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Kent Beer of the Year Winner: Cellar Head Brewing Company: Session Pale Ale

Cellar Head Brewing Company is a multi-award-winning independent brewery founded five years ago by Chris and Julia McKenzie.

Session Pale

Cellar Head Brewing Company is a multi-award-winning independent brewery founded five years ago by Chris and Julia McKenzie. We have created an all-inclusive brewery with an on-site tap room that crosses many divides - generations, beer tastes and styles, in a "what you see is what you get" way.

We use traditional brewing methods to produce a varied range of modern beers focused on drinkability and quality using the finest English-grown malts and hops, as well as high-quality hops from around the world and our own strain of historic Sussex live yeast.

Session Pale Ale, first launched in 2018, has grown in such popularity that it now accounts for 70% of our sales. This beer features three of our favourite Kent hops, Ernest and Challenger grown by Hukins Hops near Tenterden and Jester from Hoad’s Farm in Sandhurst.

Session Pale Ale has tropical fruit and sweet floral aromas and the intense flavour of gooseberry and green grapes with a light, honeyed sweetness, leaving a fresh, crisp punch and a dry, clean finish. At only 3.8%, Session Pale is a great all-rounder, being satisfying to drink on its own or paired with a large variety of foods.

Sustainability is central to our daily operations as a business due to the very nature of what we do. The brewing process consumes large amounts of water, raw ingredients, power and packaging materials, to name a few. We look regularly at every element of our daily operation and constantly review our practices and processes to ensure we are doing whatever is possible to reduce our impact and be as sustainable as possible.

Our recent investment in a new more efficient gas-powered 3200L brew house has improved efficiencies in the overall brewing process – a reduction in our electrical consumption by 80%, a reduction in lost water due to an improved heat exchange system and water recovery normally lost during the brewing process. Some 40% of our daily water use is recovered and reused for first stage cleaning and cask washing.

All our spent malted barley (some 1.5 tonnes per week) from the brewing process goes directly to Dan Roger’s rare-breed cattle and pigs at Aysgarth Farm near Heathfield. The spent hops aren’t wasted either – they head to The Small Holding restaurant in Kilndown and local gardeners' compost heaps and vegetable patches.

Most of our beers are bottled, canned and labelled on site and all our packaged products are distributed ourselves, wherever possible, to reduce the miles our beers must travel to their destination.

All our packaging is 100% recyclable, right down to our paper packing tape. A gradual move of small pack product lines towards aluminium cans means better recyclability, lower transport costs and fewer beer miles.

Consumable packaging of cardboard and plastic are reused/ repurposed where possible or sent for recycling. Excess wooden pallets are available for free from the brewery to be repurposed into garden furniture and garden bars by keen local customers!

Session Pale
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