Interview: Old Tree Brewery, Brighton, England
I’ve returned to England for the first time since my October trip when I recorded my first impressions of the kombucha scene in the UK.
Brighton is a south coast seaside resort easy hour-plus train journey from central London. It’s the home of the Old Tree Brewery where a team of young entrepreneurs brew kombucha and range of botanical drinks from edible landscapes.
Ancient Secrets for the Modern World
They were inspired by the secrets of ancient fermentation and forest culture, and founded Old Tree as social enterprise in 2014 to explore ways to use seasonal botanical drinks to reconnect people with nature.
Their big idea was to create a brewery that combined brewing & gardening / foraging & fermentation with an educational, community focused, model. They hope to transform the UK’s drinking culture; realign people with the seasons; create desirable outdoor work; preserve botanical wisdom for the future and produce health as well as enjoyment with the powers of plants and microbes.
They live their values in a variety of ways such as delivering only in a five-mile radius by carbon-neutral bicycles. They conduct annual cider-apple ‘scrumping’ expeditions to deepest Somerset, where they gather truck-loads of heirloom apples that would otherwise go to waste.
Old Tree Kombucha is a full-flavored, delicately floral probiotic tonic that is tangy, with an appley sweetness; sparkling with life. It is a combination of Sencha Green and full-bodied Assamica teas sourced from the Sussex-based Edgcumbes.
Their goal is to become the worlds first networked nano-brewery by building co-creative networks of brewers and gardeners / fermenters and farmers. Their hope is to eventually become a basis for a global community dedicated to a fermentation revival.
Old Tree are in the final week of a crowd-funding campaign to raise the funds they need to expand. Take a look at this compelling video to learn more about the Old Tree Brewery and their expansion plans. I’d encourage people to consider making a donation, however small.
I spoke with Tom Daniell, a founder-member of Old Tree, about the origins of the enterprise, their current focus and plans for the future. To hear what Tom shared, click on the podcast icon below.