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Ex-BrewDog director Gareth Bath joins winemaker Chapel Down as managing director of beer

By Chris Price

Winemaker Chapel Down has hired a former BrewDog boss to head up its beer operations as it prepares to launch a new brewery.

Gareth Bath will join the Tenterden-based company as managing director of beer with the ambition of taking it “onto the world stage”.

The company has just refreshed its Curious Drinks brand – which includes lager, IPA and cider – with a new “made by winemakers” strapline.

Gareth Bath will be managing director of beer at Chapel Down
Gareth Bath will be managing director of beer at Chapel Down

Mr Bath was formerly managing director of brewing and international at Scottish craft beer maker BrewDog, which made 82 different varieties in 2016.

He joins as the company prepares to open a brewery in Ashford, having raised £1.7 million in a crowdfunding campaign last year to fund construction.

Mr Bath said: “I’m really excited to be joining Chapel Down. They’ve created a fantastic brand in wine and they have a great team.

“I love the proposition on the beers – they are unique – and I am looking forward to building the new brewery, creating a great team, giving the consumer an amazing experience and exciting the trade.

“We can take Curious onto the world stage.”

The newly designed Curious Brew bottle
The newly designed Curious Brew bottle

Chapel Down chief executive Frazer Thompson said Mr Bath “will bring a new level of energy and expertise”.

He said: “With his blue-chip background and the tremendous success he enjoyed with BrewDog, he’s a great addition to our board and will give the whole business an immediate boost.”

Changes are already underway at the brand.

Curious Brew lager will be packed in a new 33cl bottle, which has a shape nodding to the silhouette of a sparkling wine bottle. It also has a new corkscrew question mark logo.

Mr Thompson added: “We wanted to create a new look for the brand that did justice to the beer and stands out in a crowded market.

“It reinforces Curious Brew as a highly premium English lager with a winemaker’s complexity, style, intelligence and elegance.”

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