WE ARE THE CURIOUS BREWERY. WHERE FLAVOUR AND PASSION COME FIRST. WE BELIEVE IN TRYING TO CREATE THINGS THAT OTHERS CAN’T.
Our reason for being is to inspire people to stay curious.
To question. To celebrate. To smile more. And to never graduate from the school of life. We decided to make the best-tasting beer and cider, using the best quality ingredients brewed at our state-of-the-art Brewery in Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom.
Risk Capital Partners acquired the brewery in April 2021 as part of a carve-out from Chapel Down (the English wine company). They appointed a new heavyweight management team to lead the business into the next phase in its development.
Pub and brewing veteran Mark Crowther and former UK head of Budweiser Budvar Simon George join the business as chairman and managing director, respectively.
The deal will be followed by planned investments in a new bottling and canning line, as well as increased support for the sales and marketing functions.
WHY WE INVESTED
Well invested, state of the art brewery with substantial capacity to grow production
An award-winning range of ciders and beers under the existing brand
Substantial opportunity to further the brewery’s status as a leisure “destination”, building on the restaurant’s success, taproom, events and tours proposition
Opportunity to consolidate the fragmented craft/premium beer segment through M&A Opportunity to work alongside an experienced and industry-leading management team
MEET THE TEAM
The Management Team
Luke co-founded Risk Capital Partners in 2001 with Ben Redmond and is actively involved in all our investments, past and present. He studied medicine at Oxford and subsequently joined investment bank Kleinwort Benson, as an analyst. In 1992 he organised the acquisition of Pizza Express and floated the business on the stock market at 40p. He was Chairman of this business until 1999, at which time the share price was over 800p, and the business had a market capitalisation of over £500 million. He stepped down as Chairman of Channel 4 Television Corporation in 2010, having held the position for six years. He is the Chairman of The Institute of Cancer Research, Chairman of StartUp Britain, and created a think tank in 2013 called The Centre for Entrepreneurs. Luke wrote on entrepreneurship for the Financial Times for eight years and has written a business column for the Sunday Times since 2015.
Luke has been Chairman or NED of all of RCP’s exited investments and is Chairman of most of the current portfolio.
Jon joined Risk Capital Partners in 2015 and is actively involved in current portfolio investments, including Primrose, All Star Lanes, Xstrahl, The Genuine Dining Co and Curious Brewery. He also manages origination and execution efforts for prospective new investments across all sectors.
Prior to this, Jon worked for PwC Corporate Finance in their London M&A team, where his main responsibilities included advising on MBOs, fundraising, company acquisitions and disposals. He was a key member of their Consumer & Leisure sector team. Jon has a BSc Degree in Geography from the University of Nottingham and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PwC.
Mark is an entrepreneurial business leader who in 2008 led the buy-out of what became The Liberation Group, the Channel Islands and West Country’s leading Regional Brewer business with c120 mostly freehold managed and tenanted pubs, two breweries and three wholesale companies. Revenue grew from c£62m to c£100m, and profits were more than doubled through Capex investments and acquisitions. The business was successfully sold for £118m, generating a 2.8x return for his investors. Mark’s 30-year career has been spent across the hospitality, food and drinks sector in the UK and Europe, including with businesses such as Allied Domecq, Diageo, Brakes and Carlsberg. Mark is Non-Exec Chairman of Curious Brewery, a leading premium brewer recently acquired with backing from Risk Capital. He is also Non-Exec Chairman of Portobello, one of London’s leading independent pub and brewing businesses.
Simon has over 20 years experience in the UK drinks sector, having worked for C&C Group, Constellation Europe and Bass/Coors Brewers. He joined the business to run the Curious Brewery team after the Risk Capital-backed deal progressed in April 2021. Prior to joining Curious, he was Managing Director for seven years of Budweiser Budvar UK Ltd, the UK daughter company of the Czech brewer. During that time, Budvar became the UK’s fastest-growing Czech beer brand in UK off-trade and a Top 10 Draught world beer in the UK on trade. Simon has a Masters degree in Transportation Engineering from the University of Southampton and a BSc Degree in Geography from Swansea University.
Matt Anderson joined the Curious Brewing team as Head Brewer in 2018, having previously worked for AB-Inbev for over a decade. Matt has overseen the opening of our new state of the art Brewery in Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom, in 2019. Matt has expanded on our award-winning range of beers; each produced to an exceptional standard of consistent quality – this dedication to quality was instrumental in us gaining the title of ‘UK Brewer of the Year at the prestigious International Beer Challenge 2019.
The Brewery Team
Wes is our Head of Production at Curious Brewery. Wes joined us in 2019, bringing with him a wealth of Brewing experience. Previously Head Brewer at Old Dairy Brewery, just down the road in Tenterden. Wes has also worked at Charles Wells Brewery in Bedford and Castle Danger Brewery near his hometown of Two Harbors in Minnesota, USA.
Jack is one of our Brewers at Curious Brewery. Jack joined us just as the Brewery was being finished in 2019. Since then, he has completed the first of his Brewing qualifications, finished his initial training in both the Brewhouse and Cellar, and became a father for the first time!
Nikki, AKA @craft_beer_nikki, the newest member of our Curious family, joining us in the Summer of 2021 as a Trainee Brewer. Nikki first discovered her love for beer in 2018 and has gone on to become an avid beer writer, reviewing over 1,800 different beers whilst following the strict rule of ‘never trying the same beer twice.’
Del has worked at Curious Brewery since June 2019; he has only recently transferred over to the dark side to become a trainee Brewer, having previously been our chief tour guide. Originally from Washington DC, Del studied Political Sciences at Marymount University, where he completed a dissertation centred around the adult film industry 🤔🤔
Michal was one of our first ever employees at Curious Brewery. Originally from Jelenia Gora in Poland, Michal has run the kegging line at the Brewery since our first-ever production run in July 2019. He also holds the current record for kegs per hour at 58!
Rebecca is our newest recruit at Curious Brewery, having joined us as Planning & Warehouse Manager. Rebecca studied International Agriculture at the University of Greenwich and has spent most of the pandemic working for the NHS. She has also spent a couple of years working for ReBuild Mexico; helping to build houses for homeless families, giving them a safe space to call home
Max joined us in April 2021, having previously worked @ The Best Connection in Ashford. He now runs our Kegging line at the Brewery helping to produce 45 kegs per hour of Curious Brew.
Dan has been delivering Curious Beers for several years now, having previously worked in the warehouse as part of the Chapel Down Group. With over 300 direct customers in and around Kent & London, Dan is definitely the person to ask if your sat nav is on the blink!
The Restaurant Team
Joe has worked at The Curious Brewery since the site opened in 2019. Having lived in Ashford his entire life, he loves how the Brewery is now part of the community. Joe has worked in hospitality since the age of 16 and what he loves most about the hospitality sector is the people and that no two days are the same.
Emily joined the front of house team just a few months after the site opened in 2019. Emily was promoted shortly after the site reopened under the new company. Having studied Event Management at university, she used what she learnt to develop her skills in the hospitality industry. With over six years of cocktail experience including leading cocktails classes, she has just designed a curious cocktail menu some of which incorporate our own beers.