Published: 15:55, 07 January 2021
| Updated: 16:18, 07 January 2021
A brewer has spoken about how his company has adapted to survive 2020.
Docker Brewery in Folkestone has been producing craft beers since 2016, mostly making drinks for pubs and eateries.
That was until 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic changed how many businesses operated.
Director Peter Nelson said: "We expanded to a larger brewery in December 2019, so it wasn't ideal timing, and we were expecting a big summer in 2020.
"We made a lot of beer in preparation but obviously had to throw lots away.
"Originally we were a pub-focused but we've now transitioned to cans.
"During the lockdowns, we're only a one or two-person operation so thankfully we've been able to brew throughout."
"We've just bought a canning machine along with other Tenterden's Nightingale Cider Co. and Hythe's Hop Fuzz brewery, as we all realise the need to get it out there quicker and fresher in a deliverable format.
The 46-year-old is no stranger at coming to grips with new technologies however, as he and co-director Wes Burden come from a background working with computers.
He says this is quite common, as the brewing process requires a lot of technical know-how.
Stocking drinks with Kent-inspired names such as Hythe Pale Ale and DFL, Docker Brewery tries to promote ingredients found in the county.
In December, a new addition to the range - WyePA - highlighted Wye's place in beer brewing history and quickly sold out.
Mr Nelson said: "We're really interested in the UK's hop heritage but not necessarily in the traditional way of doing things.
"We create new flavours from hops developed more recently.
"That's why we like Wye and made a beer about it - it was one of the main centres of global hop production in the 20th Century, and a lot of the world's top hops were developed there.
"In our newer beers, we've been taking a lot of heritage hops that were seen as too strong and re-introducing them to people. They're becoming a lot more popular in the industry."
The brewery recently supported the annual Hythe Hops project, in which residents grow hops in gardens and allotments before nearby brewers turn them into craft beer.
Mr Nelson noted that the resulting beer, and others made from nearby hop producers, had been going down well with the public and that he hoped to brew more of these Kent-centric drinks in the future.
Mr Nelson praised the community for their custom throughout the pandemic, saying: "People have been really supportive of us during the pandemic, as we've started delivering much more than we used to.
"We still want to get back into pub beer, but we've had to go into survival mode for 2020 and people have been liking what we're making.
"Thank you to everyone who's helped us through this year."
For more information or to order beer, click here.