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Beer brewed in South Darenth has gone on sale in the Houses of Parliament

29 January 2014
by Thom Morris

A beer brewed in South Darenth has gone on sale in the Houses of Parliament.

After a visit to the brewery, in St Margaret’s Farm, St Margaret’s Road, by Dartford MP Gareth Johnson, they joined forces to get Kentish Best as a guest ale in the Strangers Bar.

This week it went on sale - but you’ll be lucky to get a pint of it, priced £2.90, under Big Ben as you have to be invited to the bar by an MP who then has to buy you a pint.

Gareth Johnson, John Millis and his son Darren at the Strangers bar in the Houses of Parliament.

Gareth Johnson, John Millis and his son Darren at the Strangers bar in the Houses of Parliament.

However, Mr Johnson invited brewer John Millis, his son Darren - along with the Messenger - for a tipple.

Kentish Best bitter is a smooth 4% beer brewed by the company well-known for its Dartford Wobbler and Gravesend Guzzler ales.

The Millis Brewing Company delivered four casks to the bar, each proving 72 pints.

Mr Johnson said: “This is showing support for a small family-run business in my constituency.

"I came down to visit the brewery and I spoke to the chaps about getting it here and fortunately we got it sorted as the guest beer.

"I think this is the first time a Dartford-brewed beer has appeared as a guest ale in the House of Commons.”

He added: “We reduced tax on beer at the last budget which helps these small breweries.

“I’m looking forward to introducing my colleagues to it. Having tasted it I can thoroughly recommend it.”

The Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament

John Millis started brewing 25 years ago from his home in Gravesend and now adds to his growing list, three Kentish varieties, Red, Best and Gold - a beer you can find in Wetherspoons in Gravesend and Dartford.

Brewing takes seven days and a further week before being barrelled up and appearing in pubs and clubs in Gravesend - including the Three Daws and Gravesend Rugby Club - Sole Street, New Ash Green, Dartford, Darenth, Hawley and Northfleet.

Mr Millis said: “Our main trade is pubs and clubs, originally a lot of clubs but the smoking ban really hit us hard.

“We started brewing in 2002 and the water in our part of the world is very hard. We had to go through 38 different yeast strains until we got it right.

“We’re very proud to have our beer on sale here and I hope everyone will enjoy it.”

Click here for more news from Dartford.

Click here for more news from around the county.

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