The Producers: The Long Man Brewery
PUBLISHED: 13:09 15 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:30 20 February 2013
The Long Man Brewery, based on the banks of the Cuckmere River, sources barley from the family farm with the spent grain used to feed the livestock. Kate Eastman spoke to Head Brewer Jamie Simm.
The Long Man Brewery is based at Church Farm, Litlington in the heart of the South Downs National Park. The brewery is an old flint barn on the banks of the Cuckmere River, which has been completely renovated and modernised by the owners Steve Lees, Duncan Ellis and Jamie Simm.
Head Brewer Jamie Simm says: It has long been a dream of Steve and Duncan to own and run a micro-brewery. Personally having brewed for a number of years already I jumped at the chance to get involved with such an exciting new project. Duncans family have farmed in Litlington for three generations and Duncan really wanted to use the barley grown on the farm. Steves family has supplied wine and beers to pubs for over 100 years as he is a director of HT White of Eastbourne and the combination of Duncan, Steve and me seemed perfect.
So last year we started planning, preparing and refurbishing an old flint barn for the brew-house ready for the new brewing plant.
The Long Man Brewery currently produces three beers: Long Blonde which is their 3.8% light golden and hoppy beer, perfect for people to spend a whole evening drinking; Long Man Best Bitter at 4.0%, their traditional Sussex best; and lastly their 4.5% premium bitter, which is called Sussex Pride. The brewing started in March 2012. Steve, Duncan and I all had a hand in deciding what beers and which styles to brew, but we also had a lot of input from the locals, who after all the ones that are going to be drinking it. Lets just say there where some late evening deliberations! explains Jamie.
Jamie brews three times a week. One brew is 20 brewers barrels, which is 80 firkins, 3280 litres or 5760 pints. To date all beers have been brewed in equal measure, and with the weather improving I can see the Long Blonde becoming ever more popular. Everyone says that its really refreshing. However the Best is the one thats really flying out, I think there is a place in the market for a good quality, good value Sussex Best Bitter, says Jamie.
It takes 18 days for Jamie to make the beer. As a rule it takes a day to brew, a week to ferment, and a further 10 days to cask condition, explains Jamie. We source our ingredients locally and soon we will be using barley grown right here on the farm by Duncan and his family, with the spent grain then going directly to feed their livestock. We also aim to make the brewery as environmentally-friendly as possible. We have found an underground stream near the brew house and next year we will install a borehole so we can use our own water. The electricity will be providedby the farms own photo-voltaic cells.
At the moment Steve, Duncan and Jamie are focused on producing the best quality beer they can. They dont see that ever changing, but they all look forward to increasing the range and production in the not so distant future and getting their beers available in bottle, which shouldnt be too long.
Currently the beer is available on tap from over 40 different free houses across Kent and Sussex, and growing. My recommendation would be the Plough & Harrow, in Litlington. Its less than a hundred yards down the road from us, does a cracking pint, and is our brewery tap, so to speak, describes Jamie. With bottles following shortly you will hopefully start finding our beer far more readily available.
The Long Man Brewery
Church Farm, Litlington
East Sussex, BN26 5RA
Phone: 07976 777992