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Artist's impression of new Curious Drinks Brewery, Ashford

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Curious Drinks brewery and visitor attraction planned for Ashford


Artist's impression of new Curious Drinks Brewery, Ashford

Curious Drinks Limited, the beer and cider subsidiary of Chapel Down winery, plans to open a new brewery and visitor attraction in the heart of Ashford next to the international station.

To raise funds for the ambitious project, a £1m crowd-funding campaign has been started with Seedrs, one of the world’s leading equity raising platforms. This is the second crowd-funding project the company has launched in a year.

Investors have up to the end of February 2016 to buy shares starting from £100. Benefits for investors include a share in the business, free brewery tours, 25% discounts on beer and cider produced by Curious Drinks Limited, plus the opportunity to have their name etched on brewery fermentation tanks.

The funds raised will also help Curious Drinks to develop and grow their domestic and international distribution by consolidating its brewing and bottling operations into a single site. Subject to planning permission, the brewery could be operational by December 2016.

Frazer Thompson, CEO of Chapel Down and Curious Drinks, said: “We’ve found a sensational site in Ashford for the new Curious Brewery. We don’t want to hide away on some industrial estate. We want the world to see us and this site is just 38 minutes from St Pancras by HS1 and less than two hours away from Paris by train. It will enable us to be close to great opportunities at home and abroad.

“Curious Drinks is a unique proposition – a range of beers and cider made by winemakers, benefiting from our passion for ingredients, our thirst for knowledge and our dedication to creating the best possible product. Demand for our Curious beers and ciders has increased significantly and we have reached the point where we need to build a brand new brewery.

“We want to bring our customers on the journey with us and are offering some fantastic benefits along the way. We were humbled by the overwhelming response to last year’s record-breaking Chapel Down crowdfund and hope to build an equally impassioned army of shareholders for Curious Drinks through this latest campaign,” added Frazer.

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “We welcome the news of these truly exciting proposals. Obviously due planning processes must be adhered to but it’s clear that Ashford continues to be a real draw for the very best commercial enterprises. Our unrivalled connectivity and planned, sustainable growth makes Ashford the obvious choice for expanding, thriving and established businesses.

“To have such a respected local business as Chapel Down advocating Ashford as a ‘sensational’ location is a real incentive to us as an authority to continue the proactive work we are undertaking to deliver on our aspirations for the borough. We are committed to working with businesses to achieve these goals for our residents and visitors, growing our tourism industry and night-time economy.”

Cllr Graham Galpin, Ashford Borough Council’s portfolio holder for the town centre, added: “While the planning process must take its course, the news that one of our top businesses is not only looking to expand but to come into the town centre with proposals of this stature, speaks volumes for the work we’re doing to revitalise the heart of the town.”

For more information about Chapel Down visit
For more information about economic development opportunities in Ashford visit

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