WESTERHAM WINS BEST OVERALL DRINK AT 2014 NATIONAL TRUST FINE FARM PRODUCE AWARDS
The National Trust Fine Farm Produce Awards compare products produced with National Trust Farm ingredients or produced on National Trust Farms with products available in large supermarkets. Westerham’s beers fulfil both of these criteria being made with hops with from Scotney Castle in Lamberhurst, Kent and brewed at Grange Farm in Crockham Hill.
Westerham’s Scotney Pale Ale, Scotney Bitter, British Bulldog and Viceroy India Pale Ale were all compared with nationally produced products in a blind tasting. Every beer beat its rival in the taste-off to be awarded the coveted award. Scotney Bitter also won best drink award out of all the beers, juices and ciders entered.
The National Trust wrote:
OVERALL DRINKS WINNER – WESTERHAM BREWERY, KENT
Since Robert Wicks revived one of Kent’s most loved traditions by opening Westerham Brewery on Grange Farm in 2004, the brewery has become renowned for its exceptional craft beer and sustainable production methods.
HOPS FROM SCOTNEY CASTLE TO GARDEN FEED AT CHARTWELL
Quality and local ingredients are at the heart of Robert’s brewing philosophy. His beers are made with Kentish hops grown at the nearby Scotney Castle garden and use the local water, which filters through Greensand aquifer and is ideal for brewing. The brewing operation is designed to be as green as possible and to minimise waste.
‘Hops make fantastic compost for flower beds, and are used at nearby Chartwell,’ says Robert. ‘Our brewer’s grain goes to the local dairy farmer, so in terms of waste there’s very little.’
This desire to reduce waste is also extended to the finished product – no plastic or shrink wrap is used in the packaging and the beer itself comes in ultra-light recyclable glass bottles. The hops that are wasted from the brewing process are used as compost on the garden at near by Chartwell.
Robert’s brewery now produces nearly a million pints of beer every year – going to over 300 Kent pubs, National Trust shops and restaurants, and supermarkets nationwide. With the resurgence in craft beer’s popularity, Westerham Brewery is on the up and Robert hopes this award adds to the momentum.
‘The profile of the awards really helps us raise awareness of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it,’ says Robert.