Meet the Producer: Cellar Head
Written by: Amie Poole
You'll find Cellar Head's range of modern beers made traditional brewing methods in at shops at both Ashford and Faversham.
We spoke to Dylan at Cellar Head to find out more...
- Tell us a bit about the origins of Cellar Head?
Cellar Head Brewing Company is an award-winning independent microbrewery founded by Chris and Julia McKenzie in 2017 in East Sussex, moving to Kent in 2018. We wanted to create an all-inclusive brewery that crossed many divides - generations, beer tastes and styles, in a no nonsense "what you see is what you get" way.
- What’s most unique about your beers?
Cellar Head produces a core range of beers from modern American style pale ales to traditional best bitters. Alongside these regularly brewed beers, we also produce seasonal brews throughout the year including green hopped beers and dark stouts. Having special relationships with local hop farmers, Cellar Head also produce limited, small batch beers from time to time using exceptionally rare or trial hops, usually less than 300 bottles or even just a single cask. When they’re gone, they’re gone!
At Cellar Head we produce cask conditioned and bottle conditioned natural, unfined beer. Traditionally, fining agents are used to produce perfectly clear beer using Isinglass, a substance obtained from the dried swim bladders of fish. Yes, fish! But as well as helping the yeast to settle to the bottom of the cask/bottle, the finings also take hop oils with it, thereby stripping some of the flavour and aromas - something we of course want to avoid. By choosing not to add finings to our beers, they carry a natural haze and are also vegan friendly. Additionally we do not filter or pasteurise our beers to get the most flavour out of our brews.
- What part of the brewing process do you think surprises people most when they visit the brewery?
The process in which grain turns to alcohol over a period of time and the fact that the grain base dictates which beer you get. Most people would assume the hops play a larger role but the style and ABV are all decided by which grain you're putting in the beer and the amount.
- What’s it like to be part of the Kent food and drink scene?
The food and drink scene in Kent is huge and its awesome to be a part of it, especially on the beer front. It's an industry like no other in which you grow close relationships with both customers and producers alike. Its not uncommon to see collaborations and companies working together across all spectrums but especially between brewers. We all have a common goal to create great produce and help each other get to that goal, its unlike any industry I've worked in in the past.