UK: Largest wine producer plans to launch new brewery

England’s leading wine producer Chapel Down has unveiled plans to launch a new brewery. The company has just refreshed label and packaging of its Curious Drinks brand – which includes lager, IPA and cider – with a new “made by winemakers” strapline. The flagship Curious Brew (4.7% ABV) is a lager beer re-fermented with Champagne yeast and a late hop ‘dosage’ for a unique and distinctly premium proposition. Besides there are Curious IPA (4.4% ABV) and Curious Apple (5.2% ABV), which are all available in new packaging as of October 2017.

With its new packaging centred around the brand’s strapline; ‘Made by Winemakers’, the new 33cl bottle shape nods to the silhouette of a sparkling wine bottle, while the corkscrew question mark logo is a subtle link back to its winemaking heritage. The new bottles (RRP £2.00) also feature pressure sensitive labels and neck labels referencing its respective product category; such as ‘Lager of England’, ‘Ale of England’, ‘Cider of England’.

Gareth Bath, former managing director of brewing and international at Scottish craft beer maker BrewDog, will head up the new beer division with immediate effect and will be responsible for the growth and development of the premium beer and cider brands.

 “I’m really excited to be joining Chapel Down. They’ve created a fantastic brand in wine and they have a great team. I love the proposition on the beers – they are unique – and I am looking forward to building the new brewery, creating a great team, giving the consumer an amazing experience and exciting the trade. We can take Curious onto the world stage,” Bath said.

“Gareth will bring a new level of energy and expertise to grow the Curious business and brand to greatness. With his blue-chip background and the tremendous success he enjoyed with Brewdog, he’s a great addition to our Board and will give the whole business an immediate boost,” Frazer Thompson, CEO of Chapel Down Group commented.

 “It’s a very exciting time at Chapel Down. Not only are we challenging the greatest brands of wine in the world with our wines, but have also developed Curious as a unique and distinctive proposition in a thriving but competitive beer marketplace. We have been excited by the success of the beer, but we think there is a truly huge opportunity."

Frazer Thompson said: “The beer drinkers’ palate is changing and consumers want more. The wine expertise we bring is the difference. It’s a sensational beer.

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