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Curious Brew opens new ‘cathedral of brewing’ in Kent

Curious Brew, the beer brand of English winemaker Chapel Down, has opened its long-awaited new brewery bar, shop and restaurant to the public, which it has described as a ‘Cathedral of Brewing’, as it plans a new pipeline of development.

Curious Brew opens new brewery in Ashford Kent (via Twitter)

The 2,900hl new brewery, which will be able to produce more than 9,000 pints of beer a day or 4,000 bottle of its flagship brew, is based next to the international train station in Ashford in Kent forms part of multi-million regeneration project in the area. It is hoped to act as a major tourist destination in the area.

The new brewery includes around 1,000 sq ft on the ground floor open to the public, including a shop, bar and hosting area, as well as 4,000 sq ft bar, and two dining rooms, plus a landscaped kitchen gardens. A waterfall flows down one section of the distinctive building.

The development marks the company’s biggest investment to date, with Chapel Down CEO Frazer Thomas saying the new brewery cemented its position as an “innovative, progressive dynamic maker of some of the finest beer in the country”.

A pipeline of development is planned.

The company announced plans to build its new brewery after acquiring planning permission from Ashford Borough Council back in October 2016, following a successful crowd-funding exercise in 2015-16 in which it smashed its target to raise over £1.7 million to fund the project.

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.

In November 2017, ex-Brewdog MD Gareth Bath was appointed as its new managing director.

The Curious Brewery range includes a lager re-fermented with Champagne yeast; a triple hopped IPA; a Kentish cider fermented with Bacchus lees; and a limited released range of small batch, barrel-aged beers, Curiouser & Curiouser

Chapel Down also recently opened its Gin Works bar and restaurant at London’s King’s Cross which includes an on-site distillery, and recently launched a pink gin made from Pinot Noir grapes, which it claims is the first gin to be made using the grape variety.

Earlier this month made its first foray into the convenience and ready-to-drink market with the launch of a pre-mixed gin and tonic in a can.


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