As part of our Meet the Huckletree Ambassador series, we discuss setting up a business with Gareth Bath, MD, Curious Brewing. Curious Brewing make premium craft beers, each with a winemaker’s twist. They have just opened a brand new brewery in the heart of Kent decked out with a restaurant!
Tell us about Curious Brewing. Where did it all start?
We are England’s leading winemaker, and have been disrupting the traditions of winemaking for nearly 20 years since our CEO Frazer Thompson joined the business. We want to be one of the most exciting drinks companies in the UK and so we’re always looking through our lens as a winemaker for innovative opportunities in premium and quintessentially English drinks.
Curious Brew was born from this drive in 2011. An English premium lager. Brewed by winemakers with sparkling wine yeast. How curious! And now we’ve just completed our biggest investment to date. Our state of the art multi million pound Curious Brewery in the heart of Ashford, Kent.
What is your favourite product? And why?
Curious Brew. Without a doubt. All the crisp refreshing qualities of modern unpasteurised premium lager, with a dosage of Nelson Sauvin hops for a delicious fruity aroma. We’ve some really great new beers coming. Watch out for our new Brut IPA which we hope drinkers are going to really love.
When I’m celebrating I also love to indulge in our best in show, multi-award winning Kits Coty Chardonnay.
One of Huckletree’s values is Stay Curious which is in line with Curious Brewing. How do you foster a sense of curiosity?
For us here at Curious Brewing, we endeavour not to be the best, but to be the only people who can do what we do. That really drives our curiosity. You have to constantly ask why, why not, what if, what next, really question everything, in order to stay true to that purpose. And have fun yes. Surrounding yourself with people who have that endless thirst for knowledge and never graduate from the school of life just is more likely to put a smile on peoples faces I think.
You’ve now launched a Brewery (congrats!) which hosts tours, and even has a restaurant – what are your plans for this establishment? Where do you want this hub to go?
I’m biased but it really is a beautiful space! A brewery made by a winemaker, with hospitality as much at its centre as brewing delicious beers!
We want to be a go-to place for the local and wider Kent community, a place you come back to again and again and bring your friends, family and colleagues to.
We’ve deliberately chosen not to build a crinkly tin shed on the outskirts of an industrial estate. We have viewing windows into the brewery. Full tours of the site. An open kitchen. A really transparent view into our business and our culture. A place where we can tell the story of the Kentish terroir and its influence on our drinks. If that means we grow as a brand and a business, then fantastic.
I always say to the team: start your shift with a smile. End it with a smile. Make sure everyone who visits us leaves with a smile and maybe a new level of advocacy for great quality English drinks.
That way it always feels like day one and you stay in the moment and enjoy what you’re doing.
Huckletree is opening a workspace in Soho next month. As an Ambassador, why do you think this will be a renegade move for us?
I love Soho. Recently, I was asked, if there was one area of the UK I’d really like to see Curious have a stronghold in where would it be? I said Soho. It is so rich with stories, with people, brands, agencies that embody the Stay Curious mindset. So much experience and hot talent in such a small area. I couldn’t think of a better place for Huckletree.