Artisanal maker of modern drinks, Chapel Down Group, first started brewing its beer in 2010 and their drinks offering has continued to grow ever since. In May 2019, Curious Brewery opened its doors to bring brewing into the centre of Ashford. Designed by Guy Holloway Architects, the building is visually striking and has already been shortlisted at the AJ Architecture Awards 2019.
The ‘Cathedral of Beer’ which gives people the opportunity to learn, taste and experience modern brewing has exceeded expectations to now welcome over 1000 people to the brewery each week. The site started brewing beer in its custom-made brewhouse in June and since August all beer served in the restaurant and shop has been produced onsite.
The UK boasts one of the most vibrant brewing scenes in the world and the ambition of Curious Brewery was to offer a unique experience that goes beyond simply producing beer. As a tourism centred retail business, the brewery needed to be in a highly accessible location in order to attract people from Ashford, elsewhere in the UK and Europe.
The company has credited access to tourism via the HS1 rail link, ambitious regeneration and the local residential programme among the things that drew them to Ashford.
There is such a buzz around Ashford and it’s still in the early stages of development, so the future is looking really positive!Gareth Bath, Managing Director of Curious Brewery
Managing Director of Curious Brewery, Gareth Bath explains why the company feels privileged to bring the brewery to Ashford: “It’s great to be part of Ashford’s story. It goes beyond being a commuter town, thanks to an excellent transport network, into just a really exciting place to be. There is such a buzz around Ashford and it’s still in the early stages of development, so the future is looking really positive!”
Curious Brewery slots into a thriving leisure landscape in Ashford, sitting alongside the likes of Elwick Place, The Coachworks and Ashford Designer Outlet. The brewery can currently store 500,000 pints on site at any one time and is aiming to double this to 1 million in the near future. It also has ambitions to grow its team from its current 36 employees, making the most of the local talent pool.