Our journey towards fulfilling a long held ambition, establishing our own commercial brewery, has taken us a while to complete. The story began in earnest during October 2011 when building and conversion work began on our flint barn and outbuildings at Church Farm, Litlington, in the heart of the South Downs National Park. However, the real story begins at a much earlier date.
Research has shown us that a malthouse existed on the farm during the mid 19th century, and going back even further an inventory of Church Farm House from 1538 lists a ‘brew-house chamber’ as a part of the premises. In that sense we’re simply carrying on a tradition that has been in place for many years. Fast forward to more recent times and we encounter the Ellis family who have farmed in Litlington for three generations. Duncan Ellis has lived in Litlington all his life, and founded The Long Man Brewery along with Stephen Lees and Jamie Simm.
Stephen has also lived in the Cuckmere Valley for many years and draws much of his industry experience from his involvement with his family business, HT White, who have supplied beer, wine and spirits to licensed premises in the area for over 100 years.
Jamie, our head brewer, had long dreamt of being a partner in his own brewery and was previously creating award winning beers at The Royal Tunbridge Wells brewery. Fortunately, the lure of being involved in our enterprise here at The Long Man Brewery was enough to persuade him to climb on board and begin to create a range of great tasting beers for us instead.
So, back in 2011 work began on the renovation of the disused barn adjacent to the main farmyard. A new roof, improved drainage, repointed walls, a newly laid floor and a brand new cold store meant that by January 2012 we were ready to order our twenty barrel brew plant along with three fermentation vessels. Installation was completed by February 2012, our first test brews were made, and we’ve been brewing ever since.
Our brewery is of course still relatively young, but a taste of our six award winning beers may well lead you to think otherwise. Our commitment to using the very best locally sourced ingredients is second to none. The Spring Barley used in our beers is grown right here on the farm and we strive to source everything we can (even our workforce) from within the Cuckmere Valley.
We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to brewing great beer, but with every brew we make we endeavour to produce the consistent high quality that discerning drinkers expect from hand crafted, cask conditioned bitter. Our beers are inspired by our own desire to create the kind of ales that we want to drink ourselves, whether it’s the light and highly drinkable Long Blonde or our punchy and robust American Pale. With our current capacity we can keep our customers in good supply, but rest assured that there’s nothing mass produced on offer at The Long Man Brewery.