Tell us about yourself
My name is Jamie Daltrey, I’m 41 years old. I moved out of London after working in the television industry and took over the management of Lakedown Trout Fishery where our Taproom is now situated in 2019. I grew up here as a child.
What is your business called, when was it established and where is it located?
Established in 2020, our business is called Lakedown Brewing Co. and is a family-run, independent microbrewery and taproom in rural East Sussex, creating modern and traditional beers in can, bottle, keg and cask. We are on a mission to make local, artisan beer more accessible.
How did the idea for the business come about?
We were enjoying a relaxing post lockdown pint together at the water’s edge in the idyllic Lakedown Trout Fishery. It was a perfect time and place for a beer!
We had a vision to create a local brewery that brought people together, celebrated the East Sussex countryside and made for easy, social drinking. Inspired by our surroundings and love of craft beer, we decided to make our own beers using the finest quality ingredients and create equally brilliant places to drink them in.
With a belief that the enjoyment of a beer is just as much about family, friends and surroundings as the good stuff in the glass, we have an aim to capture some of this feel-good factor in every sip. In fact, look closely and our logo celebrates the flora, fauna and nature at Lakedown, as well as the family’s music heritage. Lakedown itself was built in the 1970s by my father, Roger Daltrey of The Who, who wanted to create a peaceful oasis to escape the mania of touring.
Sussex is now home to around 40 brewers – with the vast majority of these independently- owned microbreweries – why do you think the sector has grown so much over the past decade or so?
I think brewing in Sussex has expanded for a number of reasons. Producers tend to have a great drinks philosophy and Sussex is a great place for this as there is a great synergy between the county’s rich agriculture and fine ingredients.
Sussex, and East Sussex in particular, has robust agriculture and historically has always been great land to grow hops. We are surrounded by beautiful scenery, great people and amazing places to drink too. There is also a desire to create quality, British products, including craft beer, so it’s easy to see why the sector has grown so much.
What makes Lakedown Brewing Co. unique?
Our beers are made for easy drinking, and are super fresh and sessionable. All of Lakedown Brewing Co.’s beers are vegan and most are gluten-free. We use carefully sourced, quality ingredients that allow the beer the time it needs for a deliciously full-flavored brew.
What makes us unique is that we implement a grain-to-glass philosophy that combines age-old methods with contemporary brewing equipment for both modern and traditional beers. The range is diverse, yet concise, with options from pale ales and porters, all the way to more traditional lagers.
Where can consumers buy your beers?
Our range includes a Pilsner, English Pale, Pale Ale, Neipa, Best Bitter, IPA, Porter, American Red and Vermont Pale Ale. We sell our beer in casks, cans and mini kegs so there really is something for everyone.
Customers can purchase direct from our website (www.lakedownbrewing.com) or we are stocked in our beautiful Taproom at Lakedown, which is in the heart of the Wealden Valley.
You can also find Lakedown beers stocked in local pubs, bars and bottle shops in Sussex. We are really ingrained in our local community, but also have big ambitions to expand into London and other areas of the UK this summer. The end goal would be mainstream supermarkets, but for now, we’re focused on expanding the line and introducing even more great beers and ales.
What are your beer subscriptions?
The subscription boxes feature flavour-forward beers that are designed to appeal to all, from complex bitters to refreshing pale ales.
From £35, the subscription boxes are available to purchase for three, six or 12 months, and allow beer lovers to receive a monthly delivery of our beers. It’s really great value for money and we offer a discount depending on the length of the subscription.
Beer enthusiasts who opt for a six- or 12-month subscription can also book into Lakedown Taproom with a guest to enjoy a drink on the house, the perfect place to sample our kegs and cask beers while relaxing in an idyllic setting.
Which other brewers in Sussex do you professionally admire?
Our brewery is on the same farm as Three Acre Brewery and Only with Love so it’s been great to bounce ideas around with those guys.
Anything else you’d like to share?
We recently extended our support for the Fat Tuesday Music Festival to sponsor a year-long programme that will bolster the Hastings Fat Tuesday Club into 2023.
The Hastings Fat Tuesday Club provides free creative music sessions for 12-18 year olds in the Hastings area at the Contemporary Music School, St Leonards. The sessions focus on the process of making and playing new music, including song writing, playing, performing and the technical aspects.