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Turners Brewery putting East Sussex on the real ale map

PUBLISHED: 16:32 22 June 2015 | UPDATED: 16:32 22 June 2015

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Beer is all the rage at the moment. A few years ago there were scarcely 20 small breweries across Sussex. Now there are 56.

After meeting Kes Travers, proprietor of Turners Brewery in Ringmer, East Sussex I was a little wiser about man’s favourite tipple, yet most of that hard data somehow slipped away when I was presented with an array of ales to assess, fom their incredibly popular American Pale Ale, with its characteristic zing and caramel finish, to the easy-drinking Blonde Ale. Their Porter hits the mark with a smooth, malty bitterness. The more I drink and the more I think, the more I realise that ales and porters are for the more discerning palate. Sure, there’s something incredibly refreshing about a cold fizzy lager on a hot summer’s day. But if you want any sort of flavour complexity, ale is the answer. Kes sums it up thus: “A lager drinker is a bit like someone that gravitates to Cheddar cheese...ale drinkers are the Stilton crowd.”

Effervescent with enthusiasm for his product and business, Kes says “Innovative, interesting products drive us. We have a steady and consistent output whilst giving back to the community and investing back into our environs.”

And that’s what really fascinates me about Turners Brewery. Set in the idyllic and traditional Highfield Farm, Turners Brewery is three years old, flanked by a butcher’s shop and smoke house. These businesses are helping to make this old farm into a bit of a destination spot through re-investment and the bespoke nature and design of the brewery itself. Kes plops a large folder on the table and leafs through their bespoke labels. Turners can supply individual event beers (guests took home a Celebration of Sussex Life beer at the 2014 awards), labelled to the client’s requirements from the wording, graphics and colours, to bottle styles and caps.

My mind, as well as my palate, feels invigorated after my meeting with Kes. Passion, like beer, inevitably spills over.

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Highfield Farm, The Broyle, Ringmer, E. Sussex BN8 5AR 0845 689 2689; www.turnersbrewery.com

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