Drinks’ new packaging following the rebrand this month.

The new brewery, based in Ashford in Kent, will include a restaurant and shop and will form part of multi-million regeneration project in the area.

Earlier this month, Curious Drinks unveiled its rebrand including new packaging together with the appointment of ex-Brewdog MD, Gareth Bath, as its new managing director.

The new branding is centred around the strap-line ‘made by winemakers’ while the corkscrew question mark on the label is a nod to its winemaking heritage.

Speaking at the time, Bath said: “I’m really excited to be joining Chapel Down. They’ve created a fantastic brand in wine and they have a great team.”

“I love the proposition on the beers – they are unique – and I am looking forward to building the new brewery, creating a great team, giving the consumer an amazing experience and exciting the trade. We can take Curious onto the world stage”.

Curious Drinks was founded in 2011 as a way for to increase cashflow and provide an alternative revenue scheme while Chapel Down waited for its sparkling wine stocks to mature.

The range now consists of Curious Brew, a 4.7% lager made with Saaz and Cascade hops and English malt then re-fermented with Champagne yeast and a ‘dosage’ of Nelson Sauvin hops; Curious IPA, a 4.4% brew made with English Golding, Bramley Cross and Chinook hops; Curious Porter, a 4.4% porter brewed with Bramling Cross and Challenger hops, and Curious Apple, a 5.2% cider made with Kentish Rubens and Bramley apples and fermented using Bacchus wine yeast.

Curious Drinks now has national listings at retailers such as Waitrose and Majestic.

In a statement following the completion, CEO Frazer Thompson said: “We are delighted to have completed on the purchase of the freehold site that will see the development of the Curious Brewery in Ashford.”

“Situated next to the International train station which connects to Kings Cross in 38 minutes and also to the centre of Paris in less than 2 hours, the Curious Brewery will be a very exciting development for Ashford, for Kent and for contemporary British brewing.”

“We’ve had tremendous support from Ashford Borough Council and are looking forward to working with architects Guy Hollaway and developers U+I Plc to create something exceptional”.

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