newest addition to this village’s thriving business community is East
Hoathly’s very own Village Brewery & Brew Pub. The King’s Head, situated
in the centre of the village, is the primary outlet for the beer produced by the
1648 Brewing Company. Whilst the old stable buildings belonging to The King’s
Head have been
used for this new venture, the brewery itself can be found at the start of Mill
Lane, just to the left of the pub.
idea for the brewery was conceived after a chance conversation between David
Seabrook (Brewer) and Robert Wallace one March day in 2002. A year later the research had
been completed, the equipment sourced, and the plan was ready to come together.
Six months of building preparation, plumbing, electrics and equipment
installation later the first brew flowed from the fermenting vessel into the
casks - 18 months from conception to product. Not the quickest, but then you
can’t hurry quality. A week later it was sampled, and three weeks later 90
gallons had been consumed - since named 1648 Original 3.9% abv. More brewing was undertaken, and with the word
spreading the beer has travelled to some of the surrounding local pubs - their
support being very much appreciated and welcomed - and as far as the Hanover
Beer Festival (Brighton) and the Nottingham Beer Festival.
November 2003 – A new brew - Winter Warrant 4.8% abv.
January 2004 - A new brew for the Hove Cider and Beer festival - Signature 4.4% abv
March 2004 - Sue Kinnear and a film crew arrive to record a feature for the Country Ways programme to be shown on Meridian Tonight on April 15th.
April 2004 - Mini Beer Festival at The King's Head over Easter Holiday weekend - 1648 Beers and 5 guest ales.
May 2004 - 1648 Signature wins Silver (Best Bitter Category) in the SIBA S.E. Regional competition at the Reading Beer Festival 29th April - 2nd May 2004.
June 2004 - 1648 Signature wins Silver (Dual Hop Varietal category) in the NHA 'Beauty of Hops' Competition held at The White Horse, Parsons Green 9th June 2004
July 2004 - First trials of Honey Beer. All came out well with the MK III version being the most successful. Third time lucky, as they say! (see April 2005 below)
August 2004 - Invited to the Great British Beer Festival. An honour to be invited as new breweries are not usually featured until they have been established for 18 months to 2 years.
- At the request of many local Hay-fever sufferers more Honey Beer is produced to alleviate their symptoms. It is said that eating the locally produced honey will help to ease the effects of Hay-Fever.
October 2004 - New brew 'Armistice Ale' 4.2% abv made using local hops from Burwash. A donation of 10p per pint will be made to The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
November 2004 – A new recipe Winter seasonal ale 4.8% abv. awaits tasting.
December 2004 - New ale named Festive Ale 4.8% ready for the Christmas season - light sweetness, fruity and warming - a good winter beer
January 2005 - New recipe Winter Warrant 4.8% abv - Dark rich pint, deep roasted flavour. Goes down well with the regulars. New beer brewed, Three Threads 4.3% abv awaiting tasting.
February 2005 - Three Threads tasting - a mild style beer with good body and a pleasing light fruity/hoppy edge.
April 2005- New recipe being developed for the Honey Beer - and a name chosen at last!. Bee Head 4.6% will be brewed ready for the summer.
August 2005 - Lammas Ale brewed specially for the Eastbourne Lammas Festival.
November 2005 - Experimental brew combining smoked malted barley and fresh root ginger gets its first tasting. It was a great success and its subtle smokey/gingery flavour was much enjoyed (by those who liked ginger). Named Ginger Nol 4.7% and available until the end of March.
February 2006 - New brew named Saint George 4.5%. All local ingredients, Sussex hops with a mix of malted barley from the south eastern counties. Aiming to make it a regular beer throughout the year.
December 2006 - Trial of new beer, probably going to be named Pure Gold 5.0%, golden hoppy beer.
September 2007 - The 1st SIBA Beer Festival at The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood awards Three Threads 4.3% Silver in the 'Milds' category
March 2008 - Brewery expansion. Bigger cold room built for the stock and two additional fermentors installed to double the output of the brewery.
August 2008 - The 2nd SIBA Beer Festival at The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood awards Gold Angel 5.0% Bronze in the 'Premium Bitters' category.
September 2008 - A custom brew is produced for the Chiddingly Festival 30th anniversay. 3.8% Festivalale is a light coloured ale with an wonderful floral hop taste.
June 2009 - Bee-Head 4.6% wins Beer of the Festival at the South Downs Beer and Cider Festival.
July 2009 - Three Threads 4.3% wins another Silver Medal in the 'Milds, Stouts & Porters' category at the 3rd SIBA South East of England Beer Festival, Tonbridge.
October 2010 - Bee-Head 4.6% wins Best Sussex Microbrew at Eastbourne Beer Festival.
December 2011 - David Seabrook, co-founder and head brewer, makes the difficult decision to leave the brewery to concentrate on other business interests. Yannick Vuillemey takes over as head brewer.
why The 1648 Brewing Company? The answer is on the wall inside the King’s
Head. Buy a pint, wander round the pub and ponder the query - or just go to the
'Beer Range' page (I appreciate that some of you might live to far away from
where we are based just to 'Pop in for a pint'. You'll have to come
here for a holiday instead).
You'll have to come here for a holiday instead).
See inside The Brewery to see its development from start to finish and to learn about the brewing process.