1648 Brewing Co. Ltd: East Hoathly's local beer

PUBLISHED: 17:15 13 September 2011 | UPDATED: 19:58 20 February 2013

Robert Wallace and David Seabrook

Robert Wallace and David Seabrook

Very few villages are lucky to enough to have their own beer. But the folk of East Hoathly can enjoy a drink in their local, brewed on the premises. Kate Eastman popped in for a pint

1648 Brewing Co. Ltd.

The Old Stables Brewery

Mill Lane, East Hoathly, East Sussex, BN8 6QB.

Telephone: 01825 840830

Email: brewmaster@1648brewing.co.uk


Located in the heart of the village is East Hoathlys very own brewery and brew pub. The Kings Head is the primary outlet for the beer produced by the 1648 Brewing Company from the old stable building to the side of the pub.

David Seabrook and Robert Wallace are joint owners of the brewery.

"I am the brewer and do all the production work whilst Robert, the owner of the Kings Head, looks after the sales and distribution side of the company," says David.

"It all began in 2002 when I was recuperating from an eye operation. I was telling a mate how I had been to the Goachers Brewery in Kent and that it was surprisingly small, so small that it could probably fit into my workshop.

"I was a cabinetmaker and furniture restorer at the time. He mentioned that Bob might be interested in doing a microbrewery, so I went to see him and it just rolled on from there. Bit of a mad moment really as I had no prior brewing experience!" A year later, the research had been completed, the equipment sourced, and the plan was ready to come together. With six months of building preparation, plumbing, electrics and equipment installation the first brew flowed from the fermenting vessel into the casks, 18 months from conception to product.

"It wasnt the quickest brew but you cant hurry quality," describes David. "A week later it was sampled, and three weeks later 90 gallons had been consumed. Today there are 16 different brews in the range, the most popular being Signature. "That accounts for 25 per cent of all our sales, with Triple Champion very close behind, both are brewed all year round. Bee-Head is the most popular seasonal," says David.

"We brewed 150,000 pints last year but we have wanted to bottle the beer for a long time; it is an obvious growing market. The difficulty was finding someone relatively close who was willing to handle such small quantities. The first six brews were bottled last June, which have all sold so I have just finished replenishing those stocks and last November bottled the second six brews."

The brewery name was inspired by the fact that the brewery occupies space in The Kings Head. The hanging sign outside the pub portrays Charles I and inside the pub is a copy of his execution warrant of which Cromwell was a signatory. "Thus some of the beer names Signature, Warrant, Bee-Head, Ginger Nol, now re-named Ginger No. 1 because everyone called it that; Cromwell was a red head (hence ginger) and his nickname was old nol (meaning lump or stump)" says David.

"Gold Angel is because Charles I had a coin minted called a Gold Angel, on the back was his declaration to the people. It was a happy coincidence that the beer we brewed specially for Waldron Cricket Club for their 250th anniversary they chose to call Declaration. The beers have won seven awards, " I was delighted for Bee-Head to have won Beer of the Festival at The Southdowns Beer Festival in Lewes 2009 and in 2010 it won Best Sussex Microbrew at the Eastbourne Beer Festival," says David.

"I dont have a favourite beer from the ones I brew, I like them all. The best thing about brewing a range of beers is that there is always a choice and a beer for my mood and thirst on the day. If there are four different brews on the pumps I will often have a pint of each."

For more information about the different brews, where to buy the bottles or which pub stock their beer go to www.1648brewing.co.uk

Other pub breweries in Sussex

The First In Last Out

14-15 High Street, Old Town, Hastings

Satnav: TN34 3EY

T: 01424 425079

W: www.thefilo.co.uk

The FILO Brewery was established at the pub in 1985 and remained there until its relocation a little further up the road. Its range of ales includes Crofters (Best Bitter) and Cardinal (Sussex Porter) as well as FILO Gold (Premium Ale) and Ginger Tom (Craft Beer) and Mikes Mild. The pub has appeared in CAMRAs Good Beer Guide for the last 20 years.

The Gribble Inn and Brewery

Gribble Lane, Oving, near Chichester

Satnav: PO20 2BP

T: 01243 786893

W: www.gribbleinn.co.uk

This complete little brewery has a capacity to produce up to 4320 litres of beer each week with opportunities to change the types and style of beer available. Each brew is carefully nurtured and monitored for 7 to 10 days before being racked and served in prime condition.

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