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A behind the scenes look inside the new Curious Brewery in Ashford

By Charlie Harman

The finishing touches are being made on a town centre brewery, as it prepares to open this week.

Curious Brewery staff are being hurriedly trained by drinks experts ahead of its launch on Friday, which will see the first visitors sample the food and booze on offer at the Victoria Road site in Ashford.

Set to become the centre of Chapel Down's beer branch, the newly-made vats will be able to produce 9,000 pints a day when fully operational "in the next few months".

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WATCH: Curious Brewery is set to open within days

Work was still being completed this week, with builders working hard to fully install the production equipment despite the launch deadline.

Partly funded by a crowdfunding campaign which saw £1.6 million raised, the facility will allow Curious Brew to experiment with new drinks, including Curious West Coast - an IPA that will be debuting at the brewery's opening.

Bosses have suggested that 12 to 15 new drinks are in the pipeline, with small batches of each being made over the next year.

A 120-cover restaurant is expected to be packed over the coming weeks, with a full house on Saturday which will test the staff's knowledge of the locally-sourced food and Curious Brew range.

Each employee is being trained to an industry qualification level on the drinks and brewing process, a necessary measure when on-site tasting events commence.

These experiences will start from £12, which will see connoisseurs treated with Curious Brew's core range, with limited edition and small batch sampling costing a little more.

The Curious Brewery in Ashford opens on Friday
The Curious Brewery in Ashford opens on Friday

To improve the atmosphere in the joint restaurant and bar, soundproofing has been carried out to keep the production noise to a minimum while still audible for the brewery experience.

Matthew Anderson, the brand's head brewer, said: "We're really excited to share what we've accomplished with everyone.

"It's started to look like a brewery and, while we've still got some commissioning still to do, we can't wait to get going in this state-of-the-art facility."

The currently unused brewing equipment will have to go through a series of tests and dry runs before beer production begins.

Once operational an automated cleaning system using acid and caustic methods will be employed every day to ensure hygienic standards are maintained.

The launch comes after a year and a half of construction work, with two previous opening dates pushed back to Friday.

Changes had to be made to the brewhouse, including the repositioning of vats outside and the installation of signage around the building.

The site's history, and a memorable Ashford resident, will be reflected in the name of the brewhouse.

It will be named "Miss Adams" after a headteacher of the school which formerly occupied the Victoria Road footprint.

Known as Beaver Road School, the educational institute was demolished in a bombing raid that took place on March 24, 1943 and killed 50 people.

The death toll could have been much higher, had Miss Ellen Adams not heard a distant air raid warning.

She quickly and calmly evacuated the 300 pupils, and was later given an award for her efforts in keeping every child unharmed.

The production half of the complex will therefore bear her name.

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