Be curious and stay curious with Curious Brewery

Curious Brewery was established in 2011 to create a bold and positive statement about modern brewing in Britain.

 

Opening their state-of-the-art brewing facility in Ashford five years ago, Curious believe that flavour and passion come first, keeping a promise to continue to be curious and stay curious when it comes to crafting premium beers and ciders.

Chief Operating Officer Matt Anderson joined the Curious Brewing team as Head Brewer in 2018, overseeing the opening of the brewery and expanding their award-winning range of beers.

We had the pleasure of talking to Matt to find out more about the wonderful Curious Brewery.

 

For those who might not know, what is Curious and why are you so special?

Curious Brewery was established by Chapel Down Winery in 2011 producing Beer and Cider with a winemaker’s twist. Although we became independent in 2021, we still incorporate winemaking processes and techniques into all our products, producing super-premium beer and cider sustainably, with locally sourced ingredients whilst working to limit our impact on the environment.

Our state-of-the-art Brewery on Victoria Road was completed in 2019 and produces over 5 million pints annually, available in pubs, restaurants, and supermarkets nationwide.

CommunityAd Exclusive - Be curious and stay curious with Curious BreweryOn-site, we also have a 120-seater bar and restaurant, which is open Wed to Sun for lunch and evening meals and of course has the freshest Curious beers on tap, including some exclusive experimental brews.

 

What is your role at Curious, how long have you been a part of the team and how much do you enjoy working there?

I am currently the Chief Operating Officer at Curious, having joined back in 2018 to build the Brewery and oversee production operations. Next year will mark my 20th year in the Brewing industry and I count myself incredibly lucky to have found something that I love doing. Curious is an amazing place to work; in addition to the striking building and the amazing products, we have a small but amazing team, who are all passionate about beer.

 

What would you say have been the greatest moments in Curious Brewery’s history over your 13-year history?

It’s challenging to pinpoint a single greatest moment. Probably the thing that I am most proud of is completing our first Brew just 9 months on from walking onto a rubble site, with not even the foundations of the building in place. Shortly after that we also won Brewery of the Year at the International Beer Challenge in 2019. Since then, we have also won several Gold medals for our beers at both the IBC and World Beer Awards, which is great recognition for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

 

Can you explain the process of your brewing and how you, not only stay curious but try and create things that others can’t?

Our Brewery is split into 4 processes, Brewing, Fermentation, Processing and Packaging.

A beer takes about 7.5 hours to go through the Brewing process in the Brewhouse, where each Brew produces approximately 10,000 pints of beer, or Wort as we call it at this stage. Almost everything we need to create a great beer is contained within the Malt and other grains, so in the Brewhouse we are trying to extract all these naturally occurring sugars and proteins, whilst also adding hops for bitterness and aroma.

Our Lager spends about 6 weeks in Fermentation and Maturation. It’s in Fermentation where the yeast converts sugars into alcohol and CO2, creating beer from Wort. However, for most of this process, the yeast is helping to mature the beer and create the distinctive character of our Curious beers.

CommunityAd Exclusive - Be curious and stay curious with Curious BreweryFollowing fermentation, the beer is still cloudy and so it is processed through various pieces of equipment to ensure that the beer is bright and that it stays bright for the duration of its shelf life. Our goal is to ensure that the beer tastes just as good on day 365 as it does on day 1.

Finally, we then package the beer into Kegs, Bottles & Cans onsite, before they are distributed to each of our customers.

We have several unique aspects to our Brewing processes. The most significant of which is that all our beers undergo a secondary fermentation with Champagne yeast. The Champagne Yeast helps to create a super clean finish on the beer, whilst also building some complexity into the aroma, which is the hallmark of all the Curious beers.

We are also incredibly lucky to have some advanced pieces of equipment that most Breweries of our size don’t have access to. Our water plant includes a de-aeration column, which strips the Oxygen out of our Brewing water. Oxygen is the enemy of the Brewer, contributing to staling reactions that impart papery and cardboard aromas to the beer, artificially ageing it. This equipment is one of the reasons that we can ensure our beer stays fresher for longer.

 

What do you enjoy most about being based in Ashford?

We feel incredibly fortunate to have chosen Ashford as the home for our Brewery. While many breweries have migrated to out-of-town locations for cost and space reasons, we saw Ashford as the perfect fit. Not only is it well-connected, but it’s also a vibrant hub for innovation, providing small businesses like ours with ample opportunities to flourish.

Being centrally located in Ashford allows us to actively engage with and contribute to the local community. Our strategic position ensures easy accessibility via road and railway networks, welcoming new customers to Curious who might not have stumbled upon us otherwise. This central location not only bolsters our business but also deepens our connections with the dynamic Ashford community.

 

Do you have any exciting plans for Curious this year and in the long term over the next 5-10 years?

This year we have several exciting projects planned.

We have just completed commissioning our new can line at the Brewery. Our ABE canning line is capable of packaging almost 4,000 cans per hour and has allowed us to create new jobs at the Brewery, ensuring that we can now Brew and package all of our beer on-site in Ashford.

Later this year we are also looking to install a CO2 recovery plant. This equipment will allow us to recover waste CO2 from the fermentation process and re-purpose it for use in other parts of the Brewery, significantly reducing our Carbon footprint.

Many of our other projects, such as moving to solar power will also enable us to become a more sustainable operation. One of the biggest projects we will be undertaking is installing an anaerobic digestor. This will turn excess yeast into electricity and help power our packaging lines at the Brewery.

In the longer term, most of our projects will focus on our primary goal to become the most environmentally friendly Brewery in the UK. We are already incredibly lucky to have a very hi-tech and efficient Brewery, but there is always more that we can do.

 

How can readers keep up to date with all the news from Curious Brewery?

To stay updated on all the latest news and happenings at Curious Brewery, readers can follow us on our social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram @CuriousBrewery. They can also visit our website, www.curiousbrewery.com regularly for updates, blog posts, and event announcements. Additionally, we would encourage people to sign up for our newsletter to receive exclusive offers, behind-the-scenes insights, and the latest brewery news directly in their inbox.

Exclusives by Area

Search