professor_challenger: (Default)
I'm off to Lincoln for a few days in a couple of months, and I think the only beer I've drunk from the county is Batemans. This seems to be the dominant brewer in the area; Poachers and Cathedral Heights are also local, so I hope I can find that.

8 Sail (Sleaford, 2010)
Austendyke (Spalding, 2012)
Axholme (Scunthorpe, 2012)
Bacchus (Mablethorpe, 2010, brewpub)
Batemans (Wainfleet, Skegness, 1874)
Blue Bell (Spalding, 1998)
Blue Cow (Grantham, 1997)
Brewsters (Grantham, 1998)
Cathedral Heights (Lincoln, 2011)
DarkTribe (Scunthorpe, 1996, brewpub)
Fulstow (Louth, 2004)
Grafters (Gainsborough, 2007, brewpub)
Hopshackle (Peterborough, 2006)
Leila Cottage (Skegness, 2007, brewpub)
Malt B (Alford, brewpub)
Newby Wyke (Grantham, 1998)
Oldershaw (Grantham, 1997)
Poachers (Lincoln, 2001)
Riverside (Skegness, 2003)
Sleaford (Sleaford, 2010)
Swaton (Sleaford, 2007)
Tom Wood’s (Barnetby, 1995)
Two Halves (Market Deeping, 2004, not in full production)
Willys (Cleethorpes, 1989, brewpub)
professor_challenger: (Default)
I've been blithely saying the number of breweries in Kent has doubled or something in the last ten years. Let's crunch the statistics. This obviously omits the closed breweries of Kent, a topic that demands much more research than I have time to do right now.

  1. Shepherd Neame (1698)
  2. Goacher's (1983)
  3. Larkins (1987)
  4. Nelson (1995)
  5. Hopdaemon (2000)
  6. Swan On The Green (2000)
  7. Millis (2002)
  8. Ramsgate aka Gadds (2002)

    Ten Years Ago

  9. Whitstable (2003)
  10. Westerham (2004)

    Five Years Ago

  11. Moodleys (2008)
  12. Old Dairy (2009)
  13. Wantsum (2009)
  14. Abigale (2010)
  15. The Canterbury Ales (2010)
  16. Farriers Arms (2010)
  17. Kent (2010)
  18. Royal Tunbridge Wells (2010)
  19. Tonbridge (2010)
  20. Black Cat (2011)
  21. Canterbury (2011)
  22. Hop Fuzz (2011)
  23. Rockin’ Robin (2011)
  24. Caveman (2012)
  25. Goody (2012)
  26. Ripple Steam Brewery (2012)
  27. Tir Dha Ghlas Brewery (2012)
professor_challenger: (Default)
I make it twenty-seven or twenty-eight or twenty-ninee breweries in Kent, depending on where precisely you draw the boundaries, and I suspect that this is a number which has grown by a third in ten years. When googling breweries, I keep finding newspaper stories of hobbyists who want to take it to the next level, and I sometimes wonder if the current apparent boom in brewing (a thousand different breweries) is sustainable. Do people who like beer and have cash glimpse a gap in the market and invest unwisely? A boom will bust. What is now trendy will become old hat.

Thus spake Eeyore.

There has been a long history of takeovers and buyouts, so that what appear to be different brands are in fact Marstons or Whitbreads, and choice of beer has been more limited than it has appeared - Fuller's or Gales'? Same difference? Plus it's one thing to supply your own pub (The Black Cat, The Foundry, Farriers Arms etc), quite another to scale up to supply several pubs or produce sufficient beer for TesMorrRoseBury's.

I don't know precisely what is going on with The Royal Tunbridge Wells Brewery, but a Facebook post this morning stated "the brewery is currently shut. I have several options for the future of the brewery which I am pursuing. Plans are to be back up and running in due course." I'm hoping that the brewery can continue.

The brewery is based in Tunbridge Wells (obviously - but Whitstable isn't in the Bubble) and started in 2010 as a collaboration between Simon Lewis and retired brewer Ian Dormon, from the previous Royal Tunbridge Wells brewery, closed 1983.

I've had a number of their beers - I think there was a green hop, but I've also had a Dipper (3.7%), a Royal (4.1%), a Beau (4.8%), a Helles (5%) and, most recently, a Golden Ticket (5%), I think my favourite. I hope they can continue in some form.


professor_challenger: (Default)
Just a convenient listing of Kent breweries - I've tried them all (possibly aside from Moodleys), but don't feel up to commenting on all of them. Omissions: Rother Valley, as just in Sussex, and Curious, as a vineyard beer.

  • Abigale (Ashford) (2010)
  • Black Cat (Tunbridge Wells) – Brewpub (2011)
  • Canterbury (Canterbury) – Brewpub – an ever-changing range, most of which I like (2011)
  • The Canterbury Ales (Canterbury) – not quite sure about them, only liked a couple (2010)
  • Caveman (Swanscombe) – Brewpub – fantastic first beer, Citra (2012)
  • Farriers Arms (Ashford) – Brewpub (2010)
  • Goacher's (Maidstone) (1983)
  • Goody (Herne) – have potential, not quite there (2012)
  • Hop Fuzz (Hythe) – shaky start, but some interesting beers (2011)
  • Hopdaemon (Sittingbourne) – Incubus is my standard drink, Golden Braid is good, Skrimshander pretty good (2000)
  • Kent (West Malling) – want more of this, love them (2010)
  • Larkins (Edenbridge) - uses the original Royal Tunbridge Wells brewery equipment (1987)
  • Millis (Dartford) (2002)
  • Moodleys (Penshurst) (2008)
  • Nelson (Chatham) – not really a fan (1995 as Flagship; Nelson since 2004)
  • Old Dairy (Cranbrook) – hit and miss, I fear, more hits than misses (2009)
  • Ramsgate aka Gadds (Broadstairs) – well-established, trustable brand (2002)
  • Ripple Steam Brewery (Dover) – interesting start (2012)
  • Rockin’ Robin (Maidstone) (2011)
  • Royal Tunbridge Wells (Tunbridge Wells) (2010)
  • Shepherd Neame (Faversham) – never really liked, some of the seasonals are ok, as is Spitfire in bottles (1698)
  • Swan On The Green (West Peckham, Maidstone) – Brewpub (2000)
  • Tir Dha Ghlas Brewery (Dover) – Brewpub or Brewbistro (2012)
  • Tonbridge (Tonbridge) (2010)
  • Wantsum (Canterbury) – hit and miss, not really sure yet (2009)
  • Westerham (Edenbridge) – mixed experiences, better draught than bottle (2004)
  • Whitstable (Maidstone) – some really good beers, but go off easily (2003)


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Professor Challenger

January 2013

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